Minnesota United continued their recent upturn in form with a resounding 3-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday.
After a couple of defeats to the Seattle Sounders and Austin FC, Minnesota have now tasted victory in each of their last three games across all competitions, climbing above the Playoff line and progressing in the US Open Cup.
They had to be patient for this particular victory, with the Fire restricting Adrian Heath's men during the first half with another resolute defensive showing.
But the Loons proved too strong after the break with Emanuel Reynoso profiting from some sloppy Fire play at the back to open the scoring on 72 minutes.
Federico Navarro picked up a second yellow card in the 77th minute and from there, it really was one-way traffic - Kervin Arriaga and Robin Lod scored two goals in quick succession to round off a wonderful afternoon for MNUFC at Allianz Field.
While Minnesota United after in the ascendency, Chicago are now winless in five across all competitions and need to find an attacking spark fast.
Here is how every player rated on Saturday afternoon:
1. Minnesota United (4-2-3-1)
GK: Dayne St. Clair - 6/10 - Didn't have much to do but kept his concentration well and made a few smart saves.
RB: Oneil Fisher - 6/10 - Unable to influence things in attack but a solid afternoon defensively.
CB: Michael Boxall - 7/10 - Dominant both in the air and on the ground, didn't give the Fire a look.
CB: Bakaye Dibassy - 7/10 - Just as solid as Boxall and proved a nuisance from set-pieces.
LB: Kemar Lawrence - 7/10 - Did the job defensively and tried to contribute in attack when he could.
CM: Wil Trapp - 7/10 - Shut down Chicago Fire attacks with some typically bullish play in midfield. Picked up another yellow card for his troubles but did the dirty work well.
CM: Kervin Arriaga - 8/10 - Clean on the ball and helped keep Shaqiri quiet. Effectively finished the game with the Loons' second goal.
RW: Robin Lod - 6/10 - Uncharacteristically quiet. Unable to beat Miguel Navarro throughout the afternoon, but had more joy when he came into the middle, scoring Minnesota's third goal.
CAM: Emanuel Reynoso - 9/10 - Had a goal ruled out for offside and hit the crossbar with a powerful free-kick in the first half. Truly came alive in the second half and was rewarded with the winning goal, beating Slonina in style before putting it on a dime for Arriaga to finish the game.
LW: Franco Fragapane - 5/10 - Still doesn't look 100% but logged some more valuable minutes.
ST: Luis Amarilla - 6/10 - Had a tough time up against those Fire center-backs but battled well and managed to bring Reynoso into play.
SUB: Abu Danladi (62' for Fragapane) - 6/10 - Added some energy and dynamism to the Minnesota attack.
SUB: Bongokuhle Hlongwane (62' for Amarilla) - 8/10 - Did well to wait for the perfect moment when assisting Reynoso's opener and set up Lod for the third.
SUB: Joseph Rosales (86' for Reynoso) - 5/10 - No time to have an effect.
SUB: Adrien Hunou (89' for Lod) - 5/10 - A victory cigar performance.
2. Chicago Fire (4-2-3-1)
GK: Gabriel Slonina - 6/10 - Made some big saves but had a few erratic moments coming to claim the ball. Perhaps could have gone long in the build-up to the opening goal but could do nothing about the other two.
RB: Boris Sekulic - 7/10 - Barely got forward but completed a mountain of defensive work.
CB: Wyatt Omsberg - 4/10 - Was having a wonderful afternoon until his giveaway led to Reynoso's winner. It was the one moment where Omsberg didn't keep things beautifully simple and his performance went downhill from there.
CB: Rafael Czichos - 5/10 - Made some vital blocks and interceptions but got swamped after the red card.
LB: Miguel Navarro - 7/10 - More than held his own against the dangerous Lod and cannot be blamed for the goal.
CM: Federico Navarro - 4/10 - Brought the fight in the midfield and tried to get the ball moving forward when he won it back. Unfortunately fought a little too hard and got himself sent off after a second yellow card for a foul on Lod toward the end.
CM: Gaston Gimenez - 6/10 - About as close to a creative outlet as the Fire had. Used the ball well whether he was picking out passes or driving it forward himself. Needed more help from his teammates. Lost Arriaga on the second goal.
RW: Stanislav Ivanov - 4/10 - Barely tested the Minnesota defense at all. A passenger until he was subbed out toward the end.
CAM: Xherdan Shaqiri - 4/10 - Always looked to be positive with the ball but just couldn't find his mark. Not Shaqiri's afternoon, but clocked some important minutes as he works back to full fitness.
LW: Brian Gutierrez - 5/10 - A couple of nice touches but looked uncomfortable out on the wing.
ST: Kacper Przybylko - 4/10 - Completely isolated. Didn't offer enough movement to open space for Shaqiri and never looked like scoring.
SUB: Jonathan Bornstein (63' for Gutierrez) - 3/10 - Sloppy on the ball and was an easy target for Minnesota United's forwards.
SUB: Jhon Espinoza (78' for Ivanov) - 5/10 - Unable to change the game.
SUB: Mauricio Pineda (82' for Shaqiri) - 5/10 - Too late to get into it.
SUB: Jhon Duran (82' for Przybylko) - 5/10 - As above.