Kansas City, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Dominic Dwyer and Mike Magee swapped first-half tallies on Sunday as Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire played to a 1-1 stalemate at Sporting Park.
Dwyer opened the scoring in the 33rd minute for Sporting, which received a boost before the match due to the return of Graham Zusi and Matt Besler from World Cup duty with the United States.
But Magee equalized seven minutes later to help the Fire earn a point and improve to 16 points from 16 matches, but Chicago's winless streak in league play reached six matches and the club has not won since May 18.
Both teams had some defensive struggles early as Sporting defender Kevin Ellis sent a poor ball across the field in the opening minutes that was easily cut out by Magee, who went in on goal alone, but was pushed wide and failed to turn it home from a difficult angle.
Dwyer struck in the 33rd minute as he caught Chicago defender Patrick Ianni in possession and easily slid it past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson to the near post for his 12th goal of the season.
But the Fire found the equalizer in the 40th minute as Alex put in a successful challenge in midfield to take the ball off of Sporting's Igor Juliao.
Alex then picked up his head and slid a cutting ball to Magee on the left side of the box and the former MVP ripped it past Sporting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg with ease for his fifth goal of the season.
Zusi made his return to MLS play in the 62nd minute, coming on as substitute for Soony Saad hoping to serve as an offensive spark to get the hosts all three points.
But the Chicago back line held firm over the final 28 minutes to claim a point away from home.
The result sees Sporting improve to 26 points, two behind East-leading D.C. United, while Chicago remains in ninth place in the East.