Chicago Fire FC fell 3-1 against Orlando City SC on Sunday night at Soldier Field in their first MLS action following the Leagues Cup 2023 break.
With the result, Chicago remains above the playoff line in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 32 points.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair with each side registering two shots on goal and the Fire recording five shots from inside the box. Chicago appeared to pull ahead in the 25th minute when Brian Gutiérrez ran onto a pass from Xherdan Shaqiri behind the Orlando backline and he and Georgios Koutsias raced toward goal. Gutiérrez waited until Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese came off his line to pass the ball right to Koutsias, who sent it into the net. However, Koutsias was determined to be offside on the initial pass upon video review.
Orlando pushed forward as well, with Spencer Richey using every centimeter of his body to reach the top right corner in the 32nd minute to parry a shot from the Orlando offense over the goal.
Both teams started the second half firing on all cylinders. Homegrown defender/midfielder Mauricio Pineda opened the scoring in the 47th minute, slamming home his first goal of the season in his 99th career game. After Pineda had a shot saved by Gallese, the ball was cleared but then sent back up into space by Miguel Navarro. Pineda pounced and fired a shot that went past Gallese and into the net.
Orlando responded with goals in the 51st and 54th minutes from Wilder Cartagena and Iván Angulo, respectively. Koutsias then had a goal called offside in the 60th minute when the referee determined that he handled the ball before taking his shot. Orlando scored a third goal in the 68th when Dagur Thorhallsson was tackled just inside the box. Facundo Torres lined up and scored the ensuing penalty kick.
NEXT MATCH: Chicago will travel to the City of Angels to take on the LA Galaxy on Aug. 26 at Dignity Health Park at 9:30 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast on Apple TV, transmitted locally on WLS-AM 890 in English and in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM.
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Chicago was led by acting head coach CJ Brown as head coach Frank Klopas was not in attendance due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Kei Kamara came onto the match in the 63rd minute, putting him at 412 all-time regular-season appearances. He surpasses Drew Moor and is now alone in fifth place on the all-time regular season appearance list.
With his fourth assist of the 2023 season, Miguel Navarro tied Xherdan Shaqiri and Maren Haile-Selassie for second most by a Fire player this season. His four assists are also a single season career high.
Goalkeeper Spencer Richey started in goal for Chicago for the 10th time in 2023 across all competitions, including MLS regular season, U.S. Open Cup and Leagues Cup 2023 matches.
Ivorian midfielder Ousmane Doumbia made his first MLS regular season start for the Chicago Fire after making his Club debut as a sub against Minnesota United and starting against Club Puebla and Club América in the Club’s three Leagues Cup 2023 matches.
Defender Rafael Czichos (yellow card accumulation), midfielder Chris Mueller (right upper leg), forward Victor Bezerra (right lower leg), and goalkeeper Chris Brady (right lower leg) were not available for tonight’s match.
Chicago Fire FC 1:3 Orlando City SC
CHI – Pineda (1) (M. Navarro, 4) (WATCH) 47’
ORL – Cartagena (1) (Torres, 4) (WATCH) 50’
ORL – Angulo (4) (Araujo, 5) (WATCH) 54’
ORL – Torres (8) (Penalty) (WATCH) 68’
ORL – Schlegel (Yellow Card) 33’
ORL – Torres (Yellow Card) 55’
CHI – Giménez (Yellow Card) 59’
CHI – Doumbia (Yellow Card) 71’
CHI – Shaqiri (Yellow Card) 74’
CHI – Pineda (Yellow Card) 77’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Richey, D Dean, D Pineda, D Terán, D M. Navarro, M Doubia (Torres, 90’), M Giménez (Przybyłko, 79’), M Haile-Selassie (Herbers, 62’), M Shaqiri (capt.), M Gutiérrez, F Koutsias (Kamara, 63’)
Subs not used: GK Gal, D Aceves, D Souquet, D Omsberg, M F. Navarro
Orlando City SC: GK Gallese, D Schlegel, D Jansson, D Santos, M Thorhallson (Smith, 71’), M Angulo (Urso, 79’), M Cartagena, M Araujo, M Pereyra (capt.) (Ojeda, 79’), F Torres (Halliday, 89’), F McGuire (Enrique, 71’)
Subs not used: GK Stajduhar, D Salim, M Martins, F Lynn
Stats Summary: CHI / ORL
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 5
Saves: 2 / 3
Passing Accuracy: 85.5% / 81.8%
Corners: 3 / 6
Fouls: 16 / 16
Offsides: 4 / 2
Possession: 53% / 47%
Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Jason White
Fourth Official: Jeremy Scheer
VAR: Daniel Radford
Assistant VAR: Tyler Wyrostek