2022_1009_Monis Goal_Tamez_002

Of the entire Chicago Fire roster, no player’s 2022 season ended more beautifully than that of 19-year-old Homegrown midfielder Alex Monis.

On October 9, Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson decided to call upon Monis from the bench as his team trailed the New England Revolution, giving him a chance to shine on the final matchday of the Major League Soccer Season.

In the dying moments of an intense game where the Fire were seeking a goal to tie up the game in front of the supporters at SeatGeek Stadium, Monis captured the crowd’s hearts by scoring his first MLS goal in stoppage time. And writing his name into history.

As SeatGeek Stadium erupted with joy, Monis and his teammates shared a heartfelt and emotional celebration.

GOAL | Alex Monis scores his first for the Fire to secure a point against New England

When asked about what the goal meant to him Monis was candid.

“It means a lot," he said. 'It’s been a long and difficult season for this team, but I think to finish on a positive, you know, individually and collectively is really important. And to do it alongside the teammates that I grew up playing with is a very special thing.” 

Beyond the scoresheet, Monis's first MLS goal was made more special by what the moment meant to his family.

“Around this time last year, I lost my mom to cancer," Monis said. "And it was just such an amazing feeling, because this time of year brings up a lot of memories of her, and to get that in that moment was such a special feeling for me and my family. They were watching, a lot of my friends and family were here today, so to get that (goal) was just surreal.”

To that point, Monis had been an established presence on Chicago Fire II matchdays, appearing in 21 games (14 starts) for the Club's MLS Next pro side and recording five goals. The Chicago Fire Academy product's output for the Fire's second team kept him on Hendrickson's radar all season. Prior to his game-tying goal against New England, he'd been included on the matchday roster seven times, four of which came consecutively in the run up to his memorable substitution in October at SeatGeek Stadium.

“It’s an amazing feeling," he said. "We’ve been working hard since the academy days. All season - whether it was with the first team or the second team - and to see Sergio get his debut, Chris get his debut, is a really special thing for the whole club as a whole. So I’m just happy for all these guys.”

Following the New England match, Hendrickson elaborated on the significance of Monis's goal, and the presence of Homegrown players on the team in general.

"I had no qualms about putting him in the match," Hendrickson said. "He's been training really, really well, and - as a coach - you look at things like that. We don't really look at a player's age. If you're playing well, you'll get on the pitch. And I just thought it was a perfect time to get him in the game and give him some minutes, give him some experience. So, that was good, I was happy for him. He's a kid who's been through a lot off the field. So, I mean, what a way to finish his year. He had a good season with the second team. So, it was fitting that he was the one that tied the game for us today.”

Monis left his mark on the 2022 Chicago Fire in the season's final minutes, and will be hungry for more in 2023. Having already etched his name into the history books with his first MLS goal, he will be looking to showcase his talent more on the pitch for the Fire and continue to make his family and his city proud in the upcoming season.