CHICAGO (June 26, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC II returned home to defeat New England Revolution II by a score of 4-3. A pair of goals for Victor Bezerra, as well as goals by Alex Monis and Ryan Quintos, gave the Fire three points after earning one in Philadelphia. The Fire handed New England its first regulation loss since June 4, when it fell to the Fire’s next opponent, Inter Miami II.
The Fire started hot early on. Richard Fleming III dropped a ball into wide open space for Omari Glasgow in the 13th minute. Glasgow then took the ball to the byline, before sending it across goal to the foot of a waiting Monis to open the scoring. Monis’ goal briefly gave him a share of the team goal lead with four this season. The play also marked Glasgow’s second assist of the season.
Less than five minutes later, the team found some space on the left, this time via Charlie Ostrem, who delivered a pass to Bezerra. Tight marking forced Bezerra to chip his defender, then hit a rocket past a diving Jacob Jackson. The Chicago native’s goal gave him four for the season, tied with Josh Penn and Monis, while Ostrem got his third assist of the season, good for a share of first place on the team.
New England quickly struck back. In the 32nd minute, Meny Silva took the ball up the left wing before finding Ryan Lima, who struck from the top of the box to cut the lead in half. The Fire’s lead then survived only three more minutes, as a corner taken by Revolution captain Jake Rozhansky found the head of defender Pierre Cayet, who equalized with less than 10 minutes to go in the half. The match remained a stalemate as the halftime whistle blew.
Upon resumption of the match, the Fire got to work quickly. The team earned a corner that Sergio Oregel, Jr. executed. The ball was then deflected to Quintos, who fired a one-timer from the top of the six-yard box to regain the lead for the Fire. Quintos’ goal marked his first goal in MLS NEXT Pro play.
The Fire did not slow down throughout the half, earning another set piece in the 76th minute. Oregel once again served the ball into the near side of the six-yard box, where Bezerra headed it towards the far side of the goal to make it a 4-2 lead. Bezerra’s strike gave him a brace in the match and five goals for the season, handing him sole possession of the team goal lead ahead of Monis and Penn.
Penn attempted to add to his season tally in the 90th minute. Playing on the left wing, he cut to his right and curled a shot towards the upper 90 that loudly clanged off the woodwork. New England would then strike back in the last minute of stoppage time through Michel, who beat Mihajlo Mišković for his team’s third goal of the match. The referee blew the whistle shortly after restart to end the match and award the Fire three points in regulation time.
NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC II will travel to South Florida on Saturday, July 2 to face Inter Miami II. The match, as well as all other MLS NEXT Pro regular season matches, will be streamed live at 6 p.m. EST on mlsnextpro.com.
Chicago Fire FC II 4-3 New England Revolution II
CHI - Monis (4) (Glasgow 2) 13’
CHI - Bezerra (4) (Ostrem 3) 17’
NER - Lima (Silva) 33’
NER - Pierre (Rozhansky) 36’
CHI - Quintos (1) 55’
CHI - Bezerra (5) (Oregel Jr. 1) 77’
NER - Michel (Ítalo) 90+3’
NER - DeShields (Yellow Card) 3’
CHI - Quintos (Yellow Card) 20’
NER - Ítalo (Yellow Card) 31’
CHI - Ritaccio (Yellow Card) 80’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Mišković; D Ostrem, D Quintos, D Ritaccio ©, D J. Reynolds (Baumgartner, 80’); M Casas (Kidd, 45’), Jr., M Oregel, Jr., M Fleming III; F Monis (Penn, 45’), F V. Bezerra (Kocs-Washburn, 80’), F Glasgow
Subs not used: GK Katsimpalis; D Alvarado; M A. Rodriguez, M Flores; F Hernandez
New England Revolution II: GK Jackson; D Ítalo, D Cayet, D DeShields, D O'Hearn; M Rozhansky ©, M Zwetsloot, M Fujiwara (Buck, 46’), M Silva (Bajrakterevic, 62’), M Dias; F Lima (Michel, 62’)
Subs not used: GK Puckerin
Stats Summary: CHI / NE
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Passing Accuracy: 83.7% / 74.8%
Saves: 1 / 1
Corners: 9 / 5
Fouls: 15 /15
Offsides: 0 / 2
Possession: 59.9% / 40.1%
Referee: Esad Omanovic
Assistant Referee 1: Eric Wood
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Little
Fourth official: Greg Dopka
Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier
On tonight’s 4-3 victory against New England…
“That's good for the players to win against a team that is up there in the standings. I mean that shows to the players that when we do the right quality of effort, when we are focusing, we can score goals and we can compete against any team in the league. Then that's a very good takeaway from this game mentally for the players, that will be important. This win can be an important one. After all, of course in the story of the game, we gave them the possibility to come back a little too much. We don't exactly push for the third goal when we should, and we're not able to control the game, especially in transition, especially on set pieces. We need to be, at the end of the game, able to keep the ball a little more also so we get the time you know we are still a little naive. Then that's why we struggled all the way to the end and the last 30 seconds were still a little stressful when we felt we should have controlled the game a little better against a good team. And as soon as we offered them a little bit of space, they were able to come to attack us with speed, and that was important to control this game a little better. But that's an important win for sure.”
On how he feels his team responded in the second half…
“Yeah, definitely. They were all disappointed at the break. During the time break, because of course, they were kind of mad at themselves for following the opponent to come back in the game. After we had a good discussion half way, I think the players stepped on the field ready to restart like a new game. Second half, and to try to win the second game and that was good. We saw the subs that came in that did well, Matteo Kidd and Josh Penn were also important, all of the guys coming late in the game did well and helped the team. Erik Kocs-Washburn and Christian Baumgartner, I mean all the players that came in with the right mentality to help the team finish the job.”
On Victor Bezerra’s brace and what he brings to the team…
“He is definitely an important player for us. I mean, he has good vision on the bodies. He's able to help us build our play to help us potentially finish our situation. He’s moving well and he creates space for our players and that's definitely important. We spoke with him, and I think he definitely gave his best effort today and that's great, that's good for the team.”
Chicago Fire FC II Forward Victor Bezerra
On capitalizing on his chances with two goals in the match…
“Yeah, I thought it was a really good performance from the boys. I thought that the chances came 60-70 minutes apart from one another, but I was able to focus and hit the target well on both of them. I kind of felt ,after I scored the first one, that a second one was definitely coming today. It was just one of those days. And you know, I think the Philadelphia game, we played very well and we kind of, especially for me individually, I think that second half performance was very good and it kind of boosted me into this next week. And so we're seeing an upward trend right now and we're gonna ride this and keep working hard.”
On rebounding from giving up a lead and responding in the second half…
“Yeah, this is something that's happened. And this is the third time it's happened this season where we're up by more than one goal and we let a team back into a game and seeing that happen again, we have experience from it. And it's something that we have to eliminate completely because, you know, there's a lot of opposition that, if we let them back in the game, that'll be the game. We're trying to eliminate the errors defensively. And, you know, I think that the group showed very good character in the second half, I think we kind of took the second half as a new game almost, and a half that we just had to win. And I think that's exactly what we did. We believed in the game plan and it kept working and so, good morale boost for the boys and good focus and energy for them as well.”
On how the team carries the momentum into next week’s match in Miami…
“Yeah, I think right now we're riding a very confident wave. I think we have felt that the results haven't been what we wanted, but we're playing up to a very good standard and getting players back healthy. It's all heading in the right trend. Where we want to be at the end of the season and I see a great amount of potential within this group. And we're just gonna keep riding this wave. We're gonna keep riding this energy that everybody's on and I think it can lead to very good things.”