CHICAGO (March 18, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC (0-1-2, 2 points) battled FC Cincinnati (2-0-2, 8 points) to a 3-3 draw on Saturday night at Soldier Field in the coldest match in Club history.
Despite holding a 3-1 lead for the majority of the second half, the Fire conceded twice in the final six minutes of the match, resulting in a point for each side in the first meeting between the two Clubs in 2023.
Cincinnati’s Junior Moreno scored in the eighth minute when Brandon Vázquez served a ball across the 18-yard box. Moreno’s shot deflected off Fire defender Miguel Navarro before finding the back of the net.
Chicago leveled the score in the 32nd minute via striker Kacper Przybyłko, who scored his first of the season with the equalizer. Midfielder Gastón Giménez cleared the ball out of danger to Homegrown product Brian Gutiérrez, who saw Przybyłko in space on the left side of the box. Przybyłko struck the ball with his first touch with power and precision, curling his effort into the top corner on the far side of the goal.
The Fire added a second goal when winger Chris Mueller made an inverted run into the box to shake off Cincinnati defender Yerson Mosquera, who then clipped Mueller on his heel to concede a penalty. Captain Rafael Czichos stepped up to the penalty spot and converted the spot kick with a shot straight down the middle and through Naperville-native Roman Celentano’s legs in the 45th minute.
Mueller scored a goal of his own just 18 seconds into the second half when defender Arnaud Souquet registered his first MLS assist, feeding him a ball from the right side to the top of the box. The speedy winger took one touch to settle the ball and blasted a powerful shot into the roof of the net to register his first goal of the campaign.
In the final stretch of the match, Cincinnati responded with two goals in the 84th and 86th minutes from second-half substitute Sergio Santos and Moreno.
NEXT MATCH: Chicago travels to face Inter Miami CF on Saturday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m. CT at DRV PNK Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM.
- With an assist tonight, Brian Gutiérrez has tallied the most assists (three) against FC Cincinnati in MLS play in Club history.
- With the thermometer reading 19 degrees at kickoff, tonight’s match was the coldest in Chicago Fire FC history. It is tied for second coldest kickoff in Major League Soccer history. The previous record for the coldest Chicago Fire FC game was the 2017 home opener against Real Salt Lake, which was 28 degrees at kickoff.
- Midfielder Maren Haile-Selassie made his first start and registered his first assist for the Fire. He previously made his MLS debut as a substitute in the Club’s first match of the 2023 season on March 4 against New York City FC.
- Winger Chris Mueller tallied his first goal of the season and his fifth career goal for the Club. Additionally, with a start in tonight’s match, Mueller has now started in 99 MLS matches in his career.
- Defender Arnaud Souquet registered his first-ever assist in MLS play in his third regular season appearance with the Fire.
- Forward Kacper Przybyłko started for the third straight match at forward, making his 98th overall MLS start in regular season play. With a goal in tonight’s match, Przybyłko now has six career goals for the Fire.
- Midfielder Mauricio Pineda also made his first start of the season for the Fire. The Homegrown product earned his 75th career start.
- In net, 19-year-old Homegrown goalkeeper Chris Brady earned his second-straight start and third of his career.
- Midfielder Jairo Torres (right upper leg), midfielder Federico Navarro (left upper leg), and midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (right upper leg) were unavailable for selection due to injury.
- Forward Kei Kamara and midfielder Fabian Herbers were unavailable for selection tonight while they each served a one-match suspension for red cards received last weekend in Philadelphia.
Chicago Fire FC 3:3 FC Cincinnati
CIN - Moreno (1) (Vazquez 1, Angulo 1) 8’
CHI - Przybylko (1) (Gutiérrez 1) 32’
CHI - Czichos (1) (penalty) 45’
CHI - Mueller (1) (Souquet 1, Haile-Selassie 1) 46’
CIN - Santos (2) (Acosta 2) 84’
CIN - Moreno (2) 86’
CHI - Terán (Yellow Card) 12’
CHI - Giménez (Yellow Card) 57’
CIN - Vazquez (Yellow Card) 58’
CHI - M. Navarro (Yellow Card) 65’
CHI - Pineda (Yellow Card) 90’
CHI - Przybyłko (Yellow Card) 90+2’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Brady, D Souquet (Burks, 87’), D Terán, D Czichos (capt.), D M. Navarro (Dean 69’), M Haile-Selassie (Monis, 81’) , M Pineda, M Giménez, M Gutiérrez, M Mueller, F Przybyłko
Subs not used: GK Richey, D Omsberg, M Casas Jr., F Rodríguez, F Bezerra
FC Cincinnati: GK Celentano, D Mosquera, D Miazga (capt.), D Gaddis (Arias, 69’), D Barreal, D Murphy (Santos, 69’), M Nwobodo, M Angulo (Acosta 80’), M Moreno, F Benner, F Vazquez (Ordoñez 80’)
Subs not used: GK Kann, D Powell, D Akpunonu, M Pinto, F Badji
Stats Summary: CHI / CIN
Shots: 14 / 14
Shots on Goal: 4 / 8
Saves: 5 / 1
Passing Accuracy: 71.2.6% / 72.8%
Corners: 8 / 6
Fouls: 18 / 11
Offsides: 1 / 2
Possession: 49.2% / 50.8%
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Chris Wattam, Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Younes Marrakchi, Tom Supple