Chicago Fire FC Falls 3-0 to Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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Atlanta, Ga. (March 31, 2024) – Chicago Fire FC (1-3-2, 5 points) fell 3-0 on the road against Atlanta United FC (3-2-0, 9 points) on Sunday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

Chicago finished the match with 10 men after defender Carlos Terán was sent off with a straight red card in the 83rd minute.

In a back-and-forth affair that saw both teams with dangerous opportunities in the opening minutes, the Fire had their first chance in the fourth minute. Midfielder Brian Gutiérrez ran onto a miscue between Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Noah Cobb, deftly sending a backheel pass onto the path of Maren Haile-Selassie. The winger took a touch to shrug off his mark before hitting his shot just wide of the goal.

Five minutes later, Chris Brady kept the score level at zero when Atlanta midfielder Saba Lobjanidze cut off a pass out of the back and carried the ball into the box. He carried the ball into the right side of the six-yard box, getting a shot off as Brady stood his ground to make the close-rage save before the ball was cleared out of danger.

Atlanta broke through the deadlock in the 45th minute when Lobjanidze connected with Giorgos Giakoumakis just before the end of the first half. Lobjanidze carried the ball up the left flank and squared the ball into the box as a defender was closing him down. The pass connected with an on-rushing Giakoumakis, who had timed his run to beat his defender and touch the ball one-time into the goal.

The home side made it 2-0 in the 65th minute when substitute Jamal Thiare sent home a header to the near post off a cross from Brooks Lennon. With the Fire playing down a man, Thiare scored his second of the match in the 90+5th minute, capitalizing on a Thiago Almada shot that hit the post and ricocheted across the goal mouth. Thiare collected the rebound, cut inside to create space for himself and sent his shot into the net to complete his brace.

NEXT MATCH: Chicago returns to the lakefront to host Western Conference side Houston Dynamo on Saturday, April 6 at Soldier Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on MLS Season Pass. The match will also be transmitted locally via in English and WRTO 1200 AM in Spanish. 

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  • Goalkeeper Chris Brady returned to the net following his participation with the U.S. Men’s Olympics Soccer Team.
  • Midfielder Chris Mueller entered the match in the 75th minute, marking his 149th Major League Soccer appearance.
  • Defender Carlos Terán earned his first start of the season after coming on as a substitute in the matches against the New England Revolution and CF Montréal following his recovery from surgery in the offseason.
  • Defenders Chase Gasper (upper leg), Andrew Gutman (upper leg) and Wyatt Omsberg (upper leg) were unavailable for today’s match.

Box Score:Atlanta United 3:0 Chicago Fire FC

ATL - Giakoumakis (5) (Lobjanidze, 2) (WATCH) 45’
ATL - Thiare (1) (Lennon, 4) (WATCH) 65’
ATL - Thiare (2) (Almada, 2) (WATCH) 90+5’

ATL - Wiley (Yellow Card) 50’
CHI - Herbers (Yellow Card) 65’
CHI - Terán (Ejection) 84’
ATL - Lennon (Yellow Card) 90’

CHI: GK Brady, D Terán, D Czichos, D Dean (Koutsias, 75’), D Arigoni (Mueller, 75’), M Haile-Selassie, M Gutiérrez (Shaqiri, 61’), M Herbers (capt.), M Acosta, M Giménez (Pineda, 75’), F Cupers (Barlow, 81’)

Subs not used: GK Richey, D Salquist, D Souquet, M Navarro 

ATL: GK Guzan (capt.), D Williams, D Lennon, D Cobb, D Wiley (Abram, 86’), M Slisz (Fortune, 64’), M Muyumba (McCarty, 85’), M Lobjanidze, M Almada, F Giakoumakis (Thiare, 64’), F Silva (Mosquera, 64’)

Subs not used: GK Cohen, D Hernandez, M Wolff, M Firmino

Stats Summary: ATL / CHI
Shots: 20 / 11
Shots on Goal: 7 / 3
Saves: 3 / 4
Passing Accuracy: 85.3% / 84.3%
Corners: 3 / 4
Fouls: 8 /5
Offsides: 2 / 2
Possession: 51.8% / 48.2%

Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referees: Nick Uranga, Kevin Lock
Fourth Official: Sergii Demianchuk
VAR: Kevin Stott
Assistant VAR: Ian McKay