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CHICAGO (July 2, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC II fell on the road Saturday night to Inter Miami CF II by a score of 3-1. Missael Rodríguez added his second goal of the MLS NEXT Pro season to open the scoring early in the match, but three unanswered goals gave Miami the victory. Richard Fleming III also added his first assist of the season for the Fire on Rodríguez’ goal.

The Fire got on the board quickly. Omari Glasgow weaved through multiple defenders in the 8th minute before feeding the ball to Fleming III, who laid the ball off to Rodríguez on first touch. The Chicago native then unleashed a shot on goal while sliding that just snuck past the Miami goalkeeper’s near post. Rodríguez’ opener was the second-earliest goal of the season for the Fire, behind Alex Monis’ fifth minute tally at Toronto FC II in March.

But Miami answered quickly. The home side got the ball back just outside their box in the 13th minute, and Lawson Sunderland quickly found Shaan Hundal on a counter attack. Hundal then sped from midfield to the top of the Fire box, where he fired a shot that deflected off a defender and into the goal. He followed up his third goal of the season four minutes later with his second assist of the campaign, as he found himself wide open on the wing before putting a ball across goal to Sunderland for the tap-in. The teams traded shots and yellow cards throughout the half, but the match went into the break with Inter Miami II up 2-1.

Upon restart, the Fire quickly established a high press that rattled the Miami defense. Josh Penn, who came into the match at halftime for Monis, curled a perfect ball into the box for Rodríguez to volley into the goal, but the referee determined it was offside. The team continued to push numbers forward, and Miami took advantage in the 78th minute. Romeo Beckham delivered a ball into the path of an open Shanyder Borgelin, who sped past the Fire defense for Miami’s third goal of the match. Despite further forays into the box, the Fire could not generate a goal as the final whistle was heard.

NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC II will stay on the road next Sunday, July 10 and face FC Cincinnati 2 at NKU Soccer Stadium in Highland Heights, Ky. First kick is slated for 5:00 p.m. CT. The match will be streamed live on MLSNEXTpro.com.

Social: Twitter - @ChicagoFireNext (Hashtags: #ChicagoFireII) | Instagram - @chicagofirenext | Facebook

Box Score:
Inter Miami CF II 3 - 1 Chicago Fire FC II

Goals:
CHI - M. Rodríguez (2) (Fleming III 1) 8’
MIA - Hundal (3) (Sunderland 2) 13’
MIA - Sunderland (1) (Hundal 2) 17’
MIA - Borgelin (5) (Beckham 6) 78’

Discipline:
CHI - M. Rodríguez (Yellow Card) 19’
CHI - Glasgow (Yellow Card) 22’
MIA - Ruiz (Yellow Card) 30’
CHI - Oregel, Jr. (Yellow Card) 32'

Chicago Fire FC II: GK Miskovic; D Ostrem, D Quintos, D Ritaccio ©, D Baumgartner (Alvarado, 76’); M Oregel, Jr., M Kidd (A. Rodriguez, 90+2’), M Fleming III; F Monis (Penn, 46’), F M. Rodríguez (Kocs-Washburn, 76’), F Glasgow

Subs not used: GK Katsimpalis; M Flores; F L. Bezerra

Inter Miami CF II: GK dos Santos; D Neville, D Caputo, D Mendez, D Batiste; M Taghvai-Najib (Hardin, 75’), M Ruiz, M Sunderland; F Jones (Bagley, 62’), F Hundal (Borgelin, 62’), F Beckham (Destin, 90+2’)

Subs not used: GK Zuluaga-Silva; F Reyes

Stats Summary: MIA / CHI

Shots: 11 / 14
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Passing Accuracy: 76.6% / 83.8%
Saves: 3 / 2
Corners: 5 / 6
Fouls: 8 / 15
Offsides: 3 / 2
Possession: 42.3% / 57.7%

Referee: Benjamin Meyer

Assistant Referee 1: Kendall Mccardell

Assistant Referee 2: Preston Joyner

Fourth Official: Gabriele Giusti

Postgame Quotes

Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier

On the performance of the team in a 3-1 loss…
“It was a tough game in this scenario because we were lucky enough to score the first one and against this team, that's very important because they were really compact and not too high on the field to be able to counter attack them. Being 1-0 up was a great opportunity to have them maybe playing a little higher on the field and offer us maybe more space to counter attack. But unfortunately, we didn't keep the 1-0 up long enough and we conceded two and now that was their game, to be one goal up and to be able to be a little more compact and try to counter attack us. That was an unfortunate scenario.

I would say we didn't do enough, of course, to break this compact defense but it's not something easy. It's not something easy and I think we can be proud of trying to get back in the game. The guys, they tried hard, we have many players that are distraught tonight. I don't think we can question the fact that they gave it all, even after you consider a third goal in the last counter attack. But it's disappointing, it’s always disappointing. I think that it will be interesting to work on the video and try to figure out what we could have done better against the compact and we need to play a little lower on the field for the next time we face this kind of team.”

On the performance of Missael Rodríguez…
“It's good for him, first, for him to score. To score a goal is always something very important and we're very happy for him. He needs to do more, he can do more, he is definitely a great player that needs to be spontaneous, able to play with his back to goal and to lay off and go back to crash the box. He can do more; it's just the beginning, but we are very happy that he's scored a goal. That's good for him, for his confidence.”

On rebounding from a loss for another road match…
“Next week it's always, in this league, a different day and each game is a different one, a different style, a different opponent. That will be an interesting game against Cincinnati. I don't say, I don't think to rebound in the sense that the result is disappointing. But again, the guys did give it all and we are so proud of the effort they put on the pitch.”

Chicago Fire FC II Forward Missael Rodríguez

On the team’s fight in the second half…
“We knew what we had to do, we had to go out there and fight. And the team did it very well. There were little mistakes that hurt us, but the team showed a positive attitude to come out and try to win the game. Unfortunately, it didn't work, but the team showed a lot of hard work.”

On returning from injury to score a goal…
"Yeah, I mean, I feel very positive. Mentally, I won't get broken regardless of how many injuries I have. I'm mentally focused now and it feels great. It feels good to get another goal following a couple of injuries and I hope to continue the streak.”