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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (July 30, 2022) –  Chicago Fire FC II earned a road point on Saturday in a 1-1 draw at Rochester New York FC. Chris Brady saved two shots to help the Fire win the ensuing shootout 5-4, thus earning a valuable additional point. Missael Rodríguez came off the bench to equalize the match after leading Rochester goal scorer Gibran Rayo opened the scoring.

The match began with the Fire on the front foot, outshooting Rochester 7-3, while having the lone shot on target of the half. Rochester also conceded most possession to the Fire, with the visiting team having nearly 59 percent of the ball. Both teams combined for a total of 16 fouls in the opening half, but the teams stayed off the books as they reached the break.

Once the game resumed in the second half, the action picked up as possession evened and both teams made some tactical changes. After prodding the Fire box, Rochester finally got on the board through leading goal scorer Rayo. The forward’s 10th goal of the campaign put the home side on the board, but their lead was short-lived. Just six minutes later, a Fire counterattack found Christian Baumgartner streaking down the right wing, who then played a ball across goal for Rodríguez to finish effortlessly. The Homegrown forward’s goal was his third of the season, and his second off the bench, while Baumgartner’s assist was his first of the year.

Neither team could finish their chances as the final whistle blew, leading to a shootout to determine the winner of an additional point. Josh Penn, Charlie Ostrem, Richard Fleming III and Rodríguez were good from the spot in the opening round, while Brady made a save to send the shootout to sudden death. Ryan Quintos’ shot found the back of the net, leading to Rochester’s Ian Garrett stepping up for his turn. Garrett shot high, but Brady parried the shot over the crossbar to end the shootout and hand the Fire another point.

NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC II travel down I-55 to face St. Louis CITY 2 on Saturday, August 6, 2022. First kick is slated for 8 p.m. CT and can be streamed on MLSNEXTPro.com.

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

Box Score:
Chicago Fire FC II 1 (5) - 1 (4) Rochester New York FC

Goals:
ROC - Rayo (10) (Dolabella 4) 70’
CHI - M. Rodríguez (3) (Baumgartner 1) 76’

Discipline:
CHI - Ostrem (Yellow Card) 54’
ROC - Garrett (Yellow Card) 57’
ROC - Rayo (Yellow Card) 68’
CHI - Baumgartner (Yellow Card) 83’
CHI - Ritaccio (Yellow Card) 85’

Chicago Fire FC II: GK Brady; D Ostrem, D Ritaccio ©, D Quintos, D Baumgartner; M A. Rodriguez, M Kidd, M Fleming III; F Penn, F V. Bezerra (M. Rodríguez, 69’), F Glasgow (Monis, 69’)

Subs not used: GK Mišković; M Flores, M Nevarez, M Torres-Gale, M Kocs-Washburn

Rochester NY FC: GK Caíque; D Wood, D Lopez (Costa, 81’), D Batista; M Garrett, M Bubacar Djaló, M Dolabella, M Soares; F Batiz, F Rayo, F Brigida (Inalien, 67’)

Subs not used: GK Ejimadu, GK Franca; M Firestone, M McDermott; F Smith, F Popp

Stats Summary: ROC / CHI
Shots: 11 / 12
Shots on Goal: 2 / 3
Passing Accuracy: 70.3% / 79.3%
Saves: 2 / 1
Corners: 6 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 14
Offsides: 0 / 3
Possession: 45.4% / 54.6%

Referee: Nickrod Fateh

Assistant Referee 1: Patrick Casey

Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Varnson

Fourth Official: Joe Surgan

Postgame Quotes

Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier

On the team’s response on the road following a home loss…

“My idea was to prove that we were able to start strong and to finish stronger, which we were not able to do against Orlando, as they scored three goals in the last 20 minutes of the game. The idea was to be solid, drive together and to try to get something from this away game. And I think we are happy to be the driving team that came back in the game, you know, it's better this way. Unfortunately, we are not able to score more, but we were able to at least get something, to get the tie. And yeah, very happy to win the shootout against the team that generally wins them. We are happy, very proud of the guys that kicked in the shootout, that was good.”

On the contributions of Missael Rodríguez off the bench…

“It is crucial, especially when the objective of the game was to finish stronger, so we knew we needed the guys coming from the bench to finish the job. And I think he came with the right mentality. He was a little sick the last three, two days and he was struggling in training a little bit, but he was very brave. He scored a beautiful goal, with a lot of energy to rush to the box and to be in the spot to be able to finish, that was good.”

On the importance of Chris Brady…

“It's very important for the team to have Chris. He’s a guy that has some experience, he improved a lot the last few years. I mean, I remember the kid he was and, of course, now he's a man; more mature, more consistent. He worked very well with the staff of the first team, with Adin [Brown]. I mean that's definitely a huge improvement that we see game after game. He helps the team being a little more consistent mentally, a little more in control, a little mobilized, not too stressed. And that's good for a ‘keeper to bring positive vibes to the whole team. You know, that's good.”

On the departure of Christian Baumgartner…

“It's a bittersweet moment. Train was, for us, always a captain in all the youth teams he played in for the Fire. An amazing guy who has amazing values, on top of being a very good soccer player; he's definitely a very special human being. We lose big but we wish him the best for his next journey and I think we have a night to celebrate all the years he spent with the club. I think we speak about nine years with the club, so let’s celebrate all those years.”

Chicago Fire FC II Forward Missael Rodríguez

On scoring the match equalizer…

“I mean, I saw an opportunity to get the team where we wanted to be. We were down 1-0 and it was a perfect opportunity to regain momentum. So that’s what it was.”

On the team’s mentality heading into a tough road match…

“Today, we knew we had to win. It was set. Everyone in that locker room knew we had to win, we couldn't drop points. Everyone had to be locked in late in the game. It was the first time coming back in a game where we were losing. It felt good. We had to be locked in.”

Chicago Fire FC II Goalkeeper Chris Brady

On tonight’s result against a strong Rochester side…

“I think it was a good result. I think I'm definitely glad that our offense pulled through, didn't drop our heads and got back that second goal. But I think it's also a reminder to us that we need to be disciplined in the backfield. A goal like that is something that's easily preventable with communication and all that. So that's something I, in my backline, take responsibility for. And it's a good reminder, especially this far into the season that we can not lose focus. So that's, I'd say, that's the biggest takeaway from this. But obviously, the extra point for winning the shootout feels good. We're all pretty happy right now. I would say it feels like a win. So extremely proud of the guys for not giving up tonight and especially after that first goal.”

On the team’s confidence heading into St. Louis…

“I’d say it’s definitely a big boost. Coming off of that Orlando game, spirits  weren’t the highest but we were confident heading into this game. Especially coming with the win now, I’d say we’re confident more than ever heading into St. Louis and I’d say as a reminder, this game is a wake up call for us to stay disciplined, keep our heads down, keep grinding heading into the next week. But I’d definitely say this is a big confidence booster and it’s going to help us get a result next weekend in St. Louis. 

On his two saves in the shootout…

“Yeah, so coming into a shootout like that, I think it's, it's big to have confidence, you know, chest out, head up and make sure that nothing fazes you. Obviously before the game, we do our research on the players that were taking the shots. So that helps a big amount, especially with that first one to set the tone for the shootout, giving myself and the rest of the team confidence, for the guys who are stepping up to take one. So I'd say the biggest thing is confidence. And then technically, I'd say when stepping on that line or even off of it, make sure that you're big, you know, make sure that you're puffing your chest out arms wide and really intimidating the shooter because I've talked to plenty of players and they hate that, it gets in their head a little bit and makes them second guess. So the biggest thing I'd say is confidence but also just make myself big.”