IMG_5783

CHICAGO (May 15, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC II earned its first regulation victory in MLS NEXT Pro play, defeating FC Cincinnati 2 by a score of 3-1. Omari Glasgow, Victor Bezerra and Alex Monis all scored a goal for the Fire, while Andrew Akindele scored the visitors’ lone goal in the 29th minute.

Omari Glasgow opened his MLS NEXT Pro scoring account in the 28th minute, after receiving the ball from Josh Penn on the left side of the box and dribbling his way past several defenders. The Guyanese forward slotted a ball through traffic, slipping it into the lower far corner. Cincinnati responded one minute later with a goal from Akindele.

Chicago earned a corner kick 11 minutes into the second half that Josh Penn lined up to take. Penn sent the ball into the top of the six-yard-box where forward Victor Bezerra rose up to meet it, sending a powerful header into the back of the net. This marked Bezerra’s third goal of the season.

With five minutes left in the match, Penn found himself in front of Cincinnati goalkeeper Beckham Sunderland, who blocked his attempt off his foot. Richard Flemining III managed a quick rebound attempt that was also blocked. That rebound fell to Alex Monis, who fired a shot into the left side of the goal.

Goalkeeper Chris Brady made six saves, including two one-v-one blocks, to keep the Fire in the game.

NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC II will go on the road to face NYCFC II at Belson Stadium in New York, NY. The match is slated to kick off at 5:00 p.m. CT and will be streamed live on MLSNEXTpro.com.

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

Box Score:
Chicago Fire FC II 3:1 FC Cincinnati 2

Goals:
CHI - Glasgow (1) 28’
CIN - Akindele (1) (Markanich 2) 29’
CHI - V. Bezerra (3) (Penn 2) 56’
CHI - Monis (2) 85’

Discipline:
CHI - Fleming III (Yellow Card) 36’
CIN - Garcia (Yellow Card) 45+2’
CIN - Ruszel (Yellow Card) 55’

Chicago Fire FC: GK Brady, D Alvarado, D Burks (Quintos, 46’), D Ritaccio ©, D Baumgartner, M Flemming III, M Oregel Jr. (A. Rodríguez, 81’)., M Kidd, F Penn (Hernández, 90’), F V. Bezerra (M. Rodríguez, 62’), F Glasgow (Monis, 62’)

Subs not used: GK Mišković, D Ostrem, D Flores, F L. Bezerra

FC Cincinnati 2: GK Sunderland, D Bailey, D Thomas, D Kamdem (Flanagan, 62’), D Garcia, D Miller, M Robledo ©, Ruszel, F Markanich, Akindele, Valenzuela

Subs not used: GK Walters, D Noverr

Stats Summary:
CHI / FCC

Shots: 15 / 14
Shots on Goal: 7 / 7
Passing Accuracy: 74% / 73.7%
Saves: 6 / 4
Corners: 5 / 10
Fouls: 10 / 18
Offsides: 1 / 1
Possession: 50.9% / 49.1%

Referee: Calin Radosav

Assistant Referee 1: Zach Gaidar

Assistant Referee 2: Eric Burton

Fourth Official: Dylan Seitz

Postgame Quotes

Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier

On the team's first three points of the season…

“Luckily, that's not the first three points of the season. That's the first time we take three points in one game. Look, the first half was, of course, not the best half we've had. We were not able to connect passes. Then we lost the ball a little silly sometimes and offered, like, a counter attack, turnovers to the opponent. That was, in general, yeah, not good enough. Then we told the guys halfway that they needed to occupy the field a little better so we can connect our style of play, you know with possession and having a bit of control of the game. In general, that was a little better. We played against a very good team, and that was a close game. We are very happy with the result, of course and yeah, the taste of the win is something special that we missed a little bit. And we're very happy for it. Hopefully that is the first one of many. That's what we told the players, it's just the beginning.”

On how to keep the momentum going into the next game...

“We need to work from one game to the other and that's what we do anyways, from the beginning. We could have won games earlier. It's always close. This time it was close but it was positive for us. We will keep trying to develop this style of play based on trying to control the game as much as possible, trying to press them so they cannot play on the ball and trying to have the ball a little more than them. We feel this way we control a little bit of the game, that's what we're trying to implement and to improve every game.”

On Omari Glasgow's first start and first goal of the season...

“That's beautiful. We are very happy for him. He is far from his home country, his country, Guyana. We are very happy for him. He's a kid that plays with his heart. And it's great. We're very, very excited. Very happy to see him starting for the first time with us.”

Chicago Fire FC II Forward Josh Penn

On the importance of getting the win and three points…

Yeah, it's definitely huge. I think we've been really close, pretty much all of these games actually. And there's just been a few things that we haven't done well enough. So to finally put in a full 90 minute performance and get three points, it's huge for our confidence and hopefully we can continue it.”

On his performance and what he saw when creating chances…

“Yeah, I mean, the first assist to Victor, just our corner kick play. We walked through it and I whipped it in hard near post and Vic got on the end of it. And then I saw that there was some space to shoot it. I knew it was a slick service. So I just hit it hard and low and was hoping that the goalie would bobble it. And then Monis came in and finished it.”

On building off this win and the importance of picking up three points…

“Yeah, I think it's really good for this young group to finally feel what it's like to get these three points. We've been super close. So now it's something we can build on and play with confidence going forward and hopefully start a streak.”

Chicago Fire FC Forward Victor Bezerra

On his thoughts on tonight’s result and what it means to the team…

“Yeah, I think it means a lot to the team, getting our first win. You know, we've obviously had the penalty victory, but today getting our first win, I think meant a lot to the team. We talked about before the game that we need to be addicted to winning. And I think that by us winning, we bring a good culture to the club and I think it was great, you know, the way that we went out there and the amount of work that we put out, really reflected the results of the game.”

On the game winning goal he scored in the 56’...

“Yeah, it's interesting because we were talking even before the game about winning headers. And as our first team center back does so well, Rafa, he chooses his spot, stands his ground, and wins the header and I think that's kind of what happened in my goal. I kind of sprinted to the front post, kept my ground and even with contact, I was able to direct the header on target. And, you know, as Ludo likes to say, you're trees, not flowers that you can step on.”

On how today’s win creates momentum and how the team can build off this win…

“I think it's going to help a lot. I think the players have always believed in the style of play that, you know, we choose to have with our second team with a more high press and I think by you know, seeing how successful it can be, it gives everybody more belief and everybody, you know, gives more effort and energy with what we're doing and that creates a better unit. So I think that that's the way that will help build into our next weeks.”