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CHICAGO (May 8, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC II earned another point at home following a 0-0 draw against MNUFC2 at SeatGeek Stadium on Sunday afternoon. 

Although the visitors walked away with the additional point after winning the shootout, the home side shut out their attack to give Chris Brady his second clean sheet in MLS NEXT Pro play. Brady had four saves in the match and Fire captain Carlo Ritaccio contributed to the stout defensive performance with two goal-saving opportunities off MNUFC2 midfielder Aziel Jackson.

NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC II will return to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill. next week on Sunday, May 15 to face FC Cincinnati 2. 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

Notes:

  • Carlo Ritaccio and Omari Glasgow made their MLS NEXT Pro debuts against MNUFC2, with Ritaccio going the full 90 minutes.
  • It’s the second consecutive CFFC II match, and third overall, in which the extra point was determined by a shootout.

Box Score:

Chicago Fire FC II 0(6)-0(7) MNUFC2

Goals:
None

Discipline:
CHI - Kidd (Yellow Card) 16’
MIN - Kibunguchy (Yellow Card) 17’
CHI - J. Reynolds (Yellow Card) 30’
CHI - J. Reynolds (Second Yellow Card, Ejection) 39’
MIN - Kibunguchy (Second Yellow Card, Ejection) 44’

Chicago Fire FC: GK Brady; D J. Reynolds, D Burks, D Ritaccio©, D Espinoza; M Oregel, Jr., M Kidd (Alvarado, 40’), M Fleming III; F Penn (Glasgow, 62’), F Durán (Flores, 80’), F M. Rodríguez

Subs not used: GK Mišković; D Baumgartner, D Quintos, M A. Rodriguez; F Hernandez, F L. Bezerra

MNUFC2: GK Emmings; D Padelford, D Kibunguchy, D Ramos ©, D Leatherman (Mator, 73’); M Petković, M Mendonca M Pacheco, M Jackson, M McMaster (Iwe, 27’); F Williamson (Oluwaseyi, 62’)

Subs not used: GK Frum; M Gutierrez, F Garcia

Stats Summary: CHI / MIN

Shots: 9 / 18
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Passing Accuracy: 73.7% / 65.4%
Saves: 4 / 4
Corners: 4 / 10
Fouls: 16 / 9
Offsides: 5 / 0
Possession: 56.6% / 43.4%

Referee: Abdou Ndiaye

Assistant Referee 1: Ethan Buege

Assistant Referee 2: Noah Matos

Fourth Official: Seun Yinka-Kehinde

Postgame Quotes

Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier

On the strength of the defense today...

“Yeah, I was speaking with the Academy Director just now and we were positive on the fact that compared to the five first games, we conceded much less chances. So on this aspect of the game, that's a good game. We had some chances but I would say that they also had some situations, but in the end of the day it could have been a 1-0, 2-0. Not, like, the prettiest game but we were solid defensively. That's a good thing.”

On how the group is coming together and developing players despite working with a different roster for each game...

“We definitely have different rosters from one game to the other, but we try to keep the same idea. And we try to build from one game to the next one. It's like gymnastics to try to stay because if you change as a coach every single week, tactics, formation, then at some point you lose everybody a little bit. So we stay  on what we do. We try to do it better each time. So there is a story. We don't do a new thing every game,  that's something we're trying to stick with even though we don't train the guys all the time. They don't always train together. Like you said, we don't have the same players every single game but we need to protect the team ideas anyway, even if it's not always the same players, the team ideas need to stay consistent from one game to the next one. And that's what we're trying to do.”

On how the team will prepare for the upcoming home game against FC Cincinnati...

"We want to develop a style based on securing the possession of the ball because we think we have players with technical capacities that can add that and we want to try to develop this style of play based on possession. We feel we are improving game after game. It was not great today, but that's an idea we have.  And we want to develop a defensive side based on putting pressure on the opponent as much as possible, which is not always the easiest part because when you don't have the same players from the last game to the next one, it's something difficult. But the idea to try to be proactive in the game defensively, to try to put pressure on them, that's also an idea that we are trying to keep, that we'll keep for the next game.”

Chicago Fire FC II Defender Carlo Ritaccio

On tonight’s result and what he learned in his MLS NEXT Pro debut…

“It was a really great feeling making my MLS next pro debut. It's been something I've been looking forward to for a while now, coming back from injury, and watching the guys play. I want to contribute and help the team and it was a really good feeling. It was unfortunate to lose on PK’s but despite going down a man and then all the chaos that was going on in the game, I thought we were resilient and we really really fought hard till the end. When it comes down to PK’s, it's you know, it's a matter of luck and who feels more confident and sometimes the ball doesn't go your way. As simple as that.”

On his biggest take away from today moving forward to next week’s match…

“I think the defensive shutout, the clean sheet is huge. Have something to build on in the back half, and then in terms as a collective unit as a team, it's a matter of keep on growing together and learning how to create chances together and I know guys come down from the first team, lineups always change. But we had to find a way to understand each other right away and create chances and score the ball in the back of the net. You know, I'm happy with the clean sheet as well and it's such a huge thing to build on mentality and the backline.

On having the captaincy and what it means to be a leader on this team…

“Huge honor. It's a really huge honor. I know guys come down and guys on the first team and I'm sure you know they want that status, and I applaud them for respecting me throughout the whole match and listening to me and following me and I'm just grateful to have the opportunity. Whatever I do, I always look to lead. I try to be a leader in any aspect I can in life, including on the pitch. And for me, it's my voice and motivating and I thought I really got through these guys because they really fought to the end of it and I give them a lot of credit. So that’s all to the players.”

On his energy in the backend and his relationship with Chris Brady…

“Absolutely. In preseason, we trained together and he's a good guy and I love his ability to make plays. And he's a really, really quality keeper. And, you know, he made plays, I covered him, he covered me. And that's the relationship you need with a center back and a goalie and he's the right guy to have back there. I trust Miha as well. Likewise, just the same. Just today it was Brady and I was really proud of him and I'm proud of everybody.”

Chicago Fire FC II Forward Omari Glasgow

On his MLS NEXT Pro debut and what it felt like to play in today’s match…

“It was very good, you know, the boys fight, they came in and put in the work so that they helped the team, but unfortunately we didn't get the result we wanted. But it was very good from the boys and I appreciate it. We appreciate it.”

On what he learned from today that he will carry on to the next match…

“Well, you got to be more patient, a bit more patient on the ball so we could create more opportunities, but otherwise the work was good. And I'm really glad I'm really glad about it. And I'm really glad about it.”

On tonight’s result in the PK’s…

“Unfortunately, we created chances but we didn't put them away. That's something we need to work on in practice, work on finishing more. But the boys did a good job. You know, we will come out at the first minute and we fight to the last minute. Unfortunately, we lost in penalties, but it was good. The boys worked.”