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CHICAGO (April 10, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC II earned its first point in MLS NEXT Pro history in a 0-0 draw against Rochester NY FC. Despite a save from Fire goalkeeper Chris Brady in the ensuing shootout, Rochester NY FC earned an additional point with a 6-5 shootout victory. Rochester goalkeeper Caíque saved Kendall Burks’ shot to end the shootout and earn the additional point for the visitors.

Chris Brady had two saves in the game, as well as a diving stop of Bubacar Djaló’s effort during the shootout. Jhon Durán had a shot saved in the shootout, but he led all players with seven shots, including two on target. Chicago led the match in most attacking statistics, including shots, corners and possession.

NEXT GAME: Chicago will travel to face Toronto FC II on Sunday, April 17 at York Lions Stadium in North York, Canada. All MLS NEXT Pro regular season matches will also be streamed live on mlsnextpro.com.

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

Box Score:

Chicago Fire FC II (5) 0:0 (6) Rochester NY FC

Goals:
None

Discipline:
CHI - Monis (Yellow Card) 20’
ROC - Popp (Yellow Card) 77’
ROC - Smith (Yellow Card) 78’

Chicago Fire FC: GK Brady; D J. Reynolds, D Terán (Quintos, 61’), D Burks, D A. Reynolds II (Ostrem, 36’); M Monis (Penn, 61’), M Casas, M Oregel (Kidd, 81’), M Rodríguez; F Offor (V. Bezerra, 81’), F Durán

Subs not used: GK Girón; D Alvarado; M Fleming III, M Baumgartner

Rochester NY FC: GK Caíque; D Garrett, D Batista, D Gustavo Rissi, D Vanacker; M Bubacar Djaló, M Dolabella, M Batiz (Drai, 46’), M Gabriel Costa (Popp, 69’), M Rayo; F Inalien (Smith, 78’)

Subs not used: GK Ejimadu, GK Franca; D Lopez, D Wood, D Akanyirige; F Brigida

Stats Summary:

CHI / ROC
Shots: 18 / 3
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Passing Accuracy: 80.7% / 75.9%
Saves: 2 / 3
Corners: 7 / 3
Fouls: 11 /13
Offsides: 0 / 4
Possession: 56.1% / 43.9%

Referee: Nabil Bensalah

Assistant Referee 1: Ethan Buege

Assistant Referee 2: Jake Brochu

Fourth official: Becky Pagan

Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier

On the team’s overall performance and obtaining the first point of the season…

“Yeah, you're right, it's a little better than last week, for sure. We had a good performance in Orlando two games ago. We didn't get any points when we could have deserved a little better but definitely, it's a first point. The mentality was there. We played the four-four-two. We tried to bring numbers to the front. Sometimes we lost, a little bit, the ball close to our goal and we conceded some chances but in general I was happy with the mentality of the guys and we also created some situations and chances. We could have hoped for a little better but yeah, we'll take this first point of the season.”

On the importance of development and how the team is progressing…

“Yeah. Like I say, when I speak about this team, we have three objectives. The first objective is to give time of play to the players that are in the MLS group. So those players get some time of play at a good level, and they can stay in shape for when we need them with the first team. That's one of the objectives. The second objective is to develop, like you said, the young players and to give them some room to prove themselves, okay, to get to a first professional contract, Homegrown contract. We have some players that are in MLS NEXT Pro contracts, so they hope to get to an MLS contract. Then there is this development idea of course, that's the second objective. And the other one is to play each game to win it, you know. On this third objective, we want to do better, we expect to be a little more competitive on the field and to be able to score goals. You know, that's what we're trying to do before we start the game. I mean, we want to play for four-four-two, we want to put forwards on the field to score goals. We bring numbers to the front. We had situations, we had chances, we need to do better in those final moments, to maybe exploit those 1-v-1, those situations where we could find this last pass, this last shot. All those situations need to be worked on so we perform a little better in this area of the game.”

On the team going three matches without scoring any goals…

“We play each game to score four goals. That's the way we prepare the game. We had on the field in the beginning of the game, we played four-four-two, we had (Alex) Monis on one side, Missael (Rodríguez) on the other, plus (Chinonso) Offor and Jhon Durán. That’s a lot of forwards on the field. That’s definitely something that we can do as a coach, you know, to try to bring the ball to the front. And that's what we did most of the time. Now we need to be able to create these chances from the situation we already created, we need to create an actual chance, and that's the whole objective for the next games for sure.”

On some of the positives of this new MLS NEXT Pro venture…

“Oh, that's a beautiful, beautiful addition to the soccer landscape. You know, for us in the club, it's a great addition so we can have the complete pathway all the way from the Academy to the MLS level and that's fantastic. You know, we can give opportunities to our young players to play against men. Today we are we are probably a little younger than the opponent. I didn't check, precisely, the rosters and the age but I think we will be in general a little younger than the opponents. But that's the model. That's what we want to do. We want to make sure that we give this opportunity to the young players to struggle a little bit against men so they can develop and become better. Yeah, definitely, that's a fantastic addition for the Club, this MLS NEXT Pro league.”

On Chris Brady’s performance…

“He played a good game. He was solid today. He was, you know, a little frustrated after the last game, with the goal we conceded. He felt a little guilty about it and he wanted to do better. He wanted to prove himself today. I think he played a very solid game. There is nothing we could hope for more than what he did. It was a solid game from Chris today for sure.”

Chicago Fire FC II Goalkeeper Chris Brady

On getting the team's first point of the season…

“Well, first off, it's a huge step forward. I mean, obviously the last few games are in the past, but we came in today really looking for points and although it wasn't the three, it's a massive step for us. And I think it's most definitely going to motivate us for the weeks to come and especially looking on next week. So yeah, it's huge.”

On the growth he’s seen from the team three weeks into the season…

“Yeah. 100% I think the biggest thing that I've seen us grow in is our chemistry. Coming into today, I felt like we really flowed defense, to midfield, to offense. And I felt like, yeah, that chemistry is probably the biggest thing that, you know, has been progressing throughout the three games, and it still will, but today it looked pretty good.”

On shootouts and the toughness of playing in them…

“So obviously this year with it being a new rule, ties go to PK shootouts, it's something that we've had to work on a little bit more obviously, myself included. But I haven't faced many, but it's a good chance for me, bring the game down, calm, and make sure that it's just me and the next shot. So going into that PK shootout, I felt good. I felt like I had a clear mind. And, you know, obviously, during the game, during the run of play, we'd look for hopefully a few more goals but it's definitely challenging. It's my bread and butter. I like it. 

On the save in the 75’ and how that helped heading into the PK shootout…

“Yeah, for sure. One of the hardest things to do is go 75-80 minutes with no action and then come up and have to make a big save and then another big save. And so, I think those two definitely propelled me energy wise towards the PK shootout. So yeah, like I said, it's one of the toughest things to stay tuned in the whole 90 minutes and then even further on.”

On the importance of being able to play for the second team…

“Well, for me it's opportunity. You know, playing time is everything and I'm gonna take every game as a blessing and just really try to perfect my craft throughout the season. And especially for some of these guys as well, even if they're not playing. It's a great opportunity for a professional environment to be presented to them. And I think it's a really good segue into the MLS and that level of playing because obviously, you know, I'm coming from training with the first team, coming down playing with the second team, and I can confirm it's a nice pathway into playing first team styles.”

On his biggest takeaways from today’s match…

“I had mentioned it before, but I think the team chemistry. That was probably one of the biggest takeaways is that it's still growing. It's visibly growing. And I think a lot of the guys are starting to understand each other on the field and really enjoy playing with each other. So I think that's probably my biggest takeaway is that we're really coming together as a team. And then on the other side, I think, defensively, pretty good job. And I mean, even last game, just one goal conceded. I think defensively we've been pretty airtight. So one of my biggest takeaways again, would probably be that as well.”