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CHICAGO (April 3, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC II opened the home portion of its schedule with a 1-0 loss to Columbus Crew 2. Noah Fuson scored Columbus’ first goal in MLS NEXT Pro following several strong saves by Fire goalkeeper Chris Brady. Both teams were even throughout much of the match, finishing with near-identical possession, before Fuson scored the eventual game-winner in the 72nd minute.

NEXT GAME: Chicago will host Rochester NY FC at 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, April 10 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill. Chicago’s home games will be open to the public free of charge. 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 0:1 Columbus Crew 2

Goals:
CLB - Fuson (1) 72’

Discipline:
CHI - Reynolds II (Yellow Card) 51’
CLB - Mohamed (Yellow Card) 52’
CLB - Elliott (Yellow Card) 88’
CLB - Tee (Yellow Card) 90+3’

Chicago Fire FC: GK Brady; D Reynolds II (Fleming III, 69’), D Terán (Quintos, 33’), D Burks, D Ostrem; M Casas, Jr. © , M Kidd, M Monis (Penn, 58’), M Oregel Jr. (Alvarado, 69’), Jr., M M.Rodriguez; F Offor (Bezerra, 58’)

Subs not used: GK Girón; M Baumgartner

Columbus Crew 2: GK Schult; D Mohamed, D Quinton, D Farsi (Russel-Rowe, 46’); M Morris (Elliott, 46’), M Angking, M Zawadzki (Micaletto, 68’), M Knight; F Vang (Tee, 77’), F Fuson, F Gannon

Subs not used: GK Scott; D Stazenski; M Wolf

Stats Summary: CHI / CLB
Shots: 6 / 15
Shots on Goal: 3 / 7
Passing Accuracy: 78% / 75.9%
Saves: 7 / 3
Corners: 1 / 8
Fouls: 16 /13
Offsides: 1 / 2
Possession: 50.5% / 49.5%

Referee: Calin Radosav

Assistant Referees: Kaitlyn Trowbridge, Eric Del Rosario

Fourth Official: Seun Yinka-Kehinde

Chicago Fire FC II Postgame Quotes

Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier

On the performance and result…

“I think the result is logical in the sense that I think we played against a very good team that pretty much deserved a good result. They could have scored before the goal. The goal they scored can be controversial in the sense that maybe it's handball; that's not the most important thing. I think that they were a good team, first thing that I want to say. We wanted to be able to exploit the space behind their defenders. We lacked a little bit of quality in this last pass sometimes. Sometimes, we forced it a little too much, when the second idea was to be able to have possession moments where we should have been able to connect a little more passes to, to control the game with the position a little more. We lost the ball too early in our pattern of play; that's something we need to keep working on.

It’s also a reserve team that allows players to get time of play; players sometimes that don't have a lot of freedom, they need time to get back in the right shape, at some point to be able to help the first team. Today was disappointing in terms of the result, it could have been definitely better, we need to keep working. Our players are young, but the mentality was there, I have nothing to say about the mentality. We were able to resist, even if tactically that was a little complicated. We were trying to resist, resist, resist. Unfortunately, we get squirreled in the end, but again, Columbus is a very good team.”

On the performance of first team players…

“Great mentality, like I said, great mentality. They tried to play with some specific objectives that we cannot try with our young players, trying to press high up the field. They were trying, the mentality was great. Now of course, we have a lot of players that need time or so to grow physically, because they didn't play much in the last weeks and months and that's totally expected, that physically they were not very sharp today.”

On what the team could have done better…

“We tried to have the possession, each player should have done a little better. I think we didn't see the best version of a lot of our players tonight. It's definitely a game that we need to work on the video to try to figure out what we didn't do well. But as a team, it's not our best performance for sure.”

Chicago Fire FC II Midfielder Javier Casas Jr.

On his initial reactions to tonight’s result…

“You know, obviously this was a tough result. Our first game at home in front of some of our fans, in front of our family members or friends, we obviously wanted to come out with the three points but it's unfortunate the way we lost. But I'm just proud of the group because we fought all the way to the end even though it’s an unfortunate goal. But we all put our heads up trying to push to equalize the game, it just didn’t go our way today.”

On how he felt about his performance tonight vs. Columbus and building off today’s match…

“I thought it was a rather positive performance from myself. It's always good to get a good 90 minute game inside the tank and I just want to keep on pushing forward and hopefully get more and more 90 minute games and hopefully get some more assists and goals under my belt.”

On some of the positives he took away from tonight moving into next week...

“I think even last game and this game, I think we still created our chances, our moments, but it's just the last detail and trying to finish the play and getting the ball in the back of the net. I think it's an important thing to win games. We got to score. So I think with more games under our (belt) as a team, we'll start scoring more goals.”