Joe Pearson-150

CHICAGO (Aug. 20, 2022) –  Chicago Fire FC II returned to SeatGeek Stadium from a three-game road trip on Saturday night to shut out NYCFC II by a score of 5-0. Victor Bezerra opened the scoring with his eighth goal of the season while Kendall Burks added his first in MLS NEXT Pro play. Josh Penn and Missael Rodríguez came off the bench to add three goals within the span of seven minutes in the second half. Sergio Oregel, Jr. provided two first half assists to earn a share of the team’s assist lead.

Early rains contributed to a sloppy start, as the teams combined for 10 of the match’s 24 fouls and half of the four yellow cards within the first 20 minutes of the match. As the teams sought a foothold on the match, Chicago earned a corner kick in the 27th minute. Sergio Oregel, Jr. stepped up to take a perfectly placed kick onto the head of Victor Bezerra, who rifled the ball home for his eighth goal of the season. Shortly before halftime, Oregel, Jr. added to his assist tally when he placed another pinpoint kick onto the path of Kendall Burks, who scored his first goal of his professional career.

The second half began with the Fire looking to extend their lead. After a flurry of substitutions at halftime and on the 63rd minute, the tactical changes bore fruit. Only one minute after coming onto the pitch, Josh Penn got on the receiving end of an Omari Glasgow header at midfield before speeding to the top of the box. He clinically slotted a ball in for his sixth goal of the campaign, putting the heat on Bezerra for the team’s golden boot. Three minutes later, Penn brought down a long ball from Michael Flores to once again speed into the box and add his seventh tally of the year. The brace marked the second time this season that Penn scored multiple goals in a single match; he previously had a hat trick at Toronto in May.

As New York scrambled to get back into the match, the Fire took advantage of their numbers forward to add to the lead. Richard Fleming III stepped into a wayward pass at midfield and fed the ball to Missael Rodríguez, who got behind a high defensive line to finish a one-on-one opportunity. Rodríguez’s fifth goal of the season gave him sole possession of third place in the team’s golden boot race, within striking distance of Bezerra and Penn. The Fire enjoyed further possession and further chances as the minutes wore on, but the referee blew her whistle and ended the match without any stoppage time.

NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC II will host Toronto FC II on Thursday, August 25 at SeatGeek Stadium. First kick is slated for 7 p.m. CT and the match stream will start five minutes prior on MLSNEXTPro.com.

Social: Twitter - @ChicagoFireFCII (Hashtags: #ChicagoFireII) | Instagram - @chicagofirefcii | Facebook

Box Score:
Chicago Fire FC II 5:0 NYCFC II

Goals:
CHI - V. Bezerra (8) (Oregel, Jr. 4) 27’
CHI - Burks (1) (Oregel, Jr. 5) 45+1’
CHI - Penn (6) (Glasgow 3) 64’
CHI - Penn (7) (Flores 1) 67’
CHI - M. Rodríguez (5) (Fleming III) 71’

Discipline:
CHI - Espinoza (Yellow Card) 7’
CHI - Quintos (Yellow Card) 16’
CHI - Oregel, Jr. (Yellow Card) 22’
NYC - Elias (Yellow Card) 34’

Chicago Fire FC II: GK Brady; D J. Reynolds, D Quintos, D Burks (Ritaccio, 45’), D Espinoza © (Kelner, 45’); M Oregel, Jr., M Casas (Flores, 45’), Jr., M Fleming III; F Glasgow, F V. Bezerra (M. Rodríguez, 63’), F Monis (Penn, 63’)

Subs not used: GK Mišković; M Hernandez, M Kocs-Washburn, M Kidd

NYCFC II: GK Rando; D Stafford, D Flores, D Haxhari, D Turnbull; M Di Ponzio, M Elias (Morck, 72’), M Carrizo; F Gómez (Maia, 87’), F Murania (Arevalo, 68’), F Jimenez

Subs not used: GK Rodriguez 

Stats Summary: CHI / NYC
Shots: 25 / 4
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Passing Accuracy: 79.4% / 71.9%
Saves: 1 / 3
Corners:  8 / 4
Fouls:  12 / 12
Offsides:  2 / 2
Possession: 53.3% / 46.7%

Referee: Rebecca Pagan
Assistant Ref 1: Eric Del Rosario
Assistant Ref 2:  Christian Little
4th Official: Alex Beehler