CHICAGO (July 16, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC (6-10-5, 23 points) rounded out a three-game homestand this week with a 1-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Sounders FC (8-10-2, 26 points) at Soldier Field on Saturday night.
A goal by team captain Rafael Czichos in the 23rd minute was the difference maker in tonight’s match, as the center back added his second goal of the week and helped lead the Fire to its league-leading ninth shutout of the season.
With the result, the Fire tallied its second straight victory at home, picking up six points in a seven-day stretch to move within three points of a playoff position. Additionally, the Club notched its second straight victory against Seattle in league play, handing the defending Concacaf Champions League winners their third straight loss.
Czichos opened the scoring for the home side midway through the first half on Saturday night, finding the back of the net off a service from midfielder Federico Navarro, his first assist of the season. The scoring play began when midfielder Gastón Giménez won possession at the top of the box, laying the ball off to Navarro who sent a lofted cross into the penalty area and onto the run of Czichos. The Fire center back, surrounded by two defenders, whipped a header into the back of the net to give the home side the lead and eventually the win.
Gaga Slonina was forced to make just two saves in tonight’s match, as the Fire managed to limit the visitors’ scoring opportunities throughout the 90-minute contest. Seattle’s most dangerous chance occurred in the 89th minute as Sounders striker Jordan Morris drove into the box and placed a shot on frame, forcing Slonina to produce a game-saving block to preserve the lead and maintain the shutout.
NEXT MATCH: Chicago will travel across the country and into Canada to face Western Conference-foe Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, July 23 at BC Place. Beginning at 9:00 p.m CT, the match will be televised on WGN-TV and CF97 Live, and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM.
- Federico Navarro earned his first career MLS assist in tonight’s match.
- The Fire have stopped the opposition from scoring a first-half goal in 15 of their 21 games so far this season. Only the Philadelphia Union (16) and Minnesota United (16) have done this more often in MLS play this season.
- The Fire have scored in each of their last five games, tallying seven goals in that period.
- Chicago has won four of its 17 all-time MLS matches against the Sounders. All four of the Fire’s wins over the Sounders have come in the last five meetings outside of Seattle (including in Orlando, Fla., for the MLS is Back tournament in July 2020).
- The Fire have won four of their last five home MLS matches. Additionally, tonight’s clean sheet was Chicago’s 12th in its last 18 league matches at Soldier Field.
Chicago Fire FC 1:0 Seattle Sounders FC
CHI - Czichos (2) (F. Navarro 1) 23’
SEA - Rowe (Yellow Card) 25’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Slonina, D Bornstein, D Czichos ©, D Terán, D Sekulić, M F. Navarro, M Gimenez (D Pineda, 37’), M Gutiérrez (M Torres, 60’), M Shaqiri, M Mueller (M Herbers, 60’), F Przybyłko (F Offor, 84’)
Subs not used: GK Richey, M Navarro, D Espinoza, D Reynolds II, M Ivanov
Seattle Sounders FC: GK Clevland, D Arreaga (D Ragen, 65’), D Nouhou (M Teves, 83’), D Andrade, M C. Roldan, M Lodiero ©, M Rusnak, M Rowe (A. Roldan, 58’), M Leyva (F Montero, 65’), F Morris, F Bruin (Chu, 58’)
Subs not used: GK Thomas, M Dobbelaere, M Atencio, M Medranda
Stats Summary: CHI / SEA
Shots: 9 / 15
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Passing Accuracy: 81.6% / 84.9%
Corners: 6 / 10
Fouls: 11 / 9
Offsides: 1 / 3
Possession: 49.6% / 50.4%
Referee: Pierre-Luc Lauziere
Assistant Referees: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho, Lyes Arfa
Fourth Official: Calin Radosav
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero, Jeff Muschik