CHICAGO (July 1, 2021) – The Chicago Fire FC U-19 Academy Team defeated Real Colorado 5-1 at Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas, in the semifinals of the 2021 MLS Next Playoffs. The Fire will face Solar SC in the Final on Saturday, July 3, at 8:35 p.m. CT. Fans can stream the match live here.
Sergio Oregel opened the scoring for the Fire in the ninth minute. Erik Kocs-Washburn carried the ball up the right flank and dished it into the box. Oregel took a touch to settle the ball before sending it past the Real Colorado goalkeeper. Missael Rodríguez doubled the lead in the 25th minute, sending a penalty kick into the top of the net.
Ethan Ballek pulled one back for Colorado just before half time, but the Fire took advantage of the break to regroup. Rodríguez made it 3-1 for the Fire in the 57th minute after second-half substitute Noeh Hernández ran onto a ball that the defense couldn’t control and passed it to his right to an oncoming Rodríguez who sent a right-footed shot into the bottom right corner.
Hernández then scored goal of his own in the 64th minute when midfielder Michael Flores won a ball near the top of the box and deftly touched it into space to his left. Hernández ran onto the pass, sending a left-footed shot into the back of the net.
Rodríguez completed his hattrick in the 90+1st minute after a ball was mis-cleared by the defense and landed to his feet. He outmaneuvered his opponents up the right flank, calmly striking with confidence into the right side of the goal.
View all the highlights from the match below.
HIGHLIGHTS: Chicago Fire vs Real Colorado | MLS NEXT Cup 2021 u19 Semifinal