BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (July 14, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC II (4-7-4-1, 17 points) return to SeatGeek Stadium on Sunday night to face Orlando City B following a 3-0 win last Sunday at FC Cincinnati 2. The second match between both teams will offer the Fire a chance to avenge a season-opening 2-0 loss at Orlando in late March. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT and the match will be streamed live on MLSNEXTPro.com.
The Fire come into this match on a high note, with a 3-0 victory in Northern Kentucky that saw Richard Fleming III and Javier Casas, Jr. score their first goals in MLS NEXT Pro play. Josh Penn also scored the third goal of the match, adding a season-high fifth tally to the books. The victory was the fourth of the season and second in three matches, helping Chicago reach seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
On the other hand, Orlando (3-8-3-2, 14 points) travels to Bridgeview for the first time looking to rebound from a 3-1 home loss to interstate rivals Inter Miami CF II. The loss dropped Orlando to ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Despite a slow first half of the season, Orlando boasts forward Jack Lynn, whose team-leading 11 goals are also good for second overall in MLS NEXT Pro, tied with Columbus’ Jacen Russell-Rowe and only trailing John Denis’ 13 for NYCFC II.
LAST TIME AGAINST ORLANDO
Chicago Fire FC II opened its inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season on March 26 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla. Lynn scored his first two goals of the season against the Fire in a 2-0 season-opening win for Orlando City B. The Fire recorded more shots, both on and off target, but could not finish their chances against Orlando goalkeeper Javier Otero, who was named Man of the Match for his efforts.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Homegrown goalkeeper Chris Brady has been calm, cool, and collected for the Fire. Coming off a Golden Glove performance at the 2022 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship for the United States, Brady returned to the team on Sunday and recorded two saves and a clean sheet against FC Cincinnati 2. Brady now has three clean sheets this season, tied for third best in MLS NEXT Pro despite only playing five matches in the campaign.
Look for a battle between Josh Penn and Victor Bezerra for the Fire’s golden boot. Both forwards come into the match with five goals apiece, with Penn adding his fifth on Sunday. Alex Monis will also look to add his name to the battle for the boot, trailing Penn and Bezerra by only one goal.
Richard Fleming III has been a steady presence for the team. He scored his first goal in MLS NEXT Pro play on Sunday against Cincinnati, but he is tied for second on the team in assists and now has 10 consecutive starts with Chicago Fire FC II. Earlier this week, the Boston native officially committed to the University of Wisconsin, joining teammate Ryan Quintos in Madison.
HOW TO WATCH
Chicago Fire FC II will welcome Orlando City B at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill. on Sunday, July 17. First kick is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT. Match entry and parking are free for all attendees. This and every other Chicago Fire FC II match can be streamed live on MLSNEXTPro.com.
HIGHLIGHTS: CHICAGO FIRE FC II VS. FC CINCINNATI 2