ORLANDO, Fla. (April 9, 2022) – Playing a man down for the entire second half, Chicago Fire FC (2-1-3, 9 points) narrowly fell 1-0 to Orlando City SC (3-2-2, 11 points) at Exploria Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The result marked the Fire’s first loss of the season through six games played.
The Fire entered the contest without four key players from the starting lineup, as midfielders Fabian Herbers and Xherdan Shaqiri and defender Miguel Navarro were all sidelined due to injury. Additionally, team captain Rafael Czichos missed his second straight match due to health and safety protocols.
After an evenly contested start to the match, Chicago were reduced to 10 men just before halftime when Homegrown midfielder Brian Gutiérrez was shown a second yellow card by referee Victor Rivas in the 43rd minute.
With the Fire beginning the second half a man down, Orlando was able to draw level when forward Ercan Kara scored a header to tally his first career MLS goal in the 59th minute. Kara’s finish marked the first time the Fire have trailed in a game this season.
Goalkeeper Gaga Slonina made five saves on the day, marking a season-high for saves in a single game by the 17-year-old Addison, Ill., native.
NEXT GAME: The Fire will return to Soldier Field to face the LA Galaxy on Saturday, April 16. Beginning at 7:00 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on WGN-TV, CF97 Live and TUDN 1200 AM. Tickets for the match against the Galaxy are currently available for purchase here. The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive an exclusive red Fire flag.
- Today’s match was the second and final regular season meeting between the Fire and Orlando City, with the two teams previously tying 0-0 at Soldier Field on March 5.
- Homegrown defender Andre Reynolds II made his first appearance for the Fire in 2022, entering the match for Jonathan Bornstein in the 60th minute.
- Homegrown midfielder Brian Gutiérrez made his first start of the season and the seventh of his professional career.
- Defender Wyatt Omsberg won 100 percent of his aerial duels and was named Heinken Man of the Match.
- The Fire have only conceded two goals on the season, tied for fewest goals allowed in MLS (Philadelphia Union).
Orlando City SC 1:0 Chicago Fire FC
ORL - Kara (1) (Pato 2, Torres 2) 59’
CHI - Gutiérrez (Yellow Card) 5’
CHI - Gutiérrez (Second Yellow Card, Ejection) 43’
CHI - Espinoza (Yellow Card) 54’
ORL - Jansson (Yellow Card) 81’
ORL - Mendez (Yellow Card) 85’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Slonina, D Sekulić, D Pineda, D Omsberg, D Espinoza, M Giménez (Durán, 75’), M F. Navarro, M Bornstein © (Reynolds II, 60’), M Gutiérrez, M Ivanov (Offor, 60’), F Przybyłko (Casas Jr., 84’)
Subs not used: GK Richey, D Burks, D Terán, M Oregel, F Bezerra
Orlando City SC: GK Gallese, D Ruan (Smith, 75’), D Moutinho, D Jansson, D Schlegel, M Araujo (Urso, 46’), M Mendez, M Pereyra © (Perea, 86’), M Torres (Michel, 75’), F Pato, F Kara (Akindele, 75’)
Subs not used: GK Stajduhar, D Williams, M DeZart, F Lynn
Stats Summary: ORL / CHI
Shots: 21 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Passing Accuracy: 89.3%/ 78.9%
Saves: 2 / 5
Corners: 6 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 15
Offsides: 0 / 0
Possession: 61.7% / 38.3%
Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Swartzel, Matthew Nelson
Fourth Official: Elvis Osmanovic
VAR: Jorge González, Craig Lowry