SEATTLE, Wash. (March 1, 2020) – Chicago Fire FC fell 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon. Forward Robert Berić scored his first career MLS goal to give the Fire the lead early in the second half, but the home side managed to equalize in the 63rd minute before scoring a second goal in the third minute of second half stoppage time.
Including Berić, three players made their MLS debuts under Head Coach Raphael Wicky, who managed his first MLS game with the Fire on Sunday. Midfielder Álvaro Medrán played the full 90 minutes and recorded an assist in his first career MLS start. Homegrown midfielder Mauricio Pineda also played 90 minutes in his first start at the professional level. Additionally, midfielder Djordje Mihailović notched his first assist of the season, playing the final pass that led to the Fire’s opening goal of the season.
Next on the schedule: The Chicago Fire will play a second consecutive away game on Saturday, March 7, taking on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on WGN-TV and ESPN+ and transmitted in Spanish on TUDN Radio WRTO 1200 AM. The pregame show, presented by CIBC, will begin on ESPN+ at 12:15 p.m. CT.
- The Fire will return to Chicago on March 21 for its home opener against Atlanta United FC at Soldier Field. The Club recently announced that more than 30,000 tickets have been sold for its Homecoming Match against Atlanta United;
- Sunday’s match marked Head Coach Raphael Wicky’s first game in charge of the Chicago Fire;
- In his first MLS start, forward Robert Berić scored the game’s opening goal in the 46th minute, tallying his first career MLS goal;
- Midfielder Álvaro Medrán recorded his first career assist and start in MLS;
- Midfielder Djordje Mihailović tallied his first assist of the season and the ninth assist of his professional career;
- Homegrown midfielder Mauricio Pineda made his first professional start;
- The Fire's longest tenured player, defender Johan Kappelhof, tallied his 125th appearance for the Club;
- Sunday’s game marked the first of three consecutive away matches for the Fire, with the Club set to face the New England Revolution (March 7) and Orlando City SC (March 14) in the coming weeks.
CHI – Robert Berić (1) (Djordje Mihailović 1, Álvaro Medrán 1) 46th minute (WATCH): The Fire found its first goal of the season when Medrán floated a long ball to the edge of the 18-yard box, finding Mihailović in a dangerous area. The midfielder chested Medrán’s pass to Berić, who fired a first-time shot in between goalkeeper Stefan Frei and the near post to notch his first career MLS goal.
SEA – Jordan Morris (1) (Cristian Roldan 1, Kelvin Leerdam 1) 62nd minute: Seattle pulled even when Leerdam sent a ball into the center of the 18-yard box from the right wing. Roldan then passed the ball across face of the goal, where Morris sent a low shot into the back of the net.
SEA – Jordan Morris (2) (Cristian Roldan 2, João Paulo 1) 90+3rd minute: In the third minute of stoppage time, Morris managed to score his second goal of the game after converting a close-range header from a set piece.
Key attacking plays:
CHI – Robert Berić 23rd minute: Berić came close to giving the Fire an early lead after finishing defender Jonathan Bornstein’s cross inside the six-yard box. However, the striker was ruled just offside by the assistant referee.
CHI – Djordje Mihailović 36th minute: Midfielder Przemysław Frankowski fired a shot on target that forced a difficult save for goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Midfielder Djordje Mihailović converted the rebound from close range but was called for being marginally offside on the play.
CHI – Brandt Bronico 45+3rd minute: After combining with Bornstein, Berić laid the ball off for Frankowski, who played it further wide for Bronico. After receiving Frankowski’s pass, the defender squared up and took a shot that went just wide of the goal, marking the Fire’s sixth shot of the first half.
CHI – Elliot Collier 82nd minute: Shortly after coming on as a second-half sub, Collier chased the ball down the left wing and out-muscled his defender to keep possession. After regaining possession, Collier sent a low strike to the near post, forcing Frei to get low to make a difficult save.
Stops and key defensive plays:
CHI – Kenneth Kronholm 3rd minute (WATCH): A deep cross into the 18-yard box landed to midfielder Miguel Ibarra, who redirected the ball on target. Ibarra’s attempt was comfortably saved by Kronholm.
CHI – Kenneth Kronholm 23rd minute (WATCH): A long throw into the 18-yard box eventually found its way to Sounders FC forward Raul Ruidíaz. The striker then sent a driven ball into the six-yard box, allowing Ibarra to redirect the ball on target from close range. Reacting quickly to the play, Kronholm managed to push Ibarra’s attempt wide with his right foot.
Chicago Fire FC 1:2 Seattle Sounders FC
CHI – Berić (1) (Mihailović 1, Medrán 1) 46’
SEA – Morris (1) (Roldan 1, Leerdam 1) 62’
SEA – Morris (2) (Roldan 2, João Paulo 1) 90+3’
CHI – Herbers (Caution) 72’
SEA – Delem (Caution) 80’
SEA – Paulo (Caution) 86’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Kronholm, D Bronico, D Kappelhof, D Calvo ©, D Bornstein, M Frankowski, M Medrán, M Pineda, M Mihailović (Collier 70’), F Berić, F Herbers (M Azira 81’)
Subs not used: GK Shuttleworth, D Navarro, D Omsberg, D Slonina, D Gutjahr
Shots: 12 Shots on goal: 3 Fouls: 12 Offsides: 7 Corners: 4 Possession: 46.3%
Seattle Sounders FC: GK Frei ©, D Arreaga, D Leerdam, D O’Neill, D Jones, M Paulo, M C. Roldan, M Delem (Nouhou 87’), M Ibarra (Shipp 73’), M Leyva (F Morris HT), F Ruidíaz
Subs not used: GK Cleveland, D Andrade, M A. Roldan, F Dhillon
Shots: 16 Shots on goal: 6 Fouls: 14 Offsides: 5 Corners: 8 Possession: 53.7%
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Kieso, Cory Richardson
Fourth Official: Ismir Pekmic
VAR: Victor Rivas