Chicago Fire FC fell 2-1 to FC Cincinnati on Saturday morning in the Club’s third friendly match of their 2021 preseason camp in Florida.
In a 10:30 a.m. kickoff from Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, head coach Raphael Wicky's side got the better of the game’s early chances.
Gastón Giménez put a dipping direct free kick attempt on frame in the tenth minute that forced Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemysław Tyton into a diving tip over the bar. Five minutes later, Boris Sekulić found the game’s opening goal on a rebounded attempt at the top of the FCC 18-yard box. After Miguel Navarro’s low cross was deflected, Sekulić met the ball with a coolly-placed finish to the bottom corner of Tyton’s net.
Cincinnati would equalize before halftime, as newly signed midfielder Luciano Acosta beat Bobby Shuttleworth with a curled shot in the 35th minute.
The Fire’s best chance to take the lead came in the 69th minute, when Álvaro Medrán played a square ball to an on-running Ignacio Aliseda cutting in from the left. Finding space, Aliseda unleashed a driven shot destined for the top corner, but substitute goalkeeper Ben Lundt was able to meet it with an outstretched save.
Cincinnati got the match-winner in the 78th minute through midfielder Calvin Harris, who capped an FCC passing sequence with a close-range tap-in.
The defeat was the Fire’s first of the preseason, having previously defeated New York City FC 2-1 on March 13 and the Philadelphia Union 1-0 on March 20.
Wicky’s side will wrap up the Florida portion of their preseason camp with a friendly against Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium next Saturday, April 3. That match will be played behind closed doors, and will be unavailable for streaming.
The Fire will then return to Chicago for a final pair of friendlies ahead of their regular season debut against the New England Revolution on April 17. They’ll face their USL League One affiliate Forward Madison FC on Wednesday, April 7 (12:00 pm. CT) and the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, April 10 (11:30 a.m. CT), with both matches being held at SeatGeek Stadium. Both matches will be streamed live on ChicagoFireFC.com.
Chicago Fire FC Starting XI: Shuttleworth; Sekulić, Omsberg, Bornstein, Navarro; Giménez, Kappelhof; Aliseda, Stojanović, Frankowski; Berić