ATLANTA (April 24, 2021) - Playing its first away match of the 2021 season, Chicago Fire FC (0-1-1, 1 point) fell 3-1 to Atlanta United FC (1-0-1, 4 points) in a high-energy contest at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. After falling behind in the first half from Atlanta midfielder Ezequiel Barco’s long-range strike, the Fire equalized one minute into the second half when midfielder Luka Stojanović scored his second goal in a Fire shirt. However, Atlanta managed to regain the lead in the 66th minute via an own goal, before adding a third when midfielder Emerson Hyndman scored with five minutes left in the match.
NEXT GAME: Chicago Fire FC will head to Harrison, N.J. to take on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, May 1 at Red Bull Arena. The match will begin at 12:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on WGN-TV and CFFC Live/ChicagoFireFC.com. The match will also be transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200AM.
- Stojanović notched his second straight game with a goal when he found the back of the net in the 46th minute. With two goals in two games to start the season, Stojanović leads the Fire in goals scored in 2021.
- Sekulić recorded the assist on Stojanović’s goal, tallying his second assist of the season. Sekulić, who was named Heineken Man of the Match for his performance, has four career assists in MLS play.
- The Fire hit the post three times in tonight’s contest. In addition to the chances off the woodwork from Frankowski and Berić in the ninth and 30th minutes, the Fire struck the post again in the 82nd minute when Berić chipped Guzan with a looping effort.
- Tonight’s match marks the first time the Fire has lost to Atlanta United since June 1, 2019. Entering tonight’s game, the Fire was riding a two-game winning streak against the Five Stripes, including a 7-1 advantage in goals scored.
- Head coach Raphael Wicky employed the same starting lineup as the team’s season opener - a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution at Soldier Field on April 17.
- With a start in tonight’s match, goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth recorded his 200th regular season start in MLS. Shuttleworth, who has made 19 starts for the Fire, originally began his career with the New England Revolution in 2009.
- Defender Jhon Espinoza made his MLS debut in tonight’s match, entering the match in 87th minute for midfielder Chinonso Offor.
- Midfielder Gastón Giménez faced his former manager Gabriel Heinze for the first time in MLS today. Giménez previously played for Heinze at Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield in Argentina’s first division from 2018-2020, before joining the Fire. Heinze became Atlanta’s third head coach in Club history on Dec. 18, 2020.
- Fire Homegrown midfielder Alex Monis was named to the team’s 20-man gameday roster for the first time in his career. Monis, 18, became the 18th Homegrown Player signing on Club history on March 11, 2020.
Chicago Fire FC 1:3 Atlanta United FC
ATL - Barco (1) (WATCH) 23’
CHI - Stojanović (2) (Sekulić 2, Calvo 1) (WATCH) 46’
ATL - Own Goal (WATCH) 65’
ATL - Hyndman (1) (WATCH) 85’
ATL - Mulraney (Yellow Card - Foul) 27’
ATL - Barco (Yellow Card - Foul) 70’
ATL - Hyndman (Yellow Card - Foul) 81’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Shuttleworth, D Sekulić, D Kappelhof, D Calvo ©, D Bornstein, M Medrán, M Giménez, M Frankowski, M Stojanović, M Offor (Espinoza 87’), F Berić
Subs not used: GK G. Slonina, D Omsberg, D Terán, D Reynolds II, D/M Pineda, M Casas Jr., M Gutiérrez, M Monis
Atlanta United FC: GK Guzan ©, D Lennon (Gurr HT), D Robinson, D Walkes, D Bello, M Barco (M Ibarra 88’), M Sosa, M Hyndman, F Mulraney, F L. López (F Martínez 67’), F Moreno (M Damm 67’)
Subs not used: GK Lundgaard, D Franco, D Ambrose, F E. López, F Torres
Stats Summary: CHI / ATL
Shots: 12 / 18
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Saves: 4 / 5
Passing Accuracy: 77.7% / 83.7%
Corners: 4 / 6
Fouls: 25 / 10
Offsides: 1 / 1
Possession: 63% / 37%
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Sergi Demianchuk
VAR: Alejandro Mariscal, Ian McKay