Huntsville, Ala. (Sept. 24, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II (9-8-11-5, 43 points) drew 2-2 against Huntsville City FC (9-12-7-4, 38 points) on MLS NEXT Pro Decision Day to clinch a spot in the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. The tie was enough to secure sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 43 points.
Huntsville struck first in the seventh minute but Chicago responded with a goal from Omari Glasgow just three minutes later. The speedy Guyanese winger received a pass from Billy Hency on the right and carried the ball up just enough to settle it before sending a deft shot into the right side of the net.
Glasgow returned the favor in the 25th minute, sending a ball a mid-height across the box. Hency met the ball in the air and hit a one-time, half-volley that went past Martino and into the net. Hency finishes the regular season as the Chicago Fire II’s leading goalscorer with eight tallies.
Huntsville tied it up in the 36th minute and looked poised to take the lead in the 50th minute when referee Adam Kilpatrick pointed to the penalty spot. Azaad Liadi lined up to take the kick, sending the attempt over the crossbar.
Chicago ended the match with seven shots on target but neither team was able to capitalize in the second half. In the ensuing shootout, the Fire earned an additional point after scoring all four attempts and Mihajlo Mišković saved two penalty kicks.
The Fire will await the results of a pick-your-opponent structure that will take place in the opening two postseason rounds. As the no.1 seed in the Eastern Conference, Crown Legacy FC will receive a first-round bye, while the no.2 and no.3 seeds will choose an opponent to host for the quarterfinal round on the weekend on September 29. Broadcast information will be shared at a later date.
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Box Score: Chicago Fire FC II 2 (4) : 2 (2) Huntsville City FC
Chicago Fire FC II: Gallina (scored), Nesci (scored), Reynolds (scored), Glasgow (scored)
Huntsville City FC: Bolaños (scored), Wright (scored), Sipic (saved), Velazquez-Lopez (saved)
HNT - Cicéron (Yellow Card) 13’
CHI - Ostrem (Yellow Card) 21’
HNT - DeZart (Yellow Card) 33’
CHI - Leonard (Yellow Card) 55’
Chicago Fire FC II: GK Mišković, D Ostrem, D Reynolds, D Ueland (capt.), D Egan (D Burks, 78’) , D Glasgow, M Prpa (Nesci, 87’), M Leonard, M Oregel, Jr. (M Gallina, 68’), F M. Rodríguez (F Borso, 46’), F Hency
Subs not used: GK Los, D Rochester, D Blake, M Kidd, M Flores
Huntsville City FC: GK Martino, D N’Sa, D Suber, D Cicéron, D Skinner (Jones, 71’), M Jonston (Joash, 69’), M DeZart II (Velazquez-Lopez, 84’), M Amiche (Wright, 58’), M Perry (Sipic, 84’), M Bolaños, F Liadi
Subs not used: GK Berner, D Barnes, D Pearson, D Rad
Stats Summary: HNT / CHI
Shots: 7 / 17
Shots on Goal: 2 / 8
Passing Accuracy: 83.5% / 86.1%
Saves: 6 / 0
Corners: 2 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 15
Offsides: 6 / 1
Possession: 42.2% / 57.8%
Referee: Adam Kilpatrick
Assistant Ref 1: Zachary McWhorter
Assistant Ref 2: Jarred Mosher
4th Official: Joshua Belk