Chicago Fire FC II Earns 2-1 Home Victory Over ATL UTD 2 

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Aug. 3, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II (7-7-7-2) defeated ATL UTD 2 (6-10-5-1) by a score of 2-1 Thursday evening at SeatGeek Stadium. Alex Monis led the way with one goal and one assist, while Victor Bezerra scored to open the match. The win lifted Chicago to seventh in the Eastern Conference pending the completion of Matchday 20.

Atlanta opened the match with a larger share of possession, conceding only 43 percent of the ball to the Fire. But the home side made more of its chances early on, with a trio of touches between Luka Prpa, Bezerra and Monis nearly leading to a goal by the latter in the 16th minute. A free kick taken by Sergio Oregél, Jr. found the head of Andreas Ueland in the box, but the defender could not hit the ball squarely and put it over the crossbar instead.

A late rush in the first half by the Fire finally led to the opener. With a minute left in the half, Monis found Bezerra in the box with a defender draped over him. The Homegrown forward spun to his right, leaving him enough space to place a soft shot away from Atlanta goalkeeper Justin Garces and into the net. The goal was Bezerra’s third of the season and closed the half up neatly for Chicago.

The late goal invigorated the Fire as they returned to the field for the second half. Enjoying more possession early on, Chicago made its chances count in the 57th minute. Justin Reynolds bombed up the right wing, sending a cross into the box. Monis timed his run effectively, connecting with the pass on first touch to double the lead. 

The Fire would continue to enjoy plenty of chances throughout the second half. In the 69th minute, Prpa found some room to curl a shot that Garces was just able to parry away. The ball fell onto Ostrem mid-stride, who was unable to adjust and sent a ball flying inches above the crossbar. Thirty minutes later, substitute Harold Osorio nearly tripled the lead. After a cross was cleared away from the Fire box, the Salvadoran midfielder dispossessed an Atlanta attacker and sprinted 60 yards before unleashing a shot that a defender tipped in time for a corner. 

The visitors would finally break through four minutes into stoppage time. Jackson Conway headed a ball which glanced off far post, onto the back of a diving Jeff Gal and in. But that was too little, too late as the referee blew his whistle only seconds after the goal was given.

The Fire will next embark on a short trip to Northern Kentucky next Thursday to face FC Cincinnati 2 before returning home for two consecutive home matches. First kick from NKU Soccer Stadium in Highland Heights, Kentucky is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. Coverage of the match will begin five minutes prior to first kick on 

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Box Score:   
Chicago Fire FC II 2:1 ATL UTD 2

CHI - Bezerra (3) (Monis 1) (WATCH) 45’
CHI - Monis (3) (Reynolds 2) (WATCH) 57’
ATL - Gal (Own Goal) 90+4’

ATL - Morales (Yellow Card) 8’
ATL - Torres (Yellow Card) 29’
CHI - M. Rodríguez (Yellow Card) 43’
ATL - Centeno (Yellow Card) 79’
CHI - Hernandez (Yellow Card) 87’

Chicago Fire FC II: GK Gal, D Ueland (capt.), D Omsberg (Rochester, 61’), D Egan, M Ostrem (Blake, 86’), M Prpa, M Oregel, Jr., M Reynolds (Fuderer, 61’), F Monis, F Bezerra (Hernandez, 61’), F M. Rodríguez (Osorio, 77’)

Subs not used: GK Mišković, D Leonard, M A. Rodriguez, M Kidd 

ATL UTD 2: GK Garces, D Morales, D Twumasi (capt.) (Villal, 77’), D Cobb, D Lanza, M Centeno, M Fortune, M Torres (Conway, 62’), F Wolff (Tmimi, 62’), F Firmino, F Brennan

Subs not used: GK Guerra, D Gloster, M Carleton 

Stats Summary: CHI / ATL

Shots: 17 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Passing Accuracy: 82.5% / 86.9%
Saves: 4 / 2
Corners: 5 / 7
Fouls: 23 / 11
Offsides: 3 / 0
Possession: 40.6% / 59.4%

Referee: Melvin Rivas
Assistant Ref 1: Ethan Buege
Assistant Ref 2: James Duling
4th Official: Ryan Shanklin