Chicago Fire FC II Fall to New York Red Bulls II 5-4 On the Road

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Montclair, N.J. (Aug. 27, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II (8-8-9-4) fell to New York Red Bulls II (13-7-5-3) in a 5-4 road loss on Sunday evening.

Looking to clinch a spot in the postseason, both sides pushed the envelope early and often in the first half. In the eighth minute, New York goalkeeper Will Meyer hit a long goal kick that forward Frank Ssebufu headed downfield. Jorge Cabezas timed his run to find the ball and plenty of space in front of him, beating out his defender and Mihajlo Mišković to give the home side a 1-0 lead.

The Fire equalized soon thereafter on a similar play. Mišković sent a goal kick into the opposite half that bounced into a difficult space for the defense. A defender’s header back to Meyer was left too short, and the ‘keeper had to rush outside the box to clear it away. But Monis alertly sprinted to win the ball and managed to block the clearance into the goal. The unorthodox tally was the Homegrown forward’s sixth of the year and gave Chicago hope for a road point.

His teammates on the front line soon gave the Fire hope for more than one point. Omari Glasgow took advantage of New York’s high line to get behind the defense on the right wing. Before reaching the byline, he sent a ball across the face of goal that Meyer could not tip away; instead, the ball ended up on the tip of Billy Hency’s foot and in the net. Hency’s goal returned sole possession of the team’s golden boot to him and gave his side a 2-1 lead.

The Red Bulls did not settle for long and pressed forward for an equalizer of their own. Wilkerman Carmona forced a turnover outside the Fire box that gave him an opening to shoot on frame. His shot was blocked, but the ball deflected into the path of an open Ibrahim Kasule, who finished easily for his team-leading 14th goal of the year. Although Kasule and New York continued to look for a go-ahead score, the Fire defense held thereafter and went to the break even at 2-2.

The second half did not go according to plan for Chicago, with the Red Bulls scoring a pair of goals less than a minute apart just three minutes in. Ssebufu would score the third for the Red Bulls with Carmona capitalizing on a broken play to double the New York lead in the 49th minute of play.

Chicago would respond minutes after conceding a pair of goals, with Andreas Ueland heading in his first goal in a Chicago Fire II uniform to bring the score within one in the 53rd minute. But the Red Bulls would respond again with Kasule recording a brace to again double the lead for the Red Bulls.

The Fire would make things interesting, recording one more goal courtesy of Noah Egan, who recorded his second goal of the season after capitalizing on a redirection that brought Chicago within one. Despite the tally, the five-goal performance from the Red Bulls would be too insurmountable of a deficit to bounce back from as New York claimed a victory and three points over the Fire. With the victory, the Red Bulls clinched their spot into the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro postseason, while the Fire continue their playoff push with just three matches left in the regular season. 

Chicago will enjoy a bye week before embarking on a trip west to Kansas City to face Sporting KC II on Sunday, September 10. First kick from Mercy Victory Field is slated for 4 p.m. CT and coverage of the match will begin five minutes prior on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

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Box Score:
Chicago Fire FC II 4-5 New York Red Bulls II

NYRB - Cabezas (1) (Ssebufu 3) 8’
CHI - Monis (6) (WATCH) 15’
CHI - Hency (7) (Glasgow 5) (WATCH) 22’
NYRB - Kasule (14) 24’
NYRB - Ssebufu (8) 48’
NYRB - Carmona (7) 49’
CHI - Ueland (WATCH) (1) 53’
NYRB - Kasule (15) 59’
CHI - Egan (WATCH) (2) 75’

NYRB - Gutierrez (Yellow Card) 9’
NYRB - Kasule (Yellow Card) 45+4’
NYRB - Valencia (Yellow Card) 52’
NYRB - Ssebufu (Yellow Card) 82’
NYRB - Valencia (Second Yellow, Ejection) 90+4’

Chicago Fire FC II: GK Mišković, D Rochester (D Fuderer), D Ueland (capt.), D Burks, D Reynolds (F. M. Rodríguez), M Oregél, Jr., M Casas (A. Rodriguez, 45’) (D Egan), M Glasgow, F Monis, F Prpa, F Hency

Subs not used: GK Los, D Leonard, M Gallina, M Kidd, F Nesci, 

New York Red Bulls II: GK Meyer, D Valencia, D Nocita, D Gutierrez, D Mullings, M Estrela (M Shapiro-Thompson), M Donkor (M Sullivan), M Carmona, M Kasule, M Cabezas (F Sofo), F Ssebufu

Subs not used: GK Rutkowski, D Reid, D Berkley, D Alexandre, M Jarvis, M Mosquera, 

Stats Summary: NYRB / CHI
Shots: 26 / 11
Shots on Goal: 11 / 9
Passing Accuracy: 67.2% / 74.5%
Saves: 5 / 6
Corners: 19 / 16
Fouls: 25 / 12
Offsides: 3 / 2
Possession: 45.1% / 54.9%

Referee: Marie Durr
Assistant Ref 1: Alexandru Focea
Assistant Ref 2: Bryson Condrey
4th Official: Kenneth Rojas