CHICAGO (May 21, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II suffered a 3-2 defeat on the road against Toronto FC II Sunday night at York Lions Stadium in Toronto, Ontario. Harold Osorio scored his third goal in as many matches and recorded an assist on Michael Nesci’s first professional goal. But a brace and an assist by Julian Altobelli led a comeback effort that resulted in Toronto’s second win of the campaign.
Coming off three consecutive draws, the Fire burst out of the gates seeking an early lead, forcing Toronto to concede possession and settle for counter attacks. The effects were immediate, with Chicago pushing up in the fourth minute through Billy Hency. The forward switched to Omari Glasgow on the right wing, who immediately played a lethal pass across the face of goal. But no teammate was close enough to tap the ball in and both sides simply moved on.
The intense pressure forced multiple turnovers in the midfield, which in turn created chances that Chicago sought to put away. In the eighth minute, a giveaway found the foot of Luka Prpa, who worked his way into the box for a clean look at goal that Luka Gavran had to turn away. Twenty minutes later, the Toronto midfield was again pressured into turning the ball over to a wide open Omari Glasgow, who was miraculously chased down by Pearlman in the box.
But two minutes later, the hosts finally paid for their mistakes. Noah Egan stepped in front of a wayward pass and immediately found Osorio, who quickly played it to Ostrem on the left. The wingback then attempted a cross that was knocked down by a handball. The referee pointed to the spot and Osorio stepped up to take the penalty kick for the second straight match – and yet again, the midfielder made his opportunity count for his third goal of the season.
Toronto regained some possession following the opening goal, but the Fire managed to stop any chances through strong defensive play and a few saves from Mihajlo Mišković. The score remained untouched as the whistle blew and both teams went to the locker room for the halftime break.
Chicago came out of the break just as they did in the first half. Just three minutes into the match, Osorio once again drove through the midfield uncontested and found Michael Nesci in the box. The forward then deked a defender before cleanly striking for his first professional goal and a 2-0 Fire lead.
The second goal flipped a switch for the home side, who finally found their footing to regain some momentum. Only two minutes after falling two goals down, Toronto sent numbers into the box to win a corner kick. Matthew Catavolo sent the set piece to the far post, which Altobelli crashed to beat his man and score his first of the season.
Altobelli’s opening goal only led to further pressure by the home side, which completely took over the match. In the 65th minute, Toronto weaved the ball over to Theo Rigopoulos in the box before crossing the ball into the six-yard box. Mišković got a hand on the ball to interrupt its path, but the ball landed perfectly in the lap of Altobelli, who pounced for his second goal of the evening.
With the momentum fully on the side of Toronto, the Fire sought to take advantage. Second half substitute Victor Bezerra got the ball on a quick counter and set himself up from the right wing to rifle a shot into the far post. The ball skipped past the glove of Gavran and barely grazed the post before settling out of play.
As both teams wrestled for control of the match, Altobelli once again found the ball in the middle of the field on a counter attack. He found an open man in Alec Diaz, who sped away from his defender to rip a clean shot away from Mišković that curled into the back of the net. His second goal of the year, aided by Altobelli’s second assist of the season, was enough as Toronto withstood the Fire’s attempt to equalize.
The Fire next play Crown Legacy FC for the first time on Sunday, May 28 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. The Memorial Day weekend match will kick off at 5 p.m. CT and can be streamed for free on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
Toronto FC II 3:2 Chicago Fire FC II
CHI - Rochester (Yellow Card) 42’
CHI - Egan (Yellow Card) 63’
TOR - Batiz (Yellow Card) 89’
Chicago Fire FC II: GK Mišković; D Reynolds (Ueland, 86’), D Egan, D Rochester (Leonard, 46’); M Glasgow, M Fleming III (Hernandez, 86’), M Ostrem, M Prpa ©, M Osorio; F Hency (Bezerra, 56’), F Nesci (Monis, 56’)
Subs not used: GK Los; D Fuderer; M A. Rodriguez, M Flores
Toronto FC II: GK Gavran ©; D Stefanovic, D Curic, D Pearlman; M Goulbourne (Rigopoulos, 46’), M Cimermancic, M Olguin, M Batiz; F Faria (Diaz, 70’), F Catavolo (Mawoko, 90+2’), F Altobelli
Subs not used: GK De Rosario; D Medeiros; M Stojadinovic, M Kang; F Barrow
Stats Summary: TOR/CHI
Shots: 11 / 15
Shots on Goal: 6 / 4
Passing Accuracy: 78.4% / 78.7%
Saves: 2 / 3
Corners: 3 / 8
Fouls: 14 / 24
Offsides: 3 / 3
Possession: 45.3% / 54.7%
Referee: Mario Al-Ayass
Assistant Ref 1: Melissa Snedden
Assistant Ref 2: Twayne Anderson
4th Official: Fabrizio Stasolla