Chicago Fire Falls 4-2 to Seattle Sounders FC
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - The Chicago Fire Soccer Club suffered its first home defeat of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling 4-2 to Seattle Sounders FC at SeatGeek Stadium. Defender Raheem Edwards and forward Fabian Herbers each scored in the match, tallying their first goals of the season.
For the Men in Red -- who finished the match with more shots (25-10), shots on target (12-7) and controlled possession (52-48) - this is the first loss against Sounders FC in league play since Sept. 28, 2016.
Despite winning the first half possession battle (also 52-48), the Fire (0-2-1, 1 point) entered the halftime break down 2-0 following two early goals from Sounders FC (3-0-0, 9 points). Seattle managed to take the lead in the 8th minute of play when midfielder Jordan Morris played a cross into the box, finding midfielder VÃ-ctor RodrÃ-guez for a close-range finish. The visitors doubled its lead in the 15th minute of play when midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro played a dangerous ball behind the Fire backline for Morris, who was able to convert from just outside the six-yard box.
Responding to the early goals from Sounders FC, the Fire created a dangerous scoring chance through midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger midway through the first half. Running onto Schweinsteiger's pass, midfielder CJ Sapong calmly headed the ball down into the path of forward Nemanja Nikolic, who had his strike saved by goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 23rd minute (WATCH).
Ten minutes later, the Fire created another close chance to find its opening goal of the game after an extended spell of possession. Following a crafty combination play on the edge of the 18-yard box, the ball found its way to midfielder Djordje Mihailovic, who forced another difficult save from Frei with his strike from outside the box. Sapong reacted quickly to pounce on the rebound from Mihailovic's attempt, heading his effort on target, but Frei managed to recover and make a second consecutive save.
Seattle extended its lead four minutes into the second half after a penalty kick was awarded because of a foul by defender Marcelo inside the 18-yard box. Lodeiro stepped up and converted, as the ball went off the crossbar and into the back of the net in the 49th minute.
The Men in Red were able to pull a goal back in the 57th minute when defender Raheem Edwards scored his first goal of the season. The goal stemmed from a well-placed cross from Sapong, finding Edwards in a dangerous area just outside the six-yard box. Edwards connected with Sapong's cross and directed a strong header into the back of the net (WATCH). With the assist, Sapong has played a part in three of the Fire's four goals this season.
Continuing to press Sounders FC deep inside their own half, the Fire created another difficult save from Frei when midfielder Dax McCarty hit a bouncing volley from distance, forcing Frei to nervously push the ball wide in the 75th minute. Shortly after McCarty's chance, the Fire scored its second goal of the game when Herbers, who entered the match in the second half, converted a second chance from the right side of the box in the 84th minute (WATCH).
With the Fire pressing forward in search of an equalizer, Sounders FC found the fourth goal against the run of play in the 88th minute when forward Raúl RuidÃ-az scored on a counter attack.
The Fire's next league match will take place on Saturday, March 30 at SeatGeek Stadium against the New York Red Bulls. Beginning at 12:00 p.m. CT, the match against the Red Bulls will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally on Univision Radio WRTO AM 1200.
The Fire finished the match with more shots (25-10), shots on target (12-7) and possession (52-48 percent) than Sounders FC.
Saturday's match marked the Fire's second consecutive home game of the 2019 MLS regular season.
Defender Raheem Edwards recorded his first goal of the season and second career goal for the Fire.
Midfielder CJ Sapong tallied his first assist of the season on Edwards' goal. With the assist, Sapong has played a part in three of the Fire's four goals this season.
Midfielder PrzemysÅaw Frankowski also recorded an assist on Edwards' goal, marking his second straight match with an assist
Chicago Fire 2:4 Seattle Sounders FC
SEA - RodrÃ-guez (1) (Morris, Ruidaz) 8'
SEA - Morris (3) (Lodeiro) 15'
SEA - Lodeiro (1) (Penalty Kick) 49'
CHI - Edwards (1) (Sapong, Frankowski) 56'
CHI - Herbers (1) 84'
SEA - RuidÃ-az (3) (Smith) 88'
CHI - Edwards (Caution) 64'
SEA - Roldan (Caution) 77'
CHI - Herbers (Caution) 90'+2'
Chicago Fire: Ousted; Campos (Bronico 46'), Marcelo, Kappelhof, Hasler (Edwards 35'); McCarty ©, Schweinsteiger, Frankowski, Mihailovic, Sapong; Nikolic (Herbers 71')
Subs not used: Sánchez, Lillard, Martinez, Moreno
Shots: 25 Shots on goal: 12 Fouls Committed: 16 Fouls Suffered: 10 Offsides: 0 Corners: 3
Seattle Sounders FC: Frei; Leerdam, Kim, Marshall, Smith; Svensson, C. Roldan, Morris (Shipp 86'), Lodeiro © (Torres 72'), RodrÃ-guez (Tolo 90'), RuidÃ-az
Subs not used: Meredith, Delem, Bwana, A. Roldan
Shots: 10 Shots on goal: 7 Fouls Committed: 10 Fouls Suffered: 16 Offsides: 3 Corners: 3
Referee: Joseph Dickerson
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Eric Boria
VAR: Kevin Stott
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