Chicago Fire FC Defeats First-Place Philadelphia Union 1-0 on Wednesday at Soldier Field
CHICAGO - Chicago Fire FC (4-8-5, 17 points) earned a second consecutive home victory, defeating Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union (7-2-8, 29 points) 1-0 at Soldier Field on Wednesday night as the club celebrated Pride Night . Fire midfielder Federico Navarro scored his first goal of the season and goalkeeper Gaga Slonina earned his seventh clean sheet of 2022.
Chicago held their ground in the first half, holding 61.9 percent of the possession and completing 74 passes in the final third. The first clear chance of the night came in just the ninth minute, when Xherdan Shaqiri sent a pass that Rafael Czichos headed just wide of the goal.
Philadelphia came out in the second half firing on all cylinders, but Gaga Slonina was up to the task, saving a goal off the line in the 47th minute. Philadelphia crossed in a ball that Cory Burke headed powerfully on target but Slonina deflected his shot enough to hit the post. The ball bounced toward the goal but never crossed the goal line. Slonina reacted quickly once again, smothering the ball before Philadelphia could get a rebound. Slonina's seven shutouts are second in the league, behind only New York City FC's eight clean sheets.
The Fire's breakthrough came in the 68th minute, when Chris Mueller carried the ball up the right flank, cutting around the Union outside back to keep possession before slotting it to the top of the box for Boris Sekulić. The defender looked up and dropped the ball back to Navarro, who didn't hesitate before blasting a shot into the far side of the net, notching his first goal of the season and second of his MLS career.
NEXT MATCH: Chicago will travel across the country to face the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, July 3 at PayPal Park. Beginning at 8:00 p.m. CT, the match will be televised on WGN-TV and CF97 Live, and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM.
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Midfielder Federico Navarro scored his first goal of the 2022 season, earning Heineken Man of the Match honors.
In the back, 18-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina started for the 17th time this season. Slonina has seven clean sheets to his name so far this season, and 11 in his career.
The Chicago Fire defense has kept a clean sheet in seven of their 17 games this season, second only to New York City FC, who has eight.
Midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri made his first start for the Fire since May 28, having been cleared to return following an injury picked up while away with the Switzerland Men's National Team during the June international window.
Along the back line, Andre Reynolds II started his first-ever MLS regular season match in what will be his fourth appearance of the year. Reynolds has previously started for the Fire first team in Leagues Cup and the U.S. Open Cup.
Chicago Fire FC 1:0 Philadelphia Union
CHI - F. Navarro (1) (Sekulić 2) 68'
PHI - Martinez (Yellow Card) 29'
PHI - Bedoya (Yellow Card) 35'
CHI - Terán (Yellow Card) 51'
PHI - Martinez (Yellow Card) 72'
PHI - Martinez (Ejection) 72'
PHI - Wagner (Yellow Card) 77'
PHI - Gazdag (Yellow Card) 83'
Chicago Fire FC: GK Slonina, D Sekulić, D Terán, D Czichos ©, D Reynolds II (Bornstein, 65'), M Herbers (M Gutiérrez, 65'), M F. Navarro, M Shaqiri, M Giménez, M Mueller (Espinoza, 86'), F Przybyłko
Subs not used: GK Richey, F Bezerra, M Casas Jr., F Durán, M Ivanov, F Offor
Philadelphia Union: GK Blake, D Elliot, D Glesnes, D Harriel (Mbaizo, 46'), D Wagner, M Gazdag, M Martinez, M Bedoya ©, M Flach, F Uhre (Donovan, 66'), F Carranza (Burke, 46')
Subs not used: GK Freese, GK Bendick, D Real, D Findlay, M Turner
Stats Summary: CHI / PHI
Shots: 14 / 8
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Passing Accuracy: 77.4% / 70.5%
Corners: 7 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 13
Offsides: 2 / 1
Possession: 57% / 43%
Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Micheal Barwegen
Fourth Official: Brandon Stevis
VAR: Younes Marrakchi, Tom Supple
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