Sounders FC Suffers Setback in MLS Is Back Tournament with 2-1 Loss to Chicago Fire FC
ORLANDO, FLA. - Despite an equalizing goal from Handwalla Bwana in the 77th minute of play, Seattle Sounders FC (1-0-2, 5 points) sustained a 2-1 loss to Chicago Fire FC (1-1-1, 4 points) in the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex on the campus of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The second of Seattle's three matches in Group B play, Tuesday's result leaves the Rave Green in third place (one point), with Chicago moving into first place (three points). Aiming to claim one of the top two spots to advance to the knockout stage of tournament, Seattle closes out group play on Sunday, July 19 versus Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7:30 p.m. PT / FS1, TUDN).
Playing on just four days' rest following their tournament opener on July 10 versus San Jose, Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute via a breakaway strike from Robert Beric. Utilizing a trademark run through the area, Jordan Morris assisted on Bwana's goal 25 minutes later, with the two Sounders FC Academy products combining on the equalizer. Chicago broke through again in the 84th minute, this time on a corner kick, with Mauricio Pineda finding the back of the net at Stefan Frei's far post.
With two of three matches down for Brian Schmetzer's side, group stage play concludes on July 19 versus Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. PT, with national television coverage being provided by FS1 and TUDN, along with regional radio carriage via Sports Radio 950 AM KJR and El Rey 1360 AM. Of six total groups at four teams apiece, the top two teams from each group along with the four best third-place finishers are moving on to the knockout stage, which begins July 25.
Following today's loss in the MLS is Back Tournament, Seattle now sits in third place in Group B (one point), with Chicago moving into first place (three points). Aiming to claim one of the top two spots to advance to the knockout stage of tournament, Seattle closes out group play on Sunday, July 19 versus Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7:30 p.m. PT / FS1, TUDN). The top two teams from each group - along with the four best third-place finishers - move on to the knockout stage, which begins July 25.
Tuesday's result moves Sounders FC's record against Chicago to 9-3-4 all-time in MLS regular season action. The Rave Green also won the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against the Men in Red. Today's loss snapped a three-match unbeaten run (2-0-1) for Seattle and gave Fire FC its win in the series since 2017.
With his goal in the 77th minute of play, Homegrown Player Handwalla Bwana notched his fourth professional strike in three MLS seasons. Tuesday's match was the University of Washington product's first game minutes of 2020, as he entered the match for Miguel Ibarra in the 59th minute of play. He played in 15 regular season games in 2019 (six starts), notching two goals and one assist.
Fellow Homegrown Player Jordan Morris notched his first assist of 2020 on Bwana's goal, good for his 13th career MLS assist (including postseason play).
Signed as the 16th Homegrown signing in club history on June 30, Shandon Hopeau made his first MLS start on Tuesday. Hopeau recorded 45 minutes on the right side of midfield, making way for Jordan Morris at the halftime intermission. The Hawaii native was signed following successful runs with both Tacoma Defiance and the Sounders FC Academy. Last season in USL play, Hopeau made 28 league appearances, starting a career-high 25 matches for Tacoma, recording additional career bests in goals (5) and assists (4).
Though only the club's fourth overall match of 2020 - its second in Orlando in the MLS is Back Tournament - Seattle had already faced Chicago this calendar year. That first meeting came in a 2-1 win against the Fire on March 1 at CenturyLink Field to open the season prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. A Jordan Morris brace canceled out a Robert Beric strike in that contest. MATCH SUMMARY
Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Chicago Fire FC 2
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Venue: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
Assistants: Kathryn Nesbitt, Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Armando Villarreal
VAR: Allen Chapman
Weather: 84 degrees and sunny
CHI - Robert Beric (Mauricio Pineda) 52'
SEA - Handwalla Bwana (Jordan Morris) 77'
CHI - Mauricio Pineda (Gaston Gimenez) 84'
CHI - Fabian Herbers (caution) 22'
SEA - Shandon Hopeau (caution) 41'
SEA - Yeimar GÃ³mez Andrade (caution) 60'
SEA - RaÃºl RuidÃaz (caution) 90'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Alex Roldan 85'), Yeimar GÃ³mez Andrade (Shane O'Neill 62'), Xavier Arreaga (Jordy Delem 85'), Nouhou; Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan, Shandon Hopeau (Jordan Morris HT), NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro, Miguel Ibarra (Handwalla Bwana 59'); RaÃºl RuidÃaz
Substitutes not used: Trey Muse, Stefan Cleveland, Joshua Atencio, Ethan Dobbelaere, Danny Leyva, Justin Dhillon
Total shots: 7 (Delem, 2)
Shots on goal: 1 (Bwana, 1)
Fouls: 12 (GÃ³mez Andrade, 4)
Offside: 4 (RuidÃaz, 3)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Lodeiro, 2)
Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)
Chicago Fire FC - Kenneth Kronholm; Boris Sekulic, Mauricio Pineda, Francisco Calvo (Wyatt Omsberg 75'); Przemyslaw Frankowski, Fabian Herbers (Djordje Mihailovic 68'), Gaston Gimenez, Alvaro Medran (Luka Stojanovic 75'), Jonathan Bornstein (Miguel Angel Navarro HT); C.J. Sapong, Robert Beric (Elliot Collier 90'+1')
Substitutes not used: Connor Sparrow, Gabriel Slonina, Andre Reynolds, Nicholas Slonina, Brandt Bronico, Javier Casas, Ignacio Aliseda
Total shots: 10 (Beric, 5)
Shots on goal: 5 (Beric, 3)
Fouls: 9 (Frankowski, 2)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Gimenez, 3)
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