The Fire (2-1-3) were reduced to 10 players after hometown midfielder Brian Gutierrez was sent off with a second yellow card in the 43rd minute. Referee Victor Rivas booked Gutierrez for blocking a free kick in the fifth minute, and for fouling Orlando midfielder Cesar Araujo.
Chicago eventually conceded when Orlando forward Ercan Kara headed home his first MLS goal in the 59th minute. It was only the second goal allowed this season by Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, and the first time Chicago has trailed this season. The 17-year-old Addison native made a season-high five saves in the match.
The 18-year-old Gutierrez was in the lineup filling in for Xheredan Shaqiri (calf), who was sidelined with an injury along with Fabian Herbers and Miguel Navarro. Chicago captain Rafael Czichos missed his second consecutive match due to MLS COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
“I thought they did well. J.B., (Jonathan Bornstein), (Jhon) Espinoza, Guti, I thought they all came in and did well,” Fire coach Ezra Hendrickson said. “Before that red card, I thought Guti was playing well. I thought he was moving the ball. He’s a young kid. Hopefully he learns from this. I thought he was having a good game up until then. That really hurt us as a team.
But overall, I thought the guys did well. The guys who came on, they fought. Some guys were playing out of position, (Chinonso) Offor and A.J. Reynolds, but they still gave it their all. You know, we still had chances, even with, you know, (ten) men. But you know, this game is something we have to put behind us and just move on.”
What’s On Tap Next?
The Chicago Fire return home to Soldier Field to face the LA Galaxy on Saturday, April 16. Kickoff is set for 7 PM on WGN-TV.
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