Orlando City defeats Chicago Fire 4-1 in its fourth home game back with fans


Orlando City Photography Team

Orlando City players and fans exchanging waves pre game vs the Chicago Fire.

Jake Reyes, Managing Editor

It was a four-for-four deal for The Orlando City Soccer Club as they demolished the Chicago Fire 4-1 in its fourth game at Exploria Stadium since its reopening to fans on Aug. 26.

On Sept. 19, only 11 minutes into the game, Orlando City’s Christopher Mueller scored the first goal of the match and his seventh of the season. Thirteen minutes later, Mueller assisted Nani with a goal to double the lead at the 24th minute.

The two goals were not the only highlight before the end of the first half. City’s goalkeeper, Pedro Gallese, delivered a massive save at the 36th minute mark after the Fire’s Álvaro Medrán failed to capitalize on a great opportunity after being awarded a penalty kick.

Orlando went on to score two more goals in the second half. At the 78th minute, Júnior Urso extended the lead 3-1 after he right footed a shot to the corner of the goal coming off an assist by Andrés Perea. Adding another blow, Orlando scored another goal in the final minute of the game (90’+5’) by the hands of Benji Michel, causing the crowd to go wild.

This was Orlando’s first home win against Chicago in franchise history — moving them to second place in the Eastern Conference standings. The win also extended their win streak to 4 games which coincidentally started on Aug. 26, versus Nashville SC.

Although the club only allows 20% stadium capacity, Senior Vice President of Communications, Diogo Kotscho, believes the fans play a role in supporting the team. “It is very good to have some fans supporting the team, hopefully we will be able to have everybody back soon. Our fans are amazing and they really give us an advantage,” Kotscho said.

Additionally, the game had nothing but heavy rain weather conditions that night and Orlando were able to overcome these challenges. Despite the conditions, Mueller, who scored the first goal, enjoyed the heavy downpour and believed it added more fun for the fans. “I think it’s fun. You love to play in the rain and embrace those moments. Every game that you get, you don’t play in the rain so it was a little bit harder to see I guess. You had the ball skip around, people are sliding going into challenges, I just think it makes for a fun night out there especially under the lights in front of the fans, you can’t ask for much more. I guess your perspective guides your performance from there,” Mueller said.

Orlando City will look to continue its home win streak with its next game at Exploria Stadium on Oct. 3 vs the NY Red Bulls.