The Chicago Fire's Arnaud Souquet scored the lone goal in a 4-1 U.S. Open loss to Houston in what is likely the last Fire game at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview this season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

The Chicago Fire's Arnaud Souquet scored the lone goal in a 4-1 U.S. Open loss to Houston in what is likely the last Fire game at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview this season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Sports Report | Fire appear done in Bridgeview in 2023; Messi and Miami coming to Soldier Field in October

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Things will not get Messi in Bridgeview.

And it’s likely that June 6 will be the last time SeatGeek Stadium in the village hosts the Chicago Fire soccer game in 2023.

With the news that soccer legend Lionel Messi was going to sign with MLS team Inter Miami, there was a sliver of hope that the Fire v. Miami match scheduled for Oct. 4 would be moved from Soldier Field to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.

The Chicago Bears, Soldier Field’s primary tenant, is scheduled to play at home Oct. 1. Last year, the Fire played three games at SeatGeek because of conflicts with the Bears, who do not allow soccer games to be played at Soldier Field within five days of home games.

But the Fire did play at SeatGeek against New York City last Aug. 21 because of the impact concerts had on the Soldier Field playing surface. So, there was precedent for the Miami game to be moved if there was a concern for player safety.

That possibility was dashed after the signing of Messi produced an extra 12,000 ticket sales, and the cheapest remaining seats in the 200 section start at $285.

Looking at both the Bears and Fire schedules for 2023, there do not appear to be any conflicts with games in the Bears’ five-day window, so the three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open games in May and June in Bridgeview appear to be the only games the Fire will play in town.

The Fire played in Bridgeview from 2006-2019 before leaving for Soldier Field. They played one game at SeatGeek in 2021, four in 2022 and three this year.

 

Fire eliminated from Cup

If the June 6 quarterfinal game in the U.S. Open Cup was the last Fire game at SeatGeek, it was a tough one to swallow.

Houston beat the Fire, 4-1, in an emotional game in which bodies were flying, five yellow cards were issued and, after a Fire goal was disallowed, fans threw garbage on the field.

FIRE 23

The Chicago Fire’s Kei Kamara was one of many players who were knocked to the ground in a 4-1 loss to Houston on June 6. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Arnaud Souquet scored the Fire’s lone goal in the 40th minute on an assist from Xherdan Shaqiri to close the gap to 2-1, but it wasn’t enough.

“Yeah, it’s brutal, man,” goalkeeper Spencer Richey said of the loss. “I think this is a club that takes a lot of pride in this tournament … damn, we really wanted to win this thing. It’s heartbreaking to lose and not keep going.

“But that’s life and football sometimes.”

 

Courage bashes Red Stars

One-named wonder Kerolin scored three goals to help the North Carolina Courage whip the Chicago Red Stars, 5-0, June 10 in an NWSL game at SeatGeek Stadium.

The Stars were outshot 14-8, including an 8-0 disadvantage with shots on goal, to fall to 3-7-1 at the halfway point of their schedule.

The Stars had a Challenge Cup match scheduled at Kansas City on June 14 and host defending NWSC champ Portland at 5 p.m. at SeatGeek Stadium in an NWSL battle.

 

Brace for Cook

The Stars opened the week on a much better note with a 2-1 win over Angel City in Los Angeles on June 5.

Ava Cook scored two goals in the first half for her first career brace. Cook is the fourth Star to score multiple goals in a half, joining Sam Kerr, Yuki Nagasato and Christen Press.

Also in the game, Casey Kruger made her 100th appearance in a regular-season NWSL match. She is the sixth NWSL player to hit the century mark while playing for Chicago.

 

Tie for Fire II

The Chicago Fire II was a man down since the 52nd minute of the match but managed a 2-2 tie at New England on June 11 in an MSL NEXT Pro match.

Noah Hernandez and Richard Fleming scored goals for the Fire (3-5-4).

The Fire II hosts Orlando at 7 p.m. June 15 at SeatGeek Stadium.

 

Hounds win!

The first-year Chicago Hounds snapped a 10-game losing streak in Major League Rugby with a 26-24 road victory over the Utah Warriors on June 10.

Utah (9-6-0) was hoping for a shot at the playoffs, but that won’t happen. The Warriors gave up a try to Chicago’s Julian Dominguez — his third of the game — in the closing seconds.

The Hounds (2-13-0) close the season at Dallas in a game scheduled to start at 5 p.m. June 17. The Hounds only other win of their inaugural season was over the Jackals, 24-22, on March 18.

FIRE 10

The Fire’s Xherdan Shqiri passes the ball in a U.S. Open Cup loss to Houston in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

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