Fire Win Pre-season Opener 2-0 Over FGCU
The Chicago Fire played their first match since their disappointing 2-1 loss to Houston at home on Halloween, as they took on the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles in a pre-season exhibition. Chicago, who would go on to a 2-0 win, split time between three groups of players, each group playing thirty minutes.
Group A: Alex Kann (Trialist), Logan Pause (Captain), Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares, Alex, Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere, Wells Thompson, Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald.
Group B: Ian Joyce (Trialist), Rich Balchan (Trialist), Steven Kinney, Rauwshan McKenzie (Trialist), Hunter Jumper, Sam Archer (Trialist), Michael Videira, Daniel Paladini, Yazid Atouba (2013 Draft Pick), Dominic Oduro, Maicon Santos.
Group C: Unspecified Trialist, Caleb Konstanski (2013 Draft Pick), Eric Robertson (Trialist), Rauwshan McKenzie (Trialist, second group included in), John Gallagher (2013 Draft Pick), Sam Archer (Trialist, came in in 58th minute, while Group B was still playing), Daniel Paladini (also Group B), Michael Videria (also Group B), Yazid Atouba (2013 Draft Pick, also Group B), Dominic Oduro (also Group B), Colin Rolfe (Trialist, not to be confused with Chris Rolfe).
The Ghanaian striker, Dominic Oduro, struggled at times during the 2012 season after a hot start and eventually got relegated to the bench. Nevertheless, Oduro opened up the scoring in the 39th minute with an unassisted goal to give the Fire the 1-0 lead. Daniel Paladini, who came off the bench for the most part in 2012, followed it up with a goal in the 47th minute. Oduro was credited with the assist, as he factored into all of the scoring in the 2-0 victory.
The Fire travel to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida to play the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, their first pre-season match of the year against another MLS team. The Fire follow up the match against Columbus with a pre-season match against the San Jose Earthquakes on an undetermined date, and then travel to Charleston, South Carolina to participate in the Carolina Challenge Cup. The opponents the Fire will face in the competition are the Houston Dynamo, Charleston Battery of the USL Pro, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The club plays its first regular season match on March 3 at Los Angeles, and opens up the home schedule on March 9 versus New England.