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Cháves debut just inches from perfection

FRISCO, Texas – Fire forward Diego Cháves was inches away from having a dream debut.

Cháves, who signed with Chicago in February, scored in the 17th minute of the Fire’s 1-1 draw at FC Dallas on Saturday and nearly added a winner in the 49th, when he beat FCD 'keeper Kevin Hartman with an eight yard blast only to have it cruelly slam off the crossbar.

A second goal would’ve made the Uruguayan’s first MLS match absolutely magical. But it wasn’t to be, and Cháves could only wonder what might have been.

“It keeps playing back in mind,” he told after the match. “I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Dallas 1, Chicago 1

Though Cháves might toss and turn, Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos will most likely rest easy knowing he has a potential-laden striker leading the line. Cháves had a solid all-around game on Saturday, holding the ball up nicely, distributing well and working incredibly hard before being subbed off in the 76th minute.

“Diego had a very good performance,” de los Cobos said. “It’s very good for the team that our striker scored. It’ll give him confidence and the rest of the team will definitely believe in him.”

Cháves also displayed good chemistry with fellow forwards Gastón Puerari and Marco Pappa, who flanked the 5-foot-10 striker at the top of the Fire’s 3-4-3 formation.

“I like playing with them,” said Cháves. “We played some nice soccer and we generated some good chances.”

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for Email him at and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.