ROCHESTER, NY (June 28, 2011) – Diego Chaves 37th minute goal propelled the Chicago Fire to a 1-0 victory over the Rochester Rhinos in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play at Sahlen’s Stadium Tuesday night in Rochester, New York. With the win, the Fire will meet the New York Red Bulls in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal tilt at TOYOTA PARK on Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the Fire – Red Bull match go on-sale tomorrow, June 29 at noon CT and are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or via Chicago-Fire.com.
Frank Klopas trotted out a number of Fire starters, including goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Johnson captured his sixth clean sheet of the month of June across all competitions. Since reclaiming the No. 1 role May 28, Johnson, and the Fire, have gone unbeaten in eight consecutive matches.
The Rochester Rhinos came out intent on taking an early lead, but Chaves spoiled the home side’s plans when his shot found the back of the net eight minutes before halftime.
Building out of the backfield, Chaves slotted a leading ball to Corben Bone rushing down the left flank. The second-year Fire midfielder collected the ball before eluding two Rhino defenders and lashing a driven shot that forced ‘keeper Neal Kitson off his line for a diving save. The parried ball rolled to the top of the 18-yard-box where the Fire’s Uruguayan striker cranked a one-time shot just inside the far post to give the Men in Red a 1-0 advantage.
A number of early runs by the home side resulted in dangerous situations for the Fire. In the 19th minute, Johnson was forced into action. Kendall Jagdeosingh tracked down a loose ball near the end line. The Trinidad and Tobago product fed Tony Donatelli who sent a square ball across the box that Johnson cut out before it could find a wide-open Tyler Rosenlund.
Klopas’ side began to insert itself in the second half, bringing on offensive substitutions Patrick Nyarko and Dominic Oduro. The Ghanaian wing duo paid dividends as the Fire outshot the USL Pro club 7-1 in the second interval. In the 82nd minute, the Fire broke out of the backfield on the counter attack. Oduro sped into the Rhino penalty area only to have Kitson snag the ball before the Fire could improve upon their 1-0 lead.
The Men in Red challenge Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on Saturday, July 2 at 9:00 p.m. CT (Galavision) Chicago Fire Season Tickets, which include a ticket to the Chicago Fire – Manchester United match at Soldier Field, are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.
- Bratislav Ristic donned the captain’s arm band for the Fire Tuesday night.
- Chaves tallied his first goal since April 23 against the Houston Dynamo. The Uruguayan striker has hit the post a MLS league-high three times this season.
- Johnson got his third consecutive start, including qualifying, in the Fire’s current 2011 U.S. Open Cup run.
- The Fire have previously met the Rhinos in U.S. Open Cup play in 1999 and 2005.
- The Fire are unbeaten against New York at TOYOTA PARK in MLS play, going 5-0-3 all-time vs. Red Bull at the soccer-specific venue.
- The last time the Fire met New York in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play the Men in Red prevailed 1-0 to win the 2003 U.S. Open Cup title in the final at Giants Stadium on Oct. 15, 2003.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: Chicago Fire 1 – 0 Rochester Rhinos
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Bratislav Ristic, Josip Mikulic, Dasan Robinson (Jalil Anibaba 49’), Pari Pantazopoulos; Gabriel Ferrari (Patrick Nyarko 46’), Michael Videira, Daniel Paladini, Corben Bone (Dominic Oduro 75’); Diego Chaves, Cristian Nazarit
Substitutes not used: Jon Conway, Baggio Husidic, Davis Paul, Orr Barouch
Rochester Rhinos: Neal Kitson; TJ Gore (Rich Costanzo 44’), Troy Roberts, Tyler Bellamy, Quaves Kirk; Alfonso Motagalvan, Tony Donatelli, Michael Tanke (Isaac Kissi 80’), Tyler Rosenlund, Kendall Jagdeosignh; Andrew Hoxie (JC Banks 67’)
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Kenny, Will Traynor, Anthony Hamilton, Drew Cost
CHI – Diego Chaves (unassisted) 37’
ROC – Troy Roberts (Caution) 26’
CHI – Michael Videira (Caution) 72’
ROC – Rich Costanzo (Caution) 87’
ROC – Alfonso Motagalvan (Caution) 90+’
CHI – Cristian Nazarit (Caution) 90+’
Referee: Daniel Fitzgerald, Referee’s Assistants: Democratis Pashalidis, Amanda Ross, 4th Referee: Scott Boniface