Fire Alumni Abroad

Bocanegra opens Saint Etienne account

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With most Chicago Fire alumni abroad either finishing their
seasons or in a short winter break, I only have three players to feature today…

In France, U.S. captain Carlos
Bocanegra
went 90 minutes and scored his first goal since joining Saint
Etienne over the summer as les Verts
drew 2-2 at home against Girondins de Bordeaux.

Saint Etienne fell behind in the 30th minute when
Brazilian winger Wendel’s cross from the left was flicked on by striker Anthony
Modeste. The ball fell to the feet of Bocanegra’s mark by Fahid Ben Khalfallah
who one-timed his effort past les Verts
keeper Jeremie Janot.

Saint Etienne came out in the second half with a number of
chance but couldn’t equalize until French winger Albin Ebondo took advantage of
a miscue between two Bordeaux defenders and walked in alone on goal, finishing
past Cedric Carasso in the 67th minute.  

Bocanegra, who dangerous on numerous set pieces during the
match finally tallied to put Saint Etienne ahead in the 71st minute.
The U.S. skipper headed home French striker Dimitri Payet’s cross free kick
from the left, putting his effort between Carasso’s legs to give Saint Etienne
the 2-1 lead with 19 minutes to play.

It looked like the home side would take their first league
win since a 1-0 victory over Olympique Lyon on  September 25 but Brazilian winger Fernando rose over les Verts Loic Perrin to head home a
cross from Czech defender Jaroslav Plasil in the 89th minute.

The match extends Saint Etienne’s league winless streak to
nine games and leaves them sitting 11th in the league with a 5-4-7
record. The result is the club’s fourth straight league draw.

Bocanegra and Saint Etienne will hope to keep pace in Ligue
1 when they visit 17th place Monaco on Sunday.

A division down from Bocanegra and Saint Etienne in France,
Malian international Bakary Soumare
went 90 minutes in U.S. Boulogne’s 2-0 home win over Ligue 2 bottom feeders
Genoble on Friday.

Jeremy Blayac put the hosts ahead 1-0 in the 13th
minute before Gregory Thil converted a 63rd minute penalty to give
Boulogne its fourth win of the season.

Currently 4-2-10 (22 points), Boulogne sit exactly at
mid-table in the 20-team French second division. S

Soumare’s club could jump as high as sixth if they defeat
second-to-last place Metz in a matchup on Tuesday. The club will open up the
Coupe de France when they host fifth division side Roye on Saturday.

U.S. winger DaMarcus
Beasley
was in the 18 but did not play for Hannover 96 in their 2-1 win at
Borussia Monchengladbach.

The victory was Hannover’s fourth straight and leaves them
fourth with 28 points (9-5-1) in the German Bundesliga.

Beasley will hope to return to the lineup as Hannover visit
Stuttgart on Friday.

Jeff Crandall is the Team
Writer for the Chicago Fire. Follow him on Twitter
@JefeCrandall
.