Fire down Real España 3-1

Propels team to first ever Louisiana Fire Champions Cup title

CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 4, 2012) – Two first-half goals from Dominic Oduro and a third from Orr Barouch propelled the Chicago Fire over Real C.D. España 3-1 in a preseason international friendly at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, La. Saturday evening. In the first three preseason matches, Oduro has recorded three goals in 105 minutes of play. 

The Fire tallied first in the 26th minute when Sebastian Grazzini broke up a pass inside the attacking third. The Argentine playmaker laced a pin-point pass to Oduro inside the penalty area where he took a touch, turned and fired past Real España goalkeeper Kevin Hernandez.
 
España leveled the match with a set piece goal twelve minutes later. Jairo Puerto’s driven free kick found Edder Gonzalez open at the back post where he headed the ball over Fire goalkeeper Jay Nolly and into the back of the net to even things at 1-1 after 38 minutes of play.
 
Oduro would tally the first half brace in the 44th minute. Former Fire player, and current trialist, Ivan Guerrero started the build-up from the back sending a lofted ball to Patrick Nyarko on the left flank. Nyarko slotted Oduro in behind the España defense where the fleet Ghanaian danced around Hernandez to give the Fire the 2-1 advantage.
 
The Fire nearly added to their lead when Oduro was hauled down in the penalty box in the waning moments of the first half. His strike partner Federico Puppo stepped to the spot, however, his chipped effort eluded the frame and the Fire closed the half with the one goal lead. 
 
Fire head coach Frank Klopas made wholesale changes at the half, before the side added to their lead in the 88th minute when midfielder Michael Videira slotted Victor Pineda into the box on the right. In behind the defense, the Fire Homegrown player unselfishly pushed the ball across the box to Orr Barouch who finished past España ‘keeper Marcelo Macias to ice the match.
 
The Fire return to Chicago on Sunday and resume preseason camp when the team travels to Ventura, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 8. While in California, the Men in Red continue preparations for the 2012 season with preseason games against Chivas USA (Feb. 11), Portland Timbers (Feb. 15) and the San Jose Earthquakes (Feb. 18). Follow all three preseason matches live atwww.twitter.com/ChiFireMatch.
 
The Fire host Opening Day at Toyota Park against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM CT. Chicago Fire Season Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), viaTicketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.
 
Notes:  
  • Fire goalkeeper Jay Nolly played the full 90 minutes and allowed one goal in his preseason Fire debut. 
 
   - Defenders Cory Gibbs and Gonzalo Segares sat out the match after taking knocks in the Fire’s 3-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast University Wednesday night in Ave Maria, Fla.
 
  • Signed players unavailable for selection Saturday evening were Logan Pause, who has stayed in Chicago with his wife following the couple’s first child, Sean Johnson, who’s resting after a long offseason of national team camps and training at Everton and Rafael Robayo, who continues to await his visa.
 
  • Pause and Johnson will rejoin the team on February 8 in Ventura, Calif., while Robayo is expected to meet his teammates for the first time at some point during the stay out west.
 
Chicago Fire 3  – 1 Real C.D. Espana
 
Chicago Fire: Jay Nolly; Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Ivan Guerrero*; Patrick Nyarko, Pavel Pardo, Marco Pappa; Sebastian Grazzini (Alex*, 41’); Dominic Oduro, Federico Puppo
 
Second Half: Jay Nolly; Tony Walls**, Pari Pantazopoulos, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Hunter Jumper**; Victor Pineda, Daniel Paladini, Corben Bone; Alex* (Michael Videira, 76’); Kheli Dube (Kellen Gulley 82’), Orr Barouch
 
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann*, Paulo Tornaghi*, Cory Gibbs
* - Trialist
** - MLS SuperDraft/Supplemental Draft selection
 
Real C.D. España: Kevin Hernandez (Marcelo Macias, 46’); Maynor Martinez, Sergio Boca, Daniel Tejeda, David Roura; Juan Acevedo, Edder Delgado (Henry Acosta, 57’), Julio Rodriguez, Jairo Puerto (Gerson Rodas, 46’); Luis Lobo, Jonatan Hansen
 
Substitutes not used: Hilder Colon, Christian Martinez, Carlos Pavon, Johnny Calderon
 
Scoring Summary
CHI – Dominic Oduro (Sebastian Grazzini) 26’
RCDE – Edder Delgado (Jairo Puerto) 38’
CHI – Dominic Oduro (Patrick Nyarko) 44’
CHI – Orr Barouch (Victor Pineda) 88’
 
Misconduct Summary
CHI – Patrick Nyarko (caution) 21’
CHI – Pari Pantazopoulos (caution) 80’
              
Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee’s Assistants: Greg Boles, Jeff Greason
Attendance: 6,234