Chicago Fire Player Development Update

U-16 Academy prepares for National Finals

Academy

Photo Credit: 
Jeff Crandall

CHICAGO FIRE U-16s ADVANCE TO U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENTAL ACADEMY FINALS WEEK
The Chicago Fire U-16 team posted a perfect 3-0-0 record in the 2011/2012 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in Frisco, Texas to advance to the U.S.S.D.A. Finals July 16-23 in Houston.
 
The U-16s will open play against the Charlotte Soccer Academy at 8:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, July 17. They will then take on the New York Red Bulls at 9:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 19 and Pateadores at 8:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, July 21. The winner of the group will advance to the championship match on Monday, July 23 against the winners of Group 2 which consists of the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves, D.C. United, PA Classics and St. Louis Scott Gallagher.
 
This is the second time that the Chicago Fire U-16 team has advanced to Finals Week. The Fire U-16s were crowned champions in the 2009-10 season after converting all five penalty kicks in a shootout victory over Cal Odyssey on July 16, 2010.
 
CHICAGO FIRE PDL COMPILE 2-1-0 RECORD IN RECENT MATCHES
The Chicago Fire PDL defeated Hamilton FC Rage 4-1 at McMaster University’s Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario on Wednesday, July 4, fell 1-0 to the Toronto Lynx at Centennial Park Stadium in Etobicoke, Ontario Thursday, July 5 and defeated Forest City London 2-1 at Toyota Park July 8 to top off a busy week of PDL action.
 
In the first match of the Canadian road trip, the Fire opened scoring with Bryan Ciesiulka’s 10th minute strike. Taylor Morgan found his first strike of the game in the 33rd minute. On the other side of the break Morgan would notch his second of the game in the 51st minute. Hamilton pulled one back when Miroslav Cabrilo’s strike in the 79th minute but the Fire would put the game away with a 91st minute tally from Jourdan Gooden.
 
The next day Toronto’s Joshua Portillo notched the only goal of the match in the 46th minute as the Fire fell 1-0 to the Toronto Lynx.
 
On Sunday, July 8 the Fire welcomed Forest City London to Toyota Park. After a back-and-forth affair that saw the home side record 20 shots and the visitors 16, the Fire were able to convert in the 61st minute with Andrew Oliver’s goal. The Fire continued to press and doubled their lead in the 75th minute with a goal from Taylor Morgan. FC London pulled one back with Jordan Ayris’ goal in the 89th minute but the Fire were able to hold on for the 2-1 win.
 
With two regular season matches remaining, the Chicago Fire PDL (5-6-3) return to action when they host the Cincinnati Kings on the Toyota Park Turf Field Thursday, July 12 at 6:00 p.m. CT.
 
The Fire PDL (5-6-3) currently sit in fourth place in the Central Conference’s Great Lakes Division on 18 points, two behind the third place River City Rovers. In order to advance to the playoffs, the Fire PDL need to win both of their remaining two games and have River City drop one of their remaining two matches both against division winners Michigan Bucks.
 
FIVE CHICAGO FIRE ACADEMY TEAMS TAKE PART IN MIDWEST DEVELOPMENTAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
The Chicago Fire U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-18 teams took part in the U.S. Club Soccer Midwest Developmental League Playoffs in Libertyville, Ill. The Fire were the only team to be represented in every age group.
 
Four of the teams, the U-14, U-15, U-16 and the U-18s all advanced to the championship game of the playoffs on Sunday, July 8. After ending regulation tied 0-0, the Fire U-14s fell 5-4 in penalty kicks to the Chicago Magic. The U-15s fell to Sockers FC in a high-scoring affair that ended with a 4-3 Sockers victory. The U-16s and the U-18s both faced Scott Gallagher Missouri in their final games. The U-16s were edged out 1-0 and the U-18s fell 2-1.
 
CHICAGO FIRE HOST FIRST FEMALE ELITE PLAYER ID PROGRAM
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club held its first female Elite Player ID at Lake Forest Academy June 28 through July 1 at Lake Forest Academy to identify the top talent in the Chicago Fire Juniors programs.
 
More than 100 participants from the nine Fire Juniors clubs participated in the four-day camp which included a series of practice sessions led by members of the Fire first team coaching staff and U.S. Soccer staff. Off the field, players attended college placement, mental preparation and hydration/nutrition workshops.
 
The Chicago Fire Technical staffs will choose the top 20-24 players in each age group to participate in a number of signature tournaments and showcases throughout the country.