Chicago Fire Player Development Update
The Chicago Fire U-18 and U-16 Academy teams both suffered their first losses of the season in their recent trip to Minnesota. The U-18s dropped their match 1-0 to Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy Saturday and fell 2-1 to Minnesota Thunder Academy on Sunday. The U-16s fell 2-1 to Shattuck-Saint Mary’s on Saturday and won 3-1 against Minnesota Thunder Academy on Sunday.
The Fire U-18s kicked off first Saturday, Oct. 13 against Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in Faribault, Minn. The match remained scoreless until Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Abdulla Al-Kalisy tallied in the 88th minute to give the home side a 1-0 victory.
In the second match of the day, Collin Fernandez put the Fire U-16s up 1-0 in the 26th minute but Shattuck-Saint Mary’s was able to find a quick equalizer behind Akeem Ward’s goal in the 29th minute before Salvador Perez scored the game-winner for Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in the 73rd minute.
Fernandez’s goal in the 26th minute was his fourth goal of the season. Fernandez leads the U-16s and has scored four of the team’s nine goals this season.
On Sunday, the U-18s took on Minnesota Thunder Academy at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. The Thunder’s Matthew Gweh opened scoring in the 10th minute, but Marcus Epps found the Fire’s equalizer in the 46th minute. Gweh would notch his second goal of the match in the 82nd minute as the Thunder won 2-1.
Epps goal in the 46th minute of Sunday’s match marked his fourth goal of the season. Epps currently sits in second on the U-18s scoring charts and has scored four of the team’s 15 goals this season.
In the second match of the day, the Fire U-16s went ahead almost immediately when Shannon Seymore found the back of the net in just the fourth minute. The Thunder’s Jacob Sphatt was able to equalize in the 28th minute but the Fire’s Luca Giovine’s goal in the 63rd minute and Alex Underwood’s goal in the 68th minute gave the Fire the 3-1 victory.
The U-18s (3-2-1) sit in sixth place in the Mid-America Division of the Central Conference. With the victory, the U-16s (2-1-3) moved up to fourth place in the Mid-America Division of the Central Conference.
The Chicago Fire Developmental Academy teams return to action when the U-18 and U-16 teams host Fire Academy brethren Indiana Fire Academy on Sunday, Oct. 21 on the Toyota Park Turf Field. The U-18s will kickoff first at 11:00 a.m. CT followed by the U-16s at 1:30 p.m. CT.