PLAYER DEVELOPMENT UPDATE: Academy teams go 2-0-0 on the weekend

Academy goes unbeaten, Alums succeed in NCAA Tournament

 

CHICAGO FIRE ACADEMY TEAMS POST 2-0-0 RECORD IN WEEKEND PLAY

The Chicago Fire U-18 and U-16 Academy teams went 2-0-0 in their recent trip to St. Louis over the weekend. The U-18s defeated St. Louis Scott Gallagher 2-1 while the U-16s shutout Scott Gallagher by a score of 3-0 Saturday afternoon.

The U-18s kicked off first Saturday, Nov. 17. Just before the half, Anthony Smith opened the scoring to give the Fire the 1-0 lead. Marcus Epps doubled the lead for the Men in Red with his goal in the 69th minute. Matt Steurer scored for the hosts just a minute later in the 70th minute but the Fire were able to hang on for the 2-1 victory.

In the second match of the day the U-16s shutout Scott Gallagher 3-0, courtesy of goals by Shannon Seymour in the 18th minute, Alex Underwood in the 60th minute and Collin Fernandez in the 69th minute.

Seymore and Fernandez now jointly lead the U-16s in goals scored, each with five to their name this season.

The U-18s (6-3-2) jumped up to fifth place in the Central Conference’s Mid-America Division. The U-16s (6-3-3) maintained their hold on third place in the Mid-America Division.

The Chicago Fire Developmental Academy teams close out 2012 when they head to Florida for the 2012 Development Academy Winter Showcase at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood, Fla. The U-18s face Seattle Sounders FC Nov. 30, PA Classics Dec. 1 and the Portland Timbers Dec. 3. The U-16s face the same squads as their elder counterparts, taking on Seattle Sounders FC Dec. 1, PA Classics Dec. 2 and the Portland Timbers Dec. 4.

FIRE ACADEMY ALUMNI ADVANCE IN NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S SOCCER TOURNAMENT

Fifteen Fire Academy alumni and their respective colleges have advanced to the third round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament.

No. 1 seed Notre Dame (Danny Lojek, Danny O’Leary and Harrison Shipp) began tournament play with a 3-0 victory over Michigan State Nov. 18. Shipp opened scoring in the 33rd minute as the Fighting Irish advanced to the third round, where they will host the No. 16 seed Indiana University (Jacob Bushue, Patrick Doody and Andrew Oliver) Nov. 25. Bushue tallied an assist as the Hoosiers defeated Xavier 4-1 in the second round of the tournament Nov. 18.

The No. 9 seed North Carolina Tar Heels (Sam Euler) host Fairleigh Dickson Nov. 25 after defeating UMBC 3-2 in a penalty shootout Nov. 18.

No. 12 seed Creighton University (Ben Kocera) head to Akron Nov. 25 after defeating the University of Washington 1-0 Nov. 18.

No. 3 seed Georgetown University (Ian Christianson) host Syracuse Nov. 25 after the Hoyas defeated UNC-Charlotte 1-0 Nov. 18.

The Northwestern Wildcats (Zak Allen, Peter Beasley, Joey Calistri, Connor Holloway, Scott Lakin and Chris Ritter) advance to the third round where they will face No. 5 seed University of Louisville Nov. 25. Freshman Joey Calistri scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season as the Wildcats defeated No. 7 Marquette Nov. 18.

FORMER FIRE PDL PLAYER AUSTIN BERRY NAMED 2012 MLS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Major League Soccer announced Monday that rookie defender Austin Berry has been chosen as the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year. A member of the Fire PDL squad in 2010, Berry is the third player in Fire history to be named the MLS Rookie of the Year, previously won by Carlos Bocanegra in 2000 and Damani Ralph in 2003. With three MLS Rookie of the Year award winners, the Fire now hold the most Rookie of the Year honors in MLS history. 

The finalists were determined by votes from media, MLS Players and MLS club management based on regular season performance. Berry was joined by D.C. United midfielder, and college teammate at the University of Louisville, Nick DeLeon and Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Darren Mattocks as finalists for the award. Berry garnered more than 50 percent of votes from both media and MLS club management. Below is a breakdown of voting for the top five candidates:

Player (Club)

% of Club Votes

% of Media Votes

% of Player Votes

Weighted Total

Austin Berry (CHI)

51.79

56.92

31.96

140.67

Nick DeLeon (DC)

25.00

26.15

22.68

73.83

Darren Mattocks (VAN)

7.14

4.62

14.43

26.19

Luis Silva (TOR)

10.71

1.54

7.22

18.93

Connor Lade (NY)

0

1.54

7.22

8.76

Berry made his professional debut against Chivas USA May 4. With his goal in the 25th minute of the match, Berry became just the third rookie in Fire history and the first since 1998 to score in a debut MLS appearance.

Since his debut, Berry made 28 consecutive MLS Regular Season starts and played every minute of his 28 games, breaking the record of consecutive starts by a Fire rookie, previously held by Carlos Bocanegra, the 2000 MLS Rookie of the Year.

With three goals to his credit this season, including the game-winning header against Toronto FC Aug. 4, Berry tied with Gonzalo Segares for goals by a Fire defender.

The Cincinnati, Ohio native was an instrumental cog in the Fire defense that held opponents to just 41 goals this season, tied for second best in the Eastern Conference. In 2012, the Men in Red went 17-11-6 and earned 57 points, tied with the 2000 season for the highest point total in club history, and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 12th time in the club’s 15-year history.

Berry started and went the full 90 minutes of the Fire’s 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Knockout match Oct. 31.