GAME NOTES: Fire vs. Earthquakes
The Chicago Fire close out the California leg of preseason with a double header Saturday night vs. the University of California-Santa Barbara (Reserves at 6pm CT) and the San Jose Earthquakes (First Team). A stream of the second match can be seen on Chicago-Fire.com live from UCSB's Harder Stadium beginning at 8pm CT.
Here are some notes ahead of today’s double-dip:
* First, big ups to trialing goalkeepers Alec Kann and James Belshaw, who as guest players, combined for the shutout in the Ventura County Fusion’s 1-0 upset victory over Swedish Allsvenskan side AIK Friday afternoon in Oxnard, Calif.
* The Fire’s game vs. San Jose will be played in two 40-minute halves with some players from the reserve game available for the second game.
* Frank Klopas ‘ lineup vs. San Jose will be bolstered by the return of four players: goalkeeper Sean Johnson, defender Arne Friedrich and midfielders Patrick Nyarko and Dilly Duka are all set to make their Fire preseason debuts Saturday night.
WATCH: Sean Johnson Back in Camp
* Klopas said Friday that some players would get a half, some would be pushed to approximately 60 minutes and some would play the full 80 minutes.
* Midfielder Alex will also miss Saturday night’s affairs after departing Fire camp Thursday for his wedding. The Brazilian attacker will re-join the club for phase three of preseason in Charleston, S.C. beginning February 13.
* Midfielder Victor Pineda remains in recovery from offseason meniscus repair but is expected to join the team in Charleston for phase three of preseason next week.
* Previously identified as “Trialists” in Tuesday’s game, Liberian attacker Borfor Carr and forward Maxwell Griffin (brother of former Fire defender Leonard Griffin) have been in camp since the team’s arrival in Ventura last week.
* A guest player in the Fire’s 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Tuesday, defender Daniel Steres will join the team for Saturday’s game as well.
* Former San Jose, Colorado and Toronto FC attacker Quincy Amarikwa will join the Fire as a guest player Saturday night.
* Neither guest player has trained with the team while here in Ventura, Calif.
* San Jose features former Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch and more recently acquired defender Dan Gargan.
* The San Jose Earthquakes are 1-1-0 in two preseason matches: 2-0 win vs. Houston (Jan. 29), 1-0 loss vs. Colorado (Feb. 2).
* Trialing forward Alexandre Gonzalez Emerson has both goals for the Quakes this preseason.
* Following the match, the Fire return to Chicago Sunday and will break from camp Monday and Tuesday before flying to Charleston, S.C. to take part in the Carolina Challenge Cup beginning Wednesday, February 13.
Signed Players Available for Selection: 20
Goalkeepers (2): Sean Johnson, Paolo Tornaghi
Defenders (6): Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Arne Friedrich Steven Kinney, Logan Pause, Gonzalo Segares
Midfielders (9): Corben Bone, Dilly Duka, Brendan King, Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere, Patrick Nyarko Daniel Paladini, Wells Thompson, Michael Videira
Forwards (3): Kellen Gulley, Sherjill MacDonald, Chris Rolfe
Unsigned Players Available for Selection: 12
Goalkeepers (2): James Belshaw**, Alec Kann^
Defenders (3): John Gallagher**, Rauwshan McKenzie^, Daniel Steres^
Midfielders (3): Yazid Atouba*, Borfor Carr^, Jose Alexander Pabon^
Forwards (4): Quincy Amarikwa^ Blake Brettschneider^, Maxwell Griffin^ Kevin Mercado^
*-SuperDraft Selection, **-Supplemental Draft Selection, ^-Trialist/Guest Player