Chicago Fire Academy goes unbeaten vs. Sockers FC, readies for Winter Showcase
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- When a below-average day still leaves you without any losses, then you're in a pretty good place.
On a windy, rainy Saturday that ended the fall season, one Chicago Fire Academy team earned a win, while the other two settled for scoreless draws with local side Sockers FC visiting the Toyota Park practice fields.
The U16s earned a 2-0 victory, while the U18s and U14s tied 0-0.
"The conditions were difficult on the day," Fire Academy coach Larry Sunderland said. "It made for some less than attractive football. Both the 18s and 14s had a difficult time trying to find their game."
U16s get it done
In a 2-0 win for the Fire U-16s, Jake Fernandez knocked in a second-half cross from Ben Rhoder, and Jack Shaw scored just minutes later to get the job done.
Goalkeeper Jacob Rooth saved a penalty kick right before halftime, providing a lift.
The back line of Sean Reynolds, Zach Barangan, Ryan Budicin and Christian Sanchez also helped secure the shutout.
For the U16s, it was a great way to go into the winter break. They finished 4-5-3, tied for eighth in the Mid-America Division, but Sunderland was certainly pleased with Saturday's performance.
"The 16s showed a great deal of poise for a young group," Sunderland said. "They managed the conditions well -- were simple and effective in getting the result."
In a 0-0 tie, the U-18s had chances but couldn't break through.
In a theme for the day, goalkeeper Adrian Remeniuk saved a first half penalty kick to keep the clean sheet in tact.
"Adrian Remeniuk had his best outing of the season," Sunderland said. "It’s great to see him perform at such a high level."
Qudus Lawal, who provided a spark all season off the bench, came on in the 70th minute but couldn't find the net.
Mauricio Pineda, James Myall, Grant Lillard and Andrew Gutman worked together on the back line to keep the Sockers out of the net.
The U-18s head into their winter break with a 7-1-4 record, good for second place in the Mid-America Division.
U14s also draw, finish undefeated
The Fire U-14s also played to a 0-0 draw, securing an undefeated run through the fall season at 10-0-3.
Goalkeeper Raymon Rosas earned the shutout.
Paul Fulop came on in the second half and had a couple quality chances but couldn't break through.
While the fall season is wrapped up, the Fire get a small break before getting a great test in Florida.
The U18s and U16s will head to the Winter Showcase from Dec. 11-15 in Sarasota, Fla., where some of the top teams from around the country will be on hand.