While the Chicago Fire first team went north of the border this weekend, the club’s Academy sides took a trip to St. Louis, meeting up with Scott Gallagher Metro and Missouri on Saturday and Sunday.
Boosted after earning a combined 10 points last weekend against the Michigan contingent of Derby County Wolves and Vardar, the Academy again earned more than half of possible points this weekend, going a combined 2-1-1 on the road.
The Fire U16’s didn’t get the weekend off to the best start, falling 2-0 to Scott Gallagher-Missouri on Saturday afternoon. SG-Missouri received two first goals in quick succession with attackers Justin Bilyeu (10th minute) and Nick Rizzo (14th minute) putting the home team in the first half.
The Fire’s efforts to climb back into the game late was thwarted by SG-Missouri goalkeeper Jean-Luc Panchot, who made three key saves late to preserve the win and shutout in the early game.
Later in the day, the Fire U18’s avenged the younger team’s loss, with the Fire’s first half oddly similar to that of SG-Missouri’s U16’s.
Two first half goals by Connor Holloway (5th minute) and Chris Prince (16th minute) set the tempo and allowed the Fire to sit back and control possession on their way to a 2-0 victory. For Prince it would be a sign of things to come for the following day.
Additionally Charlie Lyon earned his third shutout of the season in the win.
The U16s bounced back from the previous day’s defeat with a much needed 1-0 result against Scott Gallagher-Metro on Sunday afternoon.
Midfielder Patrick Ruta’s 49th minute tally was enough while goalkeeper Zak Allen earned his first shutout of the season as the U16’s gained a valuable three points towards the USSF DA’s Frontier Division standings.
The Fire U18’s returned to Toyota Park with a share of the spoils from Sunday afternoon’s game, conceding a late goal that resulted in a 2-2 draw with Scott Gallagher-Metro.
Striker Chris Prince tallied on both sides of halftime, with his second coming off the restart following Metro’s equalizer in the 50th minute. Catching the keeper off his line, Prince struck a 60-yard effort towards goal that almost instantaneously put the Fire back on top 2-1.
The goal wasn’t enough as Metro found the equalizer four minutes from time, ending 2-2.
An MLS/Academy tripleheader is scheduled for Kansas City this weekend with the Fire and Wizards complete clubs clashing in the Sunflower State. The U18 sides will open the day with their match at 1pm, followed by the U16’s matchup at Community America Ballpark at 4pm, before the first teams finish the day at 7:30pm.