CHICAGO, IL (Jan. 29, 2012) – The Chicago Fire opened its preseason schedule with a 0-0 draw against D.C. United at Florida Gulf Coast University Sunday afternoon. Fire head coach Frank Klopas used the first preseason match to evaluate talent, playing 33 of the 36 players on the club’s preseason roster.
The Fire trotted out 10 returning players, the core group that contributed to the Fire’s 7-2-1 finish to conclude the 2011 campaign. Supplemental draft pick Carl Woszczynski got the nod in goal in the Men in Red’s first of nine preseason matches. Klopas gave each group 30 minutes of action, allowing the coaching staff to further evaluate the seven draft selections and seven trialists currently in camp.
The best chance of the match came in the 60th minute when new Fire forward Kheli Dube laid the ball off for countryman Lucky Mkosana. The second round draft pick drilled a shot on goal, however, D.C. United ‘keeper Joe Willis was equal to it. The Men in Red threatened throughout the match, but were unable to break the deadlock
The Fire continue preparations ahead of its 15th season when they take on Florida Gulf Coast University at North Park in Ave Maria, Fla. on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 6:00 p.m. CT. Fans can follow the action live at www.twitter.com/chicagofire.
The Fire host Opening Day at Toyota Park against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM CT. Chicago Fire Season Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), viaTicketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.
Recently acquired striker Federico Puppo and Guatemalan international trained Sunday morning and will be available for selection for the Fire’s match against Florida Gulf Coast University at Ave Maria University on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 6:00 p.m. CT.
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson was absent from the club’s first preseason match after playing 45 minutes in the United States Men’s National Team 1-0 win against Panama Wednesday, Jan. 25. The U.S. international will join the team in Ventura, Calif. Wednesday, Feb. 8.
Former Fire midfielder Ivan Guerrero suited up for the Men in Red for the first time since Sept. 1, 2007. The Honduran midfielder appeared in 74 matches for the club from 2005-2007.
Fire goalkeeper Jay Nolly sat the match out as the Fire evaluated the three young ‘keepers in camp.
Chicago Fire 0 – 0 D.C. United
Chicago Fire: Carl Woszczynski; Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Gonzalo Segares; Pavel Pardo, Logan Pause, Patrick Nyarko; Sebastian Grazzini; Dominic Oduro, Orr Barouch
(33’): Paulo Tornaghi*; Michael Videira, Austin Berry, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Hunter Jumper**; Daniel Paladini, Corben Bone, Ivan Guerrero*; Alex*; Lucky Mkosana**, Kheli Dube
(61’): Alec Kann*; Jon Okafor*, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Justin Chavez**, Pari Pantazopoulos; Tony Walls**, Victor Pineda, Fabrizio Pittaluga* (Omar Persad, 78’); Walter Restrepo*; Evans Frimpong**, Kellen Gulley
D.C. United: Joe Willis; Robbie Russell (Chris Korb, 31’), Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard; Andy Najar, Perry Kitchen, Ryan Richter (trialist), Branko Boskovic (Stephen King 31’); Blake Brettschneider, Maicon Santos (Stefan Jerome, 43’)
Second half: Joe Willis (Andrew Dykstra, 74’); Chris Korb, Sebastian Svard*, Emiliano Dudar (Josey Portillo*, 80’), Jed Zayner*; Seth C'deBaca*, Marcelo Saragosa*, Ryan Richter*, Stephen King; Blake Brettschneider (Lance Rozenbloom**, 71’), Stefan Jerome*
* - Trialist
** - MLS SuperDraft/Supplemental Draft selection
DCU – Perry Kitchen (caution; Reckless Foul) 32’
Referee: Andres Pfefferkorn
Referee’s Assistants: Jonathan Wiener, Mark Cahen
ABOUT CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB
Founded on the 126 anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club was founded on October 8, 1997 as a Major League Soccer expansion team. The Fire won the MLS Cup in its inaugural season in 1998 and was crowned the champion of U.S. Soccer's national tournament, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. In June 2006, the Fire moved into its world-class home of TOYOTA PARK, located in Bridgeview, IL. For more information on the Chicago Fire, please visit the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.