CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago Fire put in a strong final preseason performance, using goals from Dominic Oduro, Daniel Paladini and Orr Barouch to earn a 3-1 victory over Minnesota Stars FC at the Toyota Park Turf Field Friday morning.
The Fire pressured early and went up 1-0 when Patrick Nyarko darted into the box up the left before cutting back a centering pass for Dominic Oduro in stride. The Ghanaian striker one-touched his effort past Stars ‘keeper Matt Van Oekel to give the Fire a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.
Continuing the pressure after the break, the Fire doubled its lead on a beautiful piece of skill from Marco Pappa. The Guatemalan beat a defender to break into the box on the left, dribbled along the end line before centering a pass for Paladini who made no mistake as he smashed his effort to the back post in the 66th minute.
The Fire added to its lead in the 77th minute with a similar buildup as the first two goals. This time, Federico Puppo danced past a defender on the left before crossing for an open Orr Barouch at the back post, allowing the Israeli youth international to chest the ball over the line for a 3-0 advantage.
The second division side battled throughout and were rewarded a late consolation goal as a Neil Hlavaty free kick from the left picked out Connor Tobin who headed to the near post past substitute ‘keeper Paolo Tornaghi in the 88th minute.
The Men in Red open up the 2012 MLS campaign next Saturday, March 17 at the Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium at 1:00 p.m. CT.
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), via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.
- Dominic Oduro tallied his team-leading fourth goal of preseason while Orr Barouch notched his third and Daniel Paladini grabbed his second.
Chicago Fire 3 – 1 Minnesota Stars FC
Chicago Fire: Jay Nolly (Paolo Tornaghi 46’); Dan Gargan (Tony Walls* 46’), Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs (Hunter Jumper 64’), Gonzalo Segares; Rafael Robayo (Daniel Paladini 64’), Pavel Pardo, Logan Pause © (Michael Videira 82’); Marco Pappa; Dominic Oduro (Federico Puppo 70’), Patrick Nyarko (Corben Bone 64’)
* - MLS SuperDraft/Supplemental Draft selection
Minnesota Starting XI: Matt Van Oekel; Brian Kallman, Kevin Friedland, Connor Tobin, Justin Davis; Andy Lorei, Kentaro Takada, Neil Hlavaty, Miguel Ibarra; Amani Walker, Devin Del Do
CHI – Dominic Oduro (Patrick Nyarko) 18’
CHI – Daniel Paladini (Marco Pappa) 66’
CHI – Orr Barouch (Federico Puppo) 81’
MIN – Connor Tobin (Neil Hlavaty) 88’