LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. - The Chicago Fire U-18 Academy wrapped up 2012 Academy Showcase play falling 1-0 to Portland Timbers Monday morning in Bradenton, Fla. With the defeat, the U-18s finish the Showcase with a 1-1-1 record and go into winter hibernation sitting fourth in the Mid-America Division with a 7-4-3 record.
Opening play on Friday, the Fire earned a riveting 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Seattle Sounders F.C., going down 1-0 in the 27th minute before team-leading goal scorer Jeff Farina (top right) equalized in the 34th.
The Sounders would go ahead again in the 50th but Farina would convert his second of the match and 15th of the season from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute.
Both teams took punches back and forth but the Fire got the winner in the 93rd minute when Ricky Adalpe headed home a cross Daniel Sczepaenk to open the showcase with a 3-2 victory.
The Fire would surrender the lead again the following day as PA Classics went up 1-0 in the 60th minute. Sczepanek would again provide a late assist, this time setting up Alex Garcia for the 80th minute equalizer to help the side to a 1-1 draw.
After a day of rest Sunday, the team would close out the 2012 calendar year in defeat as a second half goal from Portland was all that was needed for the Timbers to take a 1-0 decision.
The Fire U-18s move indoors for training and will re-open the 2012/13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy campaign Saturday, March 9 away to the Indiana Fire Academy.
Having gone 2-0-0 through their first two matches, the Fire U-16s will close out the Showcase on Tuesday morning against Portland. Catch LIVE updates of the game @ChiFireMatch beginning at 8:00am CT.
Indiana Fire Academy U-18s Go 2-0-1 in Showcase Play
Currently top of the Mid-America Division, the Indiana Fire Academy went 2-0-1 in Showcase play this week, drawing 1-1 with Match Fit Chelsea (NJ) on Friday, downing Richmond Kickers (VA) 1-0 on Saturday and beating New Jersey Soccer Academy 2-0 Monday morning.