CHICAGO, Ill. (Jan. 27, 2013) – The Chicago Fire opened its preseason schedule with a 2-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast University at Ave Maria’s North Park Sunday afternoon. Fire head coach Frank Klopas used the first preseason match to evaluate talent, playing 28 of the 32 players on the club’s preseason roster. Goals from Dominic Oduro and Daniel Paladini proved the difference in the first preseason friendly of the club’s preseason camp.
WATCH: Postgame Recap
The Fire started the match with eight players from the core group that lead the Fire to a 17-11-6 finish in 2012 as the Men in Red made returned to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 12th time in 15 seasons. Trialist Alec Kann started in goal and new acquisitions Joel Lindpere and Jeff Larentowicz patrolled the midfield in their first match as Fire players.
RECAP: FGCU win a good building block
In the 18th minute, after a great sequence of passing by the Fire, Lindpere’s shot hit the post and fell to Chris Rolfe, whose follow up shot was saved off the line by FGCU goalkeeper Mateus Schuler.
After a scoreless first 30 minutes, Klopas trotted out a completely different group for the second 30 minutes. Dominic Oduro opened scoring in the 39th minute when he pounced on a loose ball in the box after a Fire corner and calmly slotted the ball home from six yards out.
The Fire would double their lead just eight minutes later when Oduro fed the ball into the box for a charging Daniel Paladini whose clinical finish gave the Fire the 2-0 advantage.
ARCHIVE: Re-watch the Match
The Men in Red continue preparations ahead of its 16th season when they take on fellow MLS side Columbus Crew at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 10:30 a.m. CT. Fans can follow all the action on Twitter @ChiFireMatch.
Chicago Fire Season Tickets and #cf97withdrawals Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Day while donning the four Fire hats and four pairs of Fire gloves included in the pack, are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE, via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Chicago Fire 2 – 0 Florida Gulf Coast University
Chicago Fire: Alec Kann*, Logan Pause ©, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Alex, Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere, Wells Thompson; Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald.
(30’): Ian Joyce*; Rich Balchan*, Steven Kinney, Rauwshan McKenzie*, Hunter Jumper; Trialist 1* (Sam Archer 58’), Michael Videira, Daniel Paladini, Yazid Atouba**; Dominic Oduro, Maicon Santos
(60’): Trialist 2*; Caleb Konstanski**, Eric Robertson*, Raushawn McKinzie*, John Gallagher**; Sam Archer*, Daniel Paladini, Michael Videira, Yazid Atouba**; Dominic Oduro, Colin Rolfe*
** - Draft Pick
Florida Gulf Coast University: Mateus Schuler; Luis Vega, Christian Robbs, Aaron Guillen, Fedrico Crespo; Christian Velez, Rodrigo Saravia, Santiago Echeverri, Steven Oliveri; Felipe DeSousa, Jourdan Gooden
CHI – Dominic Oduro (unassisted) 39’
CHI – Daniel Paladini (Dominic Oduro) 47’