CARSON, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2013) – The Chicago Fire played to a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA Tuesday in MLS preseason action at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. SuperDraft pick Yazid Atouba scored the equalizer in the 52nd minute of an extended preseason friendly that was played in periods of 45 minutes, 30 minutes and 30 minutes. It was Atouba’s second goal in two consecutive matches. The 30th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft scored in the Fire’s previous match, a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew Jan. 30.
WATCH: Postgame reaction to Chivas USA Draw
Chivas USA opened scoring in the 39th minute when U.S. International Juan Agudelo led the Chivas USA counterattack. Agudelo played the ball into the box for Miller Bolaños. The Ecuadorian midfielder placed his shot just out of reach of Fire ‘keeper Paolo Tornaghi to give the hosts the 1-0 advantage.
Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas inserted Atouba into the lineup at halftime and the move paid immediate dividends. In the 52nd minute Chris Rolfe found Atouba on the left wing. The Cameroonian Youth International dribbled the ball into the box and chipped the ball over Chivas USA goalkeeper Tim Melia and into the goal for the equalizer.
In the 61st minute the Fire made seven changes and used the remainder of the match to evaluate draft picks and trialists. A total of 25 players participated in the club’s third preseason match.
The Fire continue to train in California for the duration of the week before a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara (6:00 p.m. CT) and 2012 MLS Supporters’ Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes (8:00 p.m. CT) at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 9. Tickets for the doubleheader are $12 for adults and $8 for youth.
The Fire will return to Chicago on Sunday and will have two days off before heading to Charleston, S.C. for the Carolina Challenge Cup on Feb. 13.
Chicago Fire Season Tickets and #cf97withdrawals Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Night against the New England Revolution on Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network), while donning the four Fire hats and four pairs of Fire gloves, 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 1 – 1 Chivas USA
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi (Alec Kann* 75’); Jalil Anibaba (Daniel Sterres* 61’), Steven Kinney (Logan Pause 45’), Austin Berry (Raushawn McKenzie* 61’), Gonzalo Segares (John Gallagher** 61’); Wells Thompson (Alex 61’, Jose Alexander Pabon* 94’), Joel Lindpere (Daniel Paladini 61’), Jeff Larentowicz (Brendan King 61’, Kevin Mercado* 88’), Corben Bone (Yazid Atouba** 45’, Trialist 4* 88’); Sherjill MacDonald (Blake Brettschneider* 61’), Chris Rolfe (Trialist 3*)
** - Draft Pick
Chivas USA – Tim Melia (Patrick McLain 46’), Mario de Luna (Steve Purdy 58’), Joaquin Velasquez (Bobby Burling 46’, Daniel Antunez 82’), Walter Vilchez (Carlos Borja 58’), Carlos Alvarez (James Riley 58’), Edgar Mejia (Oswaldo Minda 58’), Giovanni Casillas (Marvin Iraheta 58’), Marky Delgado (Jose Manuel Rivera 58’), Laurent Courtois (Josue Soto 58’, Emilio Orozco 82’), Juan Agudelo (Tristan Bowen 46’, Eric Avila 82’), Miller Bolaños (Julio Morales 58’)
CHV – Miller Bolaños (Juan Agudelo) 39’
CHI – Atouba (Rolfe) 52’
CHV – Mario De Luna (caution) 49’