SANDY, Utah (May 25, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (2-7-2, 8 points) earned a hard-fought 1-1 road draw against Real Salt Lake (6-5-3, 21 points) at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah Saturday evening. A 78th minute Alvaro Saborio goal put the visitors ahead but Quincy Amarikwa’s acrobatic strike in the 84th minute earned the Men in Red a valuable road point.
Right off the bat the Fire looked dangerous as they searched for the opening goal. In the 7th minute, Fire right back Jalil Anibaba sent in a long throw-in deep in RSL’s half. The deflection fell to Chris Rolfe, whose right-footed half volley from the top of the 18-yard box went just wide left.
In the 25th minute, Dilly Duka dribbled down the right flank and unleashed a shot from distance but his left-footed effort deflected out for a Fire corner kick.
The two sides traded chances and in the 29th minute, Ned Grabavoy played the ball out wide to Joao Plata. The diminutive Ecuadorian took a touch to settle and drove in a cross back to Grabavoy but his snap header was snagged out of the air by Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson.
In the 56th minute, RSL defender Chris Wingert send in a low, driving shot from 25-yards out but Johnson was again on point and able to push it out of the danger zone.
RSL would prove dangerous in the 76th minute when Patrick Nyarko was whistled for a foul on Javier Morales just outside of the 18-yard box. Morales bending free kick curved around the three man wall and ricocheted off the crossbar.
Two minutes later the home side would notch the first goal of the night. Sebastian Velasquez played the ball out wide to Grabavoy, who drove in a cross to Alvaro Saborio at the six-yard box. The Costa Rican international made no mistake and drove his header down past Johnson for the opening goal of the match.
The Men in Red continued to press in search of the equalizer and in the 84th minute, the high pressure would pay dividends. Anibaba sent in a patented long throw into the box and found Berry. The reigning MLS Rookie of the Year flicked the ball into the path of Quincy Amarikwa, who lost his defender and with an acrobatic leap, sent his right-footed volley past RSL ‘keeper Nick Rimando for the equalizer.
The Men in Red begin the journey for its fifth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy when they travel to take on the Charlotte Eagles (USL-PRO) on Wednesday, May 29 at 6:00 p.m. CT at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. The match will be available via a live webcast on www.Chicago-Fire.com. The Fire return to MLS action when they host Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United at Toyota Park on Sunday, June 2 at 4:00 p.m. CT (UniMas/My50/La Ley 107.9 FM).
- With the draw, the Fire move to 6-3-7 all-time against Real Salt Lake and 3-2-3 in matches played in Utah.
- The Fire are the MLS team that holds the best record against Real Salt Lake in Utah. The Men in Red gave RSL their worst-ever home loss on Sept. 28, 2011 with a 3-0 Fire victory.
- This was Bakary Soumare’s first match in his second stint with the club. Soumare was acquired from the Philadelphia Union on Thursday, May 23 and lined up alongside Austin Berry in the center of the Fire backline. With the move, Jalil Anibaba shifted out to the right back position.
- Quincy Amarikwa’s goal in the 84th minute marked his first in a Fire shirt.
- Amarikwa’s goal was the 8th all-time Fire goal scored in the final 15 minutes of play against Real Salt Lake.
- Austin Berry and Jalil Anibaba recorded their second assists of the season with their helpers on Amarikwa’s goal. Berry and Anibaba assisted on Jeff Larentowicz’s game-winner April 20 against the Columbus Crew.
- Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson recorded eight saves on the night. Johnson will depart Sunday to join the U.S. Men’s National Team for their international friendly Wednesday, May 29 against Belgium at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio at 7:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2/UniMas).
- The Fire were without the services of defender Wells Thompson, who was serving a one-game suspension for the red card that he received against the Philadelphia Union May 18.
- The Fire announced earlier Saturday that the club has acquired two-time MLS Cup champion and Chicago, Ill. native Mike Magee from the Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for the right of first refusal for U.S. International Robbie Rogers. Magee will join the team in Chicago and will train with the Fire for the first time on Monday, May 27. Magee will be available to media following training which begins at 9:00 a.m. CT.
Chicago Fire 1 – 1 Real Salt Lake
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Dilly Duka (Quincy Amarikwa 74’), Logan Pause © (Sherjill MacDonald 81’), Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere; Chris Rolfe (Alex 63’), Patrick Nyarko
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Michael Videira, Corben Bone
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Luis Gil (Sebastian Velasquez 71’), Kyle Beckerman ©, Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy; Robbie Findley (Alvaro Saborio 62’), Joao Plata (Yordany Alvarez 83’)
Substitutes not used: Josh Saunders, Abdoulie Mansally, Aaron Maund, Khari Stephenson
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Ned Grabavoy, Sebastian Velasquez) 78’
CHI – Quincy Amarikwa (Austin Berry, Jalil Anibaba) 84’
CHI – Patrick Nyarko (caution) 85’
RSL – Javier Morales (caution) 90+’
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistants: Mike Rottersman, Jeremy Hanson
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar
Attendance: 18, 293