They were calling it the "Chicago Clasico." The Fire Academy teams tried not to buy into that hype when all three squads visited the Chicago Magic on Sunday at College of DuPage, though, and all three teams came away with different results against their nearby rivals.
The U18 team probably wanted more than a tie, the U16s couldn't pull out a win, and the U14s simply dominated.
U18s settle for 2-2 draw
To start the day, in a showdown of two 4-0-0 teams, the Fire U18s led twice but couldn't pull out the win in a 2-2 draw.
Collin Fernandez put the Fire up 1-0 in the 12th minute off a combination with Brad Dunwell (photo right), sending a Dunwell feed into the corner of the goal for an early lead.
A Fire breakdown in the back let the Magic tie, as Aleksander Prpa finished a cross sent to the six-yard line and put away the equalizer in the 21st minute.
The Fire took a 2-1 lead into the half when Dunwell helped out again. This time, he delivered a pass to a cutting Alex Underwood, who finished well in the 31st minute
Connor McNulty finished equalized again in the 57th minute, squaring things away, this time for good.
The Fire lamented a late chance when a foul was called just outside the box, so no penalty kick was called.
Both teams are now 4-0-1 with 13 points, tops in the Mid-America Division.
U16s fall 2-1
The U16s held tight for a half but fell 2-1 to the division-leading Magic, dropping to 1-2-2.
After a scoreless first half, the Magic, who lead the Mid-America Division with 12 points (4-1-0), put away their first goal through Elijah Rice ion a one-timer after the Fire couldn't clear the ball out of danger in the 45th minute.
A product of Las Vegas, NV, Rice made it 2-0 for the Magic in the 68th minute with a good run down the wing and a finish to the far post.
The Fire's Zach Barangan made a good run from his left back position to give his team hope. He worked a give-and-go with Rogioberto Rojas and finished to make it 2-1.
Pushing for the equalizer, the Fire created a few more chances in the final seven minutes, including off corner kicks, and one try went off the post but eventually fell short.
U14s roll to big win
The Fire U14s dominated from the start, capping the Sunday action with a 6-1 win.
Adrian Ortega had the first two goals, as the Fire opened a 3-0 lead by intermission.
Nick Markanich and David Gorniak were among the other goal scorers for the Fire.
The Magic's only goal came on a late penalty kick.
Sitting on a 4-0-1 record, the U14s lead the Mid-America Division ahead of Sunday’s matches at FC Wisconsin Nationals at FC Milwaukee Soccer Complex.
U18s – 11am
U16s – 1:30pm
U14s – 3:45pm