Claude FR

Fall to Paris Saint-Germain 1-0

Paris Saint-Germain defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 in the opening match of the Chicago Sister Cities International Cup Wednesday night at Toyota Park. With the win, PSG advance to the final of the inaugural Sister Cities Cup, which will be played Saturday night against the winner of Wednesday’s second match between Polish club Legia Warsaw and Serbian team Red Star Belgrade. 

PSG midfielder Ludovic Giuly who, according to reports out of France, is interested in coming to MLS, assisted on the lone goal, which was headed in by midfielder Clément Chantôme in the 14th minute.    

“It was a good cross in, headed down to the ground,” said Fire goalie Sean Johnson. “I was in good position, the ball hit a little divot and I should’ve gotten a little bit of a better push forward and parried it away to be safe. At the end of the day my defense knows I’ll take the goal on me. I was in good position, I should’ve saved it, but you live and you learn.”

PSG should have doubled their lead in the 40th minute. Rookie goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who was making his first start in net for Chicago, failed to clear a back pass and PSG midfielder Christophe Jallet pounced on the ball a mere 10 yards from net. Surprisingly, Jallet chose to pass the ball, finding teammate Guillaume Hoarau at the back post for what appeared to be a tap in goal. Unfortunately for PSG, Hoarau was in an offside position, negating the would-be tally.    

“I tried to just put it out of danger and tried to put it wide and it ended up at his feet,” Johnson said.

The Fire came closest to scoring in the 86th minute. Second-half substitute Stefan Dimitrov fielded a long ball from defender Wilman Conde near the penalty spot. After a deft touch, Dimitrov found himself one-on-one with PSG keeper Apoula Édel, but the Bulgarian striker couldn’t control his shot, hitting a bouncing ball over the crossbar.

Both teams started the match featuring close to a regular lineup. The only major change for the Fire in the starting XI was Johnson, who played in place of regular goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Both teams made a significant amount of substitutions, with the Fire sending in five of a possible eight subs and PSG using four of their allotted five bench players. The players that didn’t see time for Chicago were goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, midfielder Peter Lowry and defender Deris Umanzor

Apart from the error in the 40th, Johnson performed decently. The Generation Adidas signing couldn’t have done anything about PSG’s first goal and easily handled most of PSG’s crosses. However, Johnson did struggle all night when the ball was at his feet. He’ll need to significantly improve that area of his game if he wants to become a starter in MLS. 

The Fire will take on the loser of the Red Star Belgrade-Legia Warsaw match in the third place match on Saturday night.

Scoring Summary:

PSG – Clement Chantome (Ludovic Giuly) 14’

Discipline Summary:

CHI – Krzysztof Krol (caution) 83’


Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Dasan Robinson, CJ Brown (Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 69’), Wilman Conde, Krzysztof Krol; Patrick NyarkoBaggio Husidic (Corben Bone, 79’), Logan PauseJulio Martinez(Collins John, 34’), Marco Pappa (Mike Banner, 46’); Brian McBride (c) (Stefan Dimitrov, 69’)

Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Dykstra, Deris Umanzor, Peter Lowry

Paris Saint-Germain: Apoula Édel; Marcos Ceará, Sammy Traoré, Zoumana Camara, Sylvain Armand; Claude Makélélé, Clément Chantôme, Jérémy Clément (Adam Touré, 83); Ludovic Giuly (Christophe Jallet, 29’), Guillaume Hoarau (Jean-Eudes Maurice, 62’), Stéphane Sessegnon (Mateja Kezman, 46’)

Substitutes Not Used: Grégory Coupet

Referee: Chris Penzo

Referee’s Assistants: Victor Herrera, Miguel Panduro

4th Referee: Landis Wiley

Attendance: 9,254

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for He can be reached at