Fire Alumni Abroad

<!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} -->

With most Chicago Fire alumni abroad either finishing their seasons or in a short winter break, I only have three players to feature today…

In France, U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra went 90 minutes and scored his first goal since joining Saint Etienne over the summer as les Verts drew 2-2 at home against Girondins de Bordeaux.

Saint Etienne fell behind in the 30th minute when Brazilian winger Wendel’s cross from the left was flicked on by striker Anthony Modeste. The ball fell to the feet of Bocanegra’s mark by Fahid Ben Khalfallah who one-timed his effort past les Verts keeper Jeremie Janot.

Saint Etienne came out in the second half with a number of chance but couldn’t equalize until French winger Albin Ebondo took advantage of a miscue between two Bordeaux defenders and walked in alone on goal, finishing past Cedric Carasso in the 67th minute.  

Bocanegra, who dangerous on numerous set pieces during the match finally tallied to put Saint Etienne ahead in the 71st minute. The U.S. skipper headed home French striker Dimitri Payet’s cross free kick from the left, putting his effort between Carasso’s legs to give Saint Etienne the 2-1 lead with 19 minutes to play.

It looked like the home side would take their first league win since a 1-0 victory over Olympique Lyon on  September 25 but Brazilian winger Fernando rose over les Verts Loic Perrin to head home a cross from Czech defender Jaroslav Plasil in the 89th minute.

The match extends Saint Etienne’s league winless streak to nine games and leaves them sitting 11th in the league with a 5-4-7 record. The result is the club’s fourth straight league draw.

Bocanegra and Saint Etienne will hope to keep pace in Ligue 1 when they visit 17th place Monaco on Sunday.

A division down from Bocanegra and Saint Etienne in France, Malian international Bakary Soumare went 90 minutes in U.S. Boulogne’s 2-0 home win over Ligue 2 bottom feeders Genoble on Friday.

Jeremy Blayac put the hosts ahead 1-0 in the 13th minute before Gregory Thil converted a 63rd minute penalty to give Boulogne its fourth win of the season.

Currently 4-2-10 (22 points), Boulogne sit exactly at mid-table in the 20-team French second division. S

Soumare’s club could jump as high as sixth if they defeat second-to-last place Metz in a matchup on Tuesday. The club will open up the Coupe de France when they host fifth division side Roye on Saturday.

U.S. winger DaMarcus Beasley was in the 18 but did not play for Hannover 96 in their 2-1 win at Borussia Monchengladbach.

The victory was Hannover’s fourth straight and leaves them fourth with 28 points (9-5-1) in the German Bundesliga.

Beasley will hope to return to the lineup as Hannover visit Stuttgart on Friday.

Jeff Crandall is the Team Writer for the Chicago Fire. Follow him on Twitter @JefeCrandall.