CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 11, 2012) – The Chicago Fire used Daniel Paladini’s 49th minute strike to defeat Chivas USA 1-0 in MLS Preseason action Saturday afternoon at the Oxnard College Soccer Complex in Oxnard, Calif. Fire head coach Frank Klopas gave two different XI’s 45 minutes each in the match.
Playing in his first preseason game since rejoining the side from last month’s U.S. Men’s National Team camp, goalkeeper Sean Johnson was called into action in the 22nd minute when a giveaway at the back saw Chivas striker Michael Lahoud in alone on goal. The speedy forward charged ahead before firing a low blast off Johnson’s shin to keep the match scoreless.
Into the second half, the Fire found the lone goal of the game just after the break when midfielder Daniel Paladini picked up a loose ball at midfield. The Northridge, Calif., product drove towards goal before hitting a low blast that beat Chivas substitute ‘keeper Tim Melia inside the right post in the 49th minute.
The Fire return to preseason action on Wednesday, February 15 when they fact the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center at 1:00 PM CT. Fans can follow the game live viawww.twitter.com/ChiFireMatch.
The Fire host Opening Day at Toyota Park against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM CT. Chicago Fire Season Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), viaTicketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.
Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson saw his first minutes of preseason, having rejoined the team in Ventura this week following a month-long U.S. Men’s National Team training camp in which he received his second cap in a 1-0 victory vs. Panama on January 25.
Fire captain Logan Pause remains in Chicago with his wife after the birth of the couple’s daughter. Set to attend the Comcast SportsNet Awards on Monday, February 13, Pause will rejoin the team the following day in Ventura, Calif.
Defender Gonzalo Segares (injury precaution) and newly arrived midfielder Rafael Robayo were held out of Saturday’s match. Having just joined the team this week after completing the visa process in Colombia, Robayo is expected to be available for selection in next Wednesday’s match vs. the Portland Timbers.
Chicago Fire 1 – 0 C.D. Chivas USA
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Ivan Guerrero*; Marco Pappa, Pavel Pardo ©, Patrick Nyarko; Sebastian Grazzini; Federico Puppo, Dominic Oduro
Second Half: Jay Nolly; Tony Walls**, Austin Berry, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Hunter Jumper**; Victor Pineda, Daniel Paladini, Michael Videira; Corben Bone; Kheli Dube, Orr Barouch
* - Trialist
** - MLS SuperDraft/Supplemental Draft selection
C.D. Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy (Tim Melia 46’); James Riley (RJ Allen 60’), John Valencia (Rauwshan McKenzie 60’), Heath Pearce (David Lopes 60’), Ante Jazic (Jorge Villafana 46’); Oswaldo Minda (Blair Gavin 60’), Alejandro Moreno (Markie Delgado 60’), Nick LaBrocca (Peter Vagenas 46’); Mike Lahoud (Casey Townsend 60’), Cesar Romero (Chris Cortez 60’), Laurent Courtois (Ryan Smith 46’)
CHI – Daniel Paladini (unassisted) 49’
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Luis Gutierrez, Bernhard Hosu