CARSON, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2012) – The Chicago Fire saw Orr Barouch and Kheli Dube put efforts off the woodwork as the team tasted their first defeat of the 2012 preseason as goals from Eric Alexander and Jorge Perlaza gave the Portland Timbers a 2-0 victory on a rainy Wednesday afternoon at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The Fire went down for the first time in five preseason matches when a failed clearance at the back fell to Timbers winger Franck Songo’o on the right. The Cameroonian centered a ball for the onrushing Eric Alexander who coolly finished past goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 64th minute.
Chicago nearly found the equalizer 13 minutes later when striker Orr Barouch’s cross from the left deflected off Songo’o in the box before coming off the back post, with Kheli Dube’s follow-up run coming just short before Timbers ‘keeper Joe Bendick collected.
The Fire found the bar again in the 105th minute when Supplemental Draft pick Tony Walls sent in a whipping cross from the right. Dube connected with the ball at the back post but it came off the crossbar before Corben Bone’s follow-up effort was pushed just wide of goal.
The Timbers put the match on ice in the 113th minute when Jack Jewsbury flicked a ball into the path of Songo’o before the Cameroonian squared a pass for striker Jorge Perlaza. In alone on goal, the Colombian slotted the ball past Fire substitute goalkeeper Jay Nolly to give the Cascadia side a 2-0 victory.
The Fire return to preseason action on Saturday, February 18 when they fact the San jose Earthquakes at Oxnard College in Oxnard, Calif. at 11:00 AM CT. Fans can listen to the match LIVE via Chicago-Fire.com.
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), via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.
Colombian midfielder Rafael Robayo made his Fire debut, playing 60 minutes as a substitute.
Wednesday’s match marked the first time the Fire have trailed in preseason. The team has outscored opponents 7-3 through five preseason matches.
Fire captain Logan Pause rejoined the team in Southern California Tuesday morning and will be available for selection to head coach Frank Klopas Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Chicago Fire 0 – 2 Portland Timbers
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi* (Sean Johnson 46’); Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Gonzalo Segares; Marco Pappa, Pavel Pardo ©, Patrick Nyarko; Sebastian Grazzini; Dominic Oduro, Federico Puppo
60th Minute: Sean Johnson (Jay Nolly 93’); Tony Walls**, Austin Berry (Kwame Watson-Siriboe 105’), Rodrigo Inigo*, Hunter Jumper** (Ivan Guerrero* 105’); Rafael Robayo, Daniel Paladini, Michael Videira (Pari Pantazopoulos 105’); Victor Pineda (Corben Bone 96’); Kheli Dube (Danny Barrera* 105’), Orr Barouch (Lucky Mkosana** 96’)
* - Trialist
** - MLS SuperDraft/Supplemental Draft selection
Portland Timbers: Troy Perkins; Ryan Kowulok, Hayner Mosquera, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Mike Chabala; Miguel Ibarra (Charles Renken 46’), James Marcelin, Freddie Braun, Kalif Alhassan; Brent Richards, Bright Dike
60th Minute: Joe Bendick; Steve Purdy, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace; Franck Songo’o, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Eric Alexander; Darlington Nagbe, Jorge Perlaza
POR – Eric Alexander (Franck Songo’o) 64’
POR – Jorge Perlaza (Franck Songo’o) 113’