The Chicago Fire had chances, but fell victim to first half strikes from Steven Lenhart and Brad Ring as the San Jose Earthquakes earned a 2-0 victory over the Fire as the Men in Red closed its preseason camp in Southern California Saturday morning in Oxnard, Calif.
The Fire trailed early as San Jose left back Ramiro Corrales pushed up the flank before whipping in a swerving ball for Steven Lenhart. The target striker lunged from the six-yard box to nod the ball just inside the back post, giving the ‘Quakes a 1-0 lead in the third minute.
Dominic Oduro nearly brought things level six minutes later as winger Patrick Nyarko cut inside before slotting his countryman towards the box. The Ghanaian forward took a touch before hitting a low drive that San Jose ‘keeper Jon Busch turned around the left post for a corner kick.
The Earthquakes doubled their lead just before the half when Marvin Chavez’ sent an in-swinging corner kick from the left. The effort found a charging Brad Ring at the back post who placed his headed effort just past Nolly to give San Jose a 2-0 lead in the 38th minute.
FIRE RESERVES DOWN VENTURA COUNTY FUSION 2-1
Playing simultaneous to the Fire/Earthquakes match, the Chicago Fire reserves used a 58th minute penalty kick from Orr Barouch and a 68th minute header from Pari Pantazopoulos to earn a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Ventura County Fusion Saturday morning.
The Fire return to Chicago Saturday night before departing Wednesday, February, 22 for phase three of preseason in Charleston, S.C. While in South Carolina, the team will conclude preparations for the club’s 15th MLS season with games against DC United (February 25), Columbus Crew (February 29) and Charleston Battery (March 3), as part of the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup. All three Fire matches will be webcast 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.
- Fire captain Logan Pause saw his first preseason action since the team’s 0-0 draw against D.C. United January 29.
- The Fire were without midfielder Marco Pappa who departed camp Friday night to join the Guatemalan national team for a pair of friendlies February 22 at Paraguay and February 29 at Guyana.
- As the Fire prepare for phase three of preseason camp, the team will also lose goalkeeper Sean Johnson (U.S. U-23’s), midfielder Victor Pineda (U.S. U-20’s) and striker Orr Barouch (Israel U-21’s) to international duty for most of team’s stay in Charleston, SC. All three players, as well as Pappa are expected to be available for selection for the team’s match March 3 vs. the Charleston Battery.
Chicago Fire 0 – 2 San Jose Earthquakes
Chicago Fire: Jay Nolly (Sean Johnson 46’); Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Gonzalo Segares; Logan Pause (C), Pavel Pardo, Patrick Nyarko (Lucky Mkosana* 68’); Sebastian Grazzini; Federico Puppo (Rafael Robayo 46’), Dominic Oduro
* - MLS SuperDraft/Supplemental Draft selection
** - Trialist
San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow, Ramiro Corrales; Marvin Chavez (Sam Garza 68’), Khari Stephenson, Brad Ring (Jean-Marc Alexandre 46’), Rafael Baca, Shea Salinas; Steven Lenhart (Sercan Guvenisik 46’)
SJ – Steven Lenhart (Ramiro Corrales) 3’
SJ – Brad Ring (Marvin Chavez) 38’
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Manuel Torres
Chicago Fire 2 – 1 Ventura County Fusion
Chicago Fire Starting XI: Paolo Tornaghi**; Tony Walls*, Austin Berry, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Hunter Jumper*; Michael Videira, Daniel Paladini, Ivan Guerrero**; Corben Bone; Kheli Dube, Orr Barouch
VCF – Unidentified 18’
CHI – Orr Barouch (penalty kick) 58’
CHI – Pari Pantazopoulos (Orr Barouch) 68’