Player Development Update

Player Development Update


The Chicago Fire U-18 and U-16 Developmental Academy teams again went 4-0-0 this past weekend in U.S. Soccer Development Academy Great Lakes Division play. The U-18s defeated the Cleveland Internationals 4-1 on Saturday and the Columbus Crew Academy 3-0 on Sunday. The U-16s were also victorious in both of their games with a 5-1 win over Cleveland and a 2-0 win over the Crew Academy. All four matches were played on the Toyota Park Turf Field.  

The Fire U-18s kicked off Saturday, May 19 against Cleveland Internationals, who went ahead first with Steve Machi’s goal in the 32nd minute. After the break the Fire scored four unanswered goals, three in the span of seven minutes when Kellen Gulley scored in the 49th, Joey Calistri in the 53rd and Victor Pineda in the 56th. Joel Salmeron added a goal in the 82nd minute to give the Fire the 4-1 victory.

In the second match of the day, the Internationals again went ahead first with a goal from Dobrica Sucevic in the 21st minute before the Fire U-16s responded with five goals. Kevin Goon started off the scoring barrage with his goal in the 32nd minute, Christian Henock-Berhanu scored in the 44th, Marcus Epps added a brace in the 62nd and 71st minutes, and Erick Karkut provided a goal in the 77th minute to give the Fire a convincing 5-1 win.

The next day the Fire U-18s welcomed the Columbus Crew Academy. Pineda found the back of the net in the 21st minute and Francisco Sajuan doubled the lead with his goal in the 41st. In the second half, Luis Barajas scored in the 62nd to give the Fire the 3-0 win. Christian Lomelli and Zak Allen split time in goal to earn the shutout.

In the afternoon fixture, A.J. Jeffries scored in the 44th and 57th minutes to give the U-16s a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Crew Academy. Kyle Anthony Dal Santo started in goal to preserve the shutout.

The U-18s (16-2-1) maintain their position at the top of the Great Lakes Division standings with an 11-0-1 record. With 34 points, they currently stand ten points ahead of their nearest division rivals, Sockers FC Chicago. The U-16s (13-3-3) also remained atop the standings with a 9-1-2 record in division play. With 29 points, they are four points ahead of second place Indiana United Fire Academy.

The Chicago Fire Developmental Academy teams return to action on Saturday, June 2 when the U-18 and U-16 teams travel to take on FC Milwaukee at the FC Milwaukee Complex in Germantown, Wis. The next day the U-18 and U-16 teams will take on local rivals Sockers FC Chicago at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Ill.


The Chicago Fire PDL fell 2-1 to the Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) on Tuesday evening at the Toyota Park Practice Field in the second round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Lions scored first in the 38th minute when Eli Garner received a cross from Shane Smith and finished against Fire PDL goalkeeper Jordan Godsey (Northern Illinois). The Fire continued to press and in the waning moments of the match, Brendan King (Notre Dame) found the equalizer in the 90th minute, hitting a first-time volley to the top right corner off a Bryan Ciesulka (Marquette) corner kick. The game looked to be headed into overtime but in the waning seconds of the allotted three minutes of stoppage time, Dayton’s Daniel Holowaty pounced on the loose ball after a short corner to give the Lions a 2-1 win.

The Fire begin USL Premier Development League play on Wednesday, May 23 when they host the River City Rovers at 2:00 p.m. CT at Toyota Park.