CHICAGO, Ill. (Jan. 30, 2013) – The Chicago Fire fell 2-1 to the Columbus Crew at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. on the final day of preseason camp in Florida. Yazid Atouba, selected in the second round (30th overall) of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, scored his first goal in a Fire jersey in the 89th minute of the match.
WATCH: Postgame Reaction
The Crew opened scoring when midfielder Eddie Gaven was taken down in the box by Fire ‘keeper Neil Kitson. Federico Higuain converted the ensuing penalty kick to give the Crew the 1-0 advantage in the 21st minute.
At the half, both squads made wholesale changes with Frank Klopas employing an entirely different squad of eleven players for the second half.
The Crew would double their lead in the 65th minute when Ethan Finlay led the counterattack and found Sercan Guvenisik in front of the net who was able to slot the ball under Supplemental Draft pick James Belshaw for the 2-0 lead.
In the waning moments of the match, Atouba, a Cameroonian youth international, picked up a loose ball just outside of the 18-yard-box and unleashed a left-footed blast that was just out of reach of a diving Daniel Withrow to put the Fire on the board in the 89th minute as the match ended 2-1.
The Fire will return to Chicago following the match and are off Thursday and Friday before reconvening for phase two of preseason in Ventura, Calif. from Saturday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 10. While on the west coast, the team will face Chivas USA (February 5), 2012 MLS Supporters’ Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes and hold a reserve match against the University of California-Santa Barbara on February 9. Supporters can follow all the action on Twitter @ChiFireMatch.
Chicago Fire Season Tickets and #cf97withdrawals Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Day while donning the four Fire hats and four pairs of Fire gloves included in the pack, are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE, via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Columbus Crew
Chicago Fire: Neil Kitson*; Logan Pause ©, Steven Kinney, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Wells Thompson, Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere, Alex; Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald
(45’) James Belshaw**; Rich Balchan*, Jalil Anibaba, Raushaun McKenzie*, Hunter Jumper (Caleb Konstanski** 67’); Yazid Atouba**, Daniel Paladini, Michael Videira, John Gallagher**; Colin Rolfe* (Eric Robertson* 71’), Dominic Oduro
** - Draft Pick
Columbus Crew: Matt Lampson; Josh Williams, Chad Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Agustin Viana; Eddie Gaven, Kevan George, Tony Tchani, Justin Meram; Federico Higuaín, Ryan Finley
(45’) Matt Lampson (Daniel Withrow* 59’); Chad Barson, Eric Gehrig, Drew Beckie*, Kyle Hyland^; Ethan Finlay, Will Trapp, Konrad Warzycha^, Ben Speas, Sercan Guvenisik^ (Reed Matte 68’), Blake Brettschneider^
*- Unsigned Draft Pick
CLB – Federico Higuain (penalty kick) 21’
CLB – Güvenisik (Finlay) 65’
CHI – Yazid Atouba (unassisted) 89’
CHI – Neil Kitson (caution) 20’
CHI – Wells Thompson (caution) 31’
CHI – Hunter Jumper (caution) 61’
CHI – John Gallagher (caution) 72’