CHICAGO, Ill. (Wednesday, July 10, 2013) – The Chicago Fire fell 3-2 to Liga MX champions Club America in an international friendly Wednesday evening at Toyota Park. Daniel Paladini and Sherjill MacDonald scored for the Fire but a Luis Gabriel Rey goal and two América penalty kicks proved the difference as Las Águilas emerged victorious.
The Fire opened scoring in the 19th minute when Maicon Santos danced into the 18-yard-box and send a looping cross to Paladini on the far post. Paladini chested the ball down and with a side-volley, slammed the ball into the back of the net to give the Fire the 1-0 lead.
The visitors would equalize six minutes later when Rey pounced on a loose ball in front of the goal and poked it in to bring Las Águilas level.
América took the lead with their first penalty kick of the night in the 63rd minute when Paladini was whistled for a hand ball. Fire ‘keeper Paolo Tornaghi dove correctly to his left but Rey’s slotted the ensuing penalty kick just inside the post to give the visitors the 2-1 lead.
América pulled further ahead in the 83rd minute when Michael Videira took down Antonio Lopez in the box. Lopez stepped up and sent his penalty to Tornaghi’s left to give his side the two goal advantage.
The Men in Red would pull one back in 91st minute when Quincy Amarikwa slipped the ball in through the América defense for Sherjill MacDonald. The Dutchman raced towards goal and curved his shot past América ‘keeper Carlos Lopez as the game ended 3-2.
The Fire return to MLS action when they take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Sunday, July 14 at 6:00 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9). The Men in Red return home to welcome D.C. United to Toyota Park on Saturday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9). Tickets for the match are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
On the game tonight
“Great atmosphere, exciting game. It was a fantastic game for the fans. It was a great effort by both teams. Entertaining match to watch so I think it was a great night for soccer.”
On the line-up mix
“We had a stretch of a lot of games and for a lot of guys, it’s been tough for their recovery. We are going to have a tough stretch coming up of a lot of games and certain guys, with the data that we had were not fully recovered and there was risk of maybe injuring them if we pushed them. But it’s all about the team. You build a squad throughout the season and you’re going to rely on different guys and I think the guys that stepped in had a very good performance and it shows that they are ready at any moment to step in and help the team.”
On Paolo Tornaghi’s performance
“You need games [to get into rhythm]. The two goals came from PKs so it’s very difficult for him to do anything about that. It would be nice if we could get some calls like that at home too but it is what it is. But I thought through the night that rhythm, the games that you need in that position, are important and I think it was important for him tonight. I think he played with more confidence and it was good to see.”
On the Club America crowd
“They are fantastic, it’s fantastic. America is obviously very historic. One of the biggest teams in Mexico. They won the championship, it’s been a while, eight years. I’ve been there many times to visit and seen the Clasico and America-Chivas so I know the kind of atmosphere that’s there but also I know that there’s a lot of America fans here in Chicago, but also soccer fans. We see them not only in tonight’s match, we see them coming out and supporting the Fire, and that’s great. The atmosphere is fantastic. It would be great to get more like that every match for us also.”
On Maicon Santos playing forward
“I just think the team performed well as a group, as a whole. I think Maicon and Quincy [Amarikwa] and [Sherjill] MacDonald that came in, I was happy about the performance of the group. They put a lot into the game, they played against a very good team, and I just thought we came with a lot of energy. We pressed the game, we had chances, and it was an exciting game so I am excited for the group itself.”
On Sherjill MacDonald scoring his first goal
“I was happy for him. I think everyone on the team was. He’s worked hard and I think it’s good sometimes to get rewarded like that. Quincy Amarikwa played a terrific through ball and you see the pace. It’s good for his confidence. He’s been working hard and it’s good to see him score. But a lot of times it’s not just the goals. You see guys that sometimes have difficulty scoring or things don’t go their way, I think you have to find other ways to help the team. He’s been positive; he’s been working hard and helping the team in other ways. But obviously it’s a great feeling for him to get the goal. I know for myself and every one of the players they feel good for him.”
Shaun Francis, Chicago Fire defender
On his first appearance with the Fire:
“It felt great to be out there. It was a magnificent atmosphere. I felt good coming and helping the team even though we didn’t come out victorious, it was still a good feeling to play and be a part of this franchise.
Daniel Paladini, Chicago Fire midfielder
On his goal:
“I just saw Maicon [Santos] with the ball and it was on his left foot, and we know he usually likes to shoot, but I had a feeling he was going to clip it over and he did and it turned out to be a good pass and play.”
Sherjill MacDonald, Chicago Fire forward
On scoring his first goal of the season:
“It took a long time, so I’m not really, really excited anymore but it’s always nice to score a goal. It just felt normal. This was a friendly game so I’d be happier if it was an official game.”
Chicago Fire 2 – 3 Club America
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi; Wells Thompson (Brendan King 86’), Michael Videira, Hunter Jumper, Gonzalo Segares © (Shaun Francis 46’); Dilly Duka (Victor Pineda 46’), Alex (Corben Bone 46’), Daniel Paladini, Joel Lindpere (Yazid Atouba 63’); Quincy Amarikwa, Maicon Santos (Sherjill MacDonald 63’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Bakary Soumare, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Patrick Nyarko, Brendan King, Jeff Larentowicz, Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe
Club America: Carlos Lopez; Aquivaldo Mosquera © (Jonathan Sanchez 46’), Erik Pimentel, Paul Aguilar (Diego Camarena 46’); Gil Cordero (Luis Mendoza 68’), Osvaldo Martinez (Buron Gil 46’), Rubens Sambueza (Christian Bermudez 46’), Jesus Leal (Omar Vazquez 58’), Carlos Gutierrez (Jose Luis Hernandez 52’); Narciso Mina (Antonio Lopez 58’), Luis Gabriel Rey (Rodrigo Gonzalez 46’)
Substitutes not used: Hugo Gonzalez
CHI – Daniel Paladini (Maicon Santos) 19’
CA – Luis Gabriel Rey (unassisted) 25’
CA – Christian Bermudez (penalty kick) 63’
CA – Antonio Lopez (penalty kick) 83’
CHI – Sherjill MacDonald (Quincy Amarikwa) 91+’
CHI – Daniel Paladini (caution) 24’
CA – Erik Pimentel (caution) 31’
CA – Paul Aguilar (caution) 34’
CA – Paul Aguilar (caution) 34’
CA – Jesus Leal (caution) 41’
CHI – Shaun Francis (caution) 51’
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistants: Fabio Tovar, Jonathan Johnson
Fourth Official: Keith Angel
Fourth Official: Keith Angel