Collin Fernandez DL

ACADEMY: Fire U-18s open Winter Showcase with 4-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC Wednesday

The Chicago Fire U-18 Academy side opened up the 2013 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase with an emphatic 4-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday morning in Bradenton, Fla.

The Fire struck first blood 25 minutes in as Alex Underwood collected a ball on the right side and placed a low driven cross into the box that found Brad Dunwell who finished first time to give the Fire a 1-0 halftime lead.

Vancouver would draw level in the 60th minute when a cross from the right deflected and fell at the feet of a Whitecaps attacker who buried his effort from the top of the 18.

The Fire regained the advantage in the 65th minute when a whipped ball from the left side deflected multiple times before Collin Fernandez finished from inside the six to make things 2-1.

Moments later the Fire extended their lead when Qudus Lawal broke down the left, beat his defender 1v1 and centered for Jeff Farina who finished one-time to make it 3-1 in the 70th minute.

Just after the goal, Whitecaps FC were awarded a penalty kick but Fire goalkeeper Adrian Remeniuk kept the two-goal advantage in place as he dove to his right to make the crucial stop.

The Fire killed the game off with about 10 minutes left as right back James Myall made a spirited run up the right before finding Farina who once again finished one-time for his second goal of the match.

With the win, the Fire U-18s move to 8-1-4 on the 2013/14 Academy Season and will play their second game of the Academy Showcase Thursday vs. Players Development Academy (NJ) at 9:00am CT. Fans can follow the match LIVE on Twitter @ChiFireAcademy.

Meanwhile, the Fire U-16s will open the Showcase on Thursday as they also face Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 2:30pm CT. Live updates of that match can also be found @ChiFireAcademy on Twitter.