Harry Shipp, Chris Ritter talk Monday night's Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game

The first-ever Chipotle Homegrown game ended in a scoreless deadlock between the MLS side and Portland Timbers U-23s on Monday night at Providence Park.

The Fire sent two first-year players in Harry Shipp and Chris Ritter to be part of the squad led by MLS Director of Player Programs Alfonso Mondelo.

Ritter started the match, going 45 minutes in central midfield.

“It was a lot of fun and a great honor,” he said. “Good to get together with a group of young players and get to know the guys. It was tough at first to get a rhythm when you’ve never played with these guys but I think it was a lot of fun, coming out to Portland they did a great job of putting us up and showing us a great time.”

Having been dogged by tired legs after playing a lot of minutes over the summer, Shipp omission from the starting lineup was a surprise to some but he did enter for his Fire teammate at halftime and combined well at times with the Columbus Crew’s Wil Trapp and San Jose Earthquakes Tommy Thompson.

“I got two perspectives watching the first half and playing the second half,” Shipp told Chicago-Fire.com “Coming in it was fun to just move the ball around. We did a pretty good job in the second half just playing some soccer. Me and Wil in the middle and Tommy coming back and combining.

“For the first time ever playing together I thought we did a pretty good job of knowing where each other were going to be on the field.”

One of the older players in the Homegrown team, Shipp was also handed the captain’s armband by Mondelo in the second half.

“Anytime you’re given that and it’s not by choice it’s something you should take as an honor,” Shipp said. “He gave me that confidence to be more of a leader, I was captain in college so it kind of brought me back to that and directing these guys because I am a couple years older than them.”