CLEARWATER, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2016) – David Accam tallied a first-half brace as the Chicago Fire defeated the Philadelphia Union 4-2 in a preseason friendly at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex on Thursday.
Nick LaBrocca and Gilberto accounted for the Fire’s second-half scoring. The goals were separated by four minutes, pushing Chicago’s lead to 4-1 before the Union’s 83rd-minute effort achieved the final scoreline.
The Fire took the lead 14 minutes into the match. Accam’s corner kick earned Chicago a penalty kick after a Union player was whistled for a handball in the box. The Ghanaian winger sent his shot into the upper left corner to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, the Union equalized. Sebastien Le Toux found Fabian Herbers with a cross, setting the rookie up for a close-range finish.
The Fire re-took the lead five minutes before halftime with Accam scoring again. Trialist John Goossens sprung Accam with a pass from midfield, giving the speedster room to run. Accam beat his mark, dashed into the box and clipped a shot past Union goalkeeper Andre Blake.
Accam had a chance for a hat trick midway through the second half. A Fire midfielder won the ball near the mid line and sent a pass into space behind Philadelphia’s line. Accam was first to the ball and rounded Blake on his way toward goal, but watched a Union defender clear his shot off the line.
Nick LaBrocca made it 3-1 moments later, heading a blocked shot into an open net. Accam slipped a pass to Gilberto down the left flank to open the sequence. Gilberto dribbled toward the end line and then returned a pass to Accam at the edge of the box. Accam’s shot forced Blake to make a save, but the ball popped into the air and LaBrocca was on the spot to head in his first goal of the preseason.
Gilberto capped the Fire’s scoring four minutes later after a mistake by Philadelphia. The Brazilian forward stepped in front of an errant back pass, turned and coolly finished into the far corner.
Philadelphia pulled one back in the 83rd with Walter Restrepo and Warren Creavalle linking up. Restrepo sent a cross from the right side, floating a pass to Creavalle on the doorstep.
The match was Chicago’s final friendly in Florida before breaking camp on Friday. The team will spend the weekend in Chicago before departing for Portland’s 2016 Simple Invitational on Monday, Feb. 15.
Chicago Fire 4:2 Philadelphia Union
Feb. 11, 2016 – Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex
CHI – David Accam (penalty kick) 14’
PHI – Fabian Herbers (Sebastien Le Toux) 16’
CHI – David Accam (John Goossens) 40’
CHI – Nick LaBrocca (unassisted) 60’
CHI – Gilberto (unassisted) 64’
PHI – Warren Creavalle (Walter Restrepo) 83’
Chicago Fire: Patrick McLain (Sean Johnson 46’); Joey Calistri (Brandon Vincent 46’, Patrick Doody 86’), Vincent Keller* (Joao Meira 75’), Jonathan Campbell (Drew Conner 75’), Michael Harrington (Mauricio Pineda# 55’); Arturo Alvarez^ (Collin Fernandez 46’, Vincent Mitchell* 74’), John Goossens^ (Nick LaBrocca 46’, Parker Maher 86’), Razvan Cocis © (Michael Stephens 46’), Harry Shipp (Matt Polster 46’), David Accam (Alex Morrell* 55’, Kingsley Bryce 86’); Kennedy Igboananike (Gilberto 46’)
*Unsigned 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick
# Chicago Fire Academy player
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake (Matt Jones 60’), Fabinho (Taylor Washington 60’), Ken Tribbett, Richie Marquez (Josh Yaro 60’), Keegan Rosenberry, Vincent Nogueira (Warren Creavalle 60’), Leo Fernandes (Boluwatife Akinyode 60’), Chris Pontius (Cole Missimo 60’), Tranquillo Barnetta © (Brian Caroll 60’), Sebastien Le Toux (Walter Restrepo 60’), Fabian Herbers (Eric Ayuk 60’).