PORTLAND, Ore. (Feb. 24, 2016) – The Chicago Fire defeated NASL side Minnesota United FC, 4-0, Wednesday evening at Providence Park in Portland as part of the preseason Simple Invitational. Led by a first-half brace from rookie Homegrown midfielder Joey Calistri, the Fire also found goals from Kingsley Bryce and Arturo Alvarez to remain unbeaten (4-0-1) in all competitions this preseason.
Calistri opened scoring in the 24th minute when Michael Harrington served in a cross from the right flank that Minnesota failed to clear. The ball popped out to Calistri, who took a quick touch and tucked his low, left-footed shot past Minnesota 'keeper Kristian Nicht and inside the far post.
The Deerfield, Ill. native notched his second of the night in the 35th minute. After his initial cross was cleared back to him, Harrington sent a square ball across the face of the goal. Brandon Vincent chased it down before it rolled out for a goal kick and found Calistri again 10 yards from goal, who again tucked his one-time, right-footed shot inside the far post for the brace.
Minnesota saw their best chance to get on the scoreboard in the 56th minute when Patrick Doody was whistled for a hand ball. Lance Laing took the ensuing free kick but blasted his left-footed shot off the crossbar.
Two minutes after entering the match, second-year midfielder Kingsley Bryce added to the Fire’s lead. Rodrigo Ramos sped up the left flank and whipped in a cross. Bryce got a head on it and popped the ball up and over Nicht for the 3-0 lead.
The Fire closed out the match in the 88th minute when Alex Morrell earned a penalty kick after he was tripped up in the box. Trialist Arturo Alvarez stepped up and calmly converted, sending his short low and to Nicht’s left.
Next up for the Fire is a matchup with defending MLS Cup champion and host Portland Timbers in the Simple Invitational finale on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. CT. The match will be available via live stream on Chicago-Fire.com.
CHI – Joey Calistri (unassisted) 24’
CHI – Joey Calistri (Brandon Vincent, Michael Harrington) 35’
CHI – Kingsley Bryce (Rodrigo Ramos) 62’
CHI – Arturo Alvarez (penalty kick) 89’
CHI – Matt Polster (caution) 42’
CHI – Patrick Doody (caution) 55’
MIN – Damian Lowe (caution) 75’
Chicago Fire: Matt Lampson^ (Patrick McLain 60’); Michael Harrington (Rodrigo Ramos 46’), Johan Kappelhof (Joao Meira 46’), Jonathan Campbell (Vincent Keller* 60’), Brandon Vincent (Patrick Doody 46’); Matt Polster © (Drew Conner 46’), Michael Stephens (Razvan Cocis 60’), Joey Calistri (Alex Morrell* 46’), Nick LaBrocca (Kingsley Bryce 60’), Collin Fernandez (Arturo Alvarez^ 60’); Kennedy Igboananike (Christian Volesky^ 60’)
*Unsigned 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick
Shots: 9; Shots On Goal: 4; Saves: 0; Fouls: 18; Corner Kicks: 2.
Minnesota United FC: Kristian Nicht; Anthony Wallace (Justin Davis 46’), Brent Kallman (Aaron Pitchkolan 46’), Chris Ritter (Danny Cruz 46’), Boyd Okwuonu; Juliano Elizeu Vicentini (Damian Lowe 46’), Tony Walls (Lance Laing 46’), Jamie Watson (Daniel Mendes 46’), Bernardo Añor (Andrei Gotsmanov 46’), Christian Ramirez (Greg Jordan 46’), Ben Speas (Ibson 46, Ismalia Jome 59’)
Shots: 8; Shots On Goal: 0; Saves: 0; Fouls: 7; Corner Kicks: 2