CHARLESTON, S.C. (Feb. 16, 2019) - The Chicago Fire Soccer Club opened the 2019 Carolina Challenge Cup with a 1-1 draw against Columbus Crew SC at MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Fire opened scoring in the 16th minute of play when midfielder Aleksandar Katai turned and slipped a pass into space for midfielder Djordje Mihailovic. Quickly reacting to the pass, Mihailovic unleashed a shot from the edge of the box, beating Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen to provide the Fire with a 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, Crew SC managed to equalize when a cross into the box from defender Waylon Francis connected with forward Gyasi Zardes, who nodded the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Next up, the Fire will resume play in the Carolina Challenge Cup with a midweek contest against MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at MUSC Health Stadium. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT, the Fire's match against FC Cincinnati will be streamed live on www.charlestonbattery.com. The Fire's final match of the tournament will be played Saturday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. CT versus host Charleston Battery.
- Saturday's match marked the fourth time the Fire have competed in the Carolina Challenge Cup. The Fire won the 2013 edition of the Carolina Challenge Cup. Opponents that year include Charleston Battery, Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
- With the 1-1 draw against Crew SC, the Fire's all-time record in the Carolina Challenge Cup now stands at 2-2-0 (W-D-L).
- Midfielder Djordje Mihailovic recorded his first preseason goal for the Fire in 2019, scoring the game's opening goal in the 16th minute of play.
- Five players made their first preseason appearance for the Fire in a match against MLS competition on Saturday. Goalkeeper David Ousted, defender Marcelo and midfielder Cristian Martinez each earned a start in the match against Crew SC. Forward Fabian Herbers entered the game at the start of the second half and forward Amando Moreno made an appearance late in the second half.
- Saturday's game marked the first time the Fire has worn its 2019 adidas white secondary kits.
- The Fire today announced the 2019 jersey numbers for its new signings, including David Ousted (1), Marcelo (2), Przemyslaw Frankowski (11), Cristian Martinez (18), Amando Moreno (20), Fabian Herbers (21), Jeremiah Gutjahr (33) and Andre Reynolds II (36).
- Fire broadcast duo Dan Kelly (play-by-play) and Frank Klopas (color analyst) will be in the booth calling Wednesday's game versus FC Cincinnati.
Chicago Fire 1:1 Columbus Crew SC
Feb. 16, 2019 - MUSC Health Stadium - Charleston, S.C.
CHI - Mihailovic (1) (Katai) 16'
CLB - Zardes (1) (Francis) 26'
CLB - Trapp (Ejection) 31'
CHI - Campos (Caution) 73'
Chicago Fire: Ousted; Campos (Hasler 74'), Marcelo, Kappelhof, Edwards (Corrales 74'); McCarty ©, Schweinsteiger (Herbers 45'), Katai (Bronico 56'), Mihailovic, Martinez; Nikolic (Moreno 74')
Subs not used: Sanchez, Cleveland, Lillard, Adams, Gutjahr
Columbus Crew SC: Steffen; Afful, Mensah, Sauro (Abubakar 77'), Francis; Trapp ©, Artur, Meram (Jimenez 65'), Higuain (Clark 70'), Santos (Madalena 81'); Zardes (Williams 84')
Subs not used: Bendik, Kempin, Argudo, Sosa, Crongale, Opoku, Hansen, Keita, Maloney, Mullins, Berhalter, Morris