The Fire dropped the opening match of the Sister Cities Tournament by losing to Paris Saint-Germaine 1-0 in front of a US Open Cup sized crowd at Toyota Park. Both teams seemingly appeared to approach the match as a typical friendly with little enthusiasm and sense of urgency.
The first half was an uneventful one for the home side. The Fire failed to register a shot on goal and rarely provided concern for the PSG defense. The lone goal of the game came in the 14th minute when Ludovic Giuly danced around Krzyzstof Krol to float a cross into the box that was headed into the net by Clement Chantome. The header, however was a weak one that goalkeeper Sean Johnson could have handled. Johnson was also fortunate to escape a second PSG goal after a give away by the keeper led to an opportunity which was ruled offsides. Johnson had one decent save in the second half on a hard shot from distance.
The second half saw some improvement with minor signs of life from the Fire attack. The best chance of the match for the home side came in the 86th minute when Stefan Dimitrov chested down a long ball from Wilman Conde and almost chipped the ball over the PSG keeper. The ball sailed just over the crossbar.
The Fire started out in the 4-5-1 formation with McBride as the lone striker and Julio Martinez on the right side. Patrick Nyarko started on the left side where he is usually signifcantly less effective. Collins John was subbed into the game in the 34th minute for Martinez, which moved Nyarko to the right side where he has been dazzling most of the early season. The insertion of John changed the formation to a 4-4-2 with Pappa moving left. Neither formation provided much.
The second half began with Mike Banner replacing Pappa on the left side. The 69th minute saw Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Dimitrov replace CJ Brown and Brian McBride. Corben Bone came on for Baggio Husidic in the 79th minute. I would have liked to have seen both Watson-Siriboe and Bone earlier in the second half since it was apparent that this game wasn't much more than an organized run out. At least nobody got hurt.
The Fire will play Legia Warsaw in the third place match on Saturday. Legia was defeated by Red Star Belgrade 1-0 in the nightcap.