The Fire reserves defeated Houston 1-0 on a 7th minute goal from Federico Puppo. The goal came after Puppo settled an errant clearance pass to beat Tyler Deric amid claims from the Houston side that the ball was handled before the Uruguayan forward was able to score.
Gusting winds made the game an ugly one to watch with the Fire controlling a good portion of the match in the first half with the wind at their backs. The play was reversed in the second forty-five as Houston enjoyed the lion's share of the possession. Set pieces and goal kicks were adventuresome as the wind played tricks with the ball blowing it before players could strike it while on the ground and knocking down Paolo Tornaghi's attempts to get the ball into the Houston half of the field.
D Walls, Berry, Antonijevic, Jumper
M Abulaji (Conner 66'), Videira, Robayo, Bone
F Puppo (Gulley 81'), Barouch (Mkosana 56')
- Rafael Robayo played in the attacking central role with Bone on the left and trialist Sola Abulaji on the right. Mike Videira played the holding role. Robayo looked more comfortable in this role than he did playing on the right side in his last appearance.
- Guest player Stefan Antonijevic is a 6'-6" central defender from Valparaiso University who was drafted by Sporting Kansas City.
- Drew Conner is an academy player. The Fire also dressed academy player Joel Salmeron but he did not play.
- Puppo was pretty active in the first half working in tandem with Barouch and Robayo but his size and lack of true break away speed make him relatively easy to dispossess.
- Fire 2012 draft picks Jumper, Berry, and Walls all started together in the back line and played well.
New striker on the wayThe Fire are in the process of signing a new striker with a proven goal scoring record. It's unclear yet if the player will be available now or in July when the summer transfer window opens. MLS rules state that the primary registration window closes on April 15. This is the deadline for teams to "request the transfer certificate of a player under contract in another country." If the player is out of contract now he would be eligible to play for the Fire right away. Any guesses?