Fire Reserves beat FC Dallas 2-1, Franco debuts

The Fire defeated FC Dallas 2-1 in a Reserve match this morning at the Toyota Park practice field.  Both sides got a look at several academy players as well as the usual run from players not typically in the starting line up every week.  For the Fire, this match featured the debut of striker Guillermo Franco who has played in a competitively since leaving Pachuca in Junlt ale.  Franco looked decent in 61 minutes of play, finding spaces and actually hitting the outside of the post on a shot in the 40th minute.  Considering he hasn't played in a match for several months the effort was pretty positive.

"I felt good for the most part but a little bit tired and that's normal.  My family came in so we were moving, going back and forth from the airport with luggage, and picking up my kids so that can be a little bit tiring.  Otherwise I felt good," said Franco after the match.  He's hoping to be ready for selection if his visa clears in time for Saturday's match against Columbus but says that decision is up to Frank Klopas.  "If the coach decides I can be on the bench I don't have any problem with that," he continued.

Franco is impressed with mindset and effort of the club so far and wasn't too concerned with not being able to find the back of the net in his first outing.  "I like the attitude of the team a lot.  They work hard and good things happen when you work hard.  It's just important that the team wins.  Hitting the post is secondary," he said.  The veteran forward also didn't see a whole lot of MLS action before joining the Fire but he did catch enough to know that he would have his work cut out for him.  "I saw a few games.  You don't see very much MLS in Mexico but it definitely showed me what people were telling me about the league and how it can be difficult to play here.  It's a league that's growing every year and getting better and better.  I knew what I was getting in to," said Franco who is wearing #10 for the Fire.

The Fire took an early lead in the 5th minute when Hunter Jumper headed in a Victor Pineda corner kick and doubled the lead just before half time.  Dominic Oduro added the second tally dribbling around the Dallas defense after collecting a ball over the top from Corben Bone.  Scott Sealy scored late for the visitors after a quick re-start in the 71st.  Bone and Mike Videira both played very good games.

Line Up

GK Jay Nolly

D Tony Walls, Francis Otira, Grant Lillard, Hunter Jumper

M Wells Thompson (Joel Delass 71'), Mike Videira, Dominic Oduro (Ricardo Aldope 67'), Corben Bone, Victor Pineda

F Guillermo Franco (Marcus Epps 61')

Bench not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Cody Witkowski, Oscar Gonzalez

The Fire started with Franco up top as the lone forward, Bone at the center mid, Pineda on the left, and Oduro on the right.  Oduro moved up to the forward spot briefly when Franco was subbed out.  Before being substituted Franco picked up a yellow card in the 54th after a scuffle with Bruno Guarda.



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    Good to see he made the hour mark with just a week of training.I would bet if his itc arrives he will be on the bench with Dom.also interesting to see no kinney, but academy player grant lillard played 90. Next homegrown?

  • In reply to Chadwick Whitney:

    Kinney has reappeared on the injured list in the last week with another groin issue although he was in attendance and dressed for training.

    I would bet that if his paperwork clears Franco will definitely be in the 18 this weekend.

    Lillard looked good. They have a few candidates for a homegrown spot but I don't think they're looking to rush any of them into HG player designations.

  • Who are the rest of the unknowns? Otira? Delass? Aldope? Epps? Witkowski? Gonzalez?

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    Otira and DeLass were guest players/trialists and the others are academy kids.

  • Thanks for the info. Another question: In light of AEG being sold, it reminds me that when AEG owned the Fire and built the stadium, part of the idea was that it would give AEG an important concert venue for Chicago. Do you know if they still own a stake in Toyota Park or is it completely owned and managed by the City of Bridgeview? Does the Fire have any financial interest in Toyota Park other than a contract to play there for 20 years (that is the contract, right?)?

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    I believe Andell's purchase of the team removed any interest on the part of AEG. Bridegview owns the stadium and has control over concerts and events other than Fire matches. Andell is essentially a renter although I'm not sure what the terms were in years. Toyota did buy naming rights and that original deal expires in 2016.

  • NYRB lost, so the Fire have a chance to really put a claim on that #2 spot this weekend

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Everything in the East is going down to the wire. Should be fun to watch.

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