Fire defeat Houston in first match of Carolina Challenge Cup

The Fire opened up this year's Carolina Challenge Cup preseason tournament with a 3-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo. Sherjill MacDonald, Dilly Duka (ruled an own goal), and Jeff Larentowicz provided the scoring for Chicago. Frank Klopas has to be happy that the starting eleven generated several good scoring chances and finished three of them against a quality opponent. Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall kept Duka from scoring just before the half and denied Chris Rolfe in the 47th minute to keep the score close. Duka played very well in 60 minutes before giving way to rookie Yazid Atouba.

Atouba continued to show why he has likely cemented a spot on the roster. The Cameroon youth international made things happen again when he was tripped in the box by a Houston defender in the 81st minute drawing a penalty call. Maicon Santos was denied by Hall on the ensuing attempt in his first game action since returning from a groin injury.

On the negative side, the Fire allowed two set piece goals against a Houston side that has excelled in that area over the last several seasons. Gonzalo Segares also left the match in the 31st minute with an apparent injury. The veteran left back limped off the field before being replaced by Jalil Anibaba, who slotted into the right back spot while Logan Pause moved to the left side. There is no word yet on the extent of the injury.

Fire Line Up

GK Johnson

D Segares (Anibaba 31'), Berry (Videira 83'), Friedrich (Kinney 60'), Pause (Jumper 69')

M Duka (Atouba 60'), Larentowicz (Thompson 79'), Lindpere (Paladini 64'), Nyarko (Bone 60')

F Rolfe (Alex 64'), MacDonald (Santos 69')

The Fire's next match is Wednesday night against the Charleston Battery, but the reserves will take on Coastal Carolina University Sunday afternoon.

Filed under: 2013 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • It's probably a good thing that Chimbonda is in camp.

  • Segares suffered an ankle injury but it is not deemed to be serious per Jeff Crandall.

  • A goal by Houston on a free kick? Despite the National team call-ups, I still question whether SJ is the answer in goal for the Fire.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    I saw the first goal, no replay, but it didn't look to be his fault.

    Anyway, maybe someday you'll get your wish...

  • Personally, I don't give a damn what you or your neighbor makes,
    your BS remarks are completely inappropriate for this blog,
    this is about soccer, Fire soccer, not a billboard for idiots
    pushing some get rich scheme.
    If you want to talk about soccer, fine, but not his crap.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I usually delete those immediately, but that one snuck through. Spam comments are the only thing I've ever censored's gone now.

  • Troll Alert! Light the flamethrowers!

  • Latest Fire Confidential Podcast just went live, w/ a guest appearance from Orrin Schwarz, the latest from Baggio Husidic, and a preseason check-in from Daniel Paladini.

  • Kevin Stott will be the referee for the Fire's opener in Los Angeles on 3/3.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Meh? I think I would've been more afraid of a Michael Kennedy/Baldomero Toledo "dream" match-up

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    You may never get your dream match up. Kennedy is no longer an active referee. He's now the Referees Manager for PRO, the organization that oversees US refs.

    Toledo will be officiating the Houston v DC match.

    In case you're wondering, Chris Penso is handling Chivas USA v Columbus.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    So Chivas USA v Col will have around 30 mins of added time?

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