Fire defeat Charlotte 3-1, advance to USOC quarterfinals

Mike Magee scored twice and Lovel Palmer added a goal and an assist as the Fire defeated USL side Charlotte Independence to advance to the US Open Cup Quarterfinals. The visitors put forward a good effort and kept the score line close but it wasn't enough to get by another MLS side on the road.

The Independence defeated the New England Revolution in the last round and actually took the lead in the 5th minute when Tomasz Zahorski found a pocket in the middle of the Fire's backline and beat Sean Johnson with a clean finish. The space was created wen Adailton was caught out of position and Matt Polster couldn't recover quickly enough to deny him the ball.

Magee tied it in the 37th minute with a cool finish reminiscent of his 2013 campaign after receiving a well placed ball from Lovel Palmer. The right back gave the Fire the lead in the 50th minute with a left footed blast from 30 yards that got by Charlotte 'keeper Richard Gilstrap.

The Fire got off to what Frank Yallop called a "nervous and edgy" start but the most encouraging sight of the night came in the 82nd minute. Patrick Nyarko used his first touch of the match to get by Charlotte defenders to feed Magee for another well taken opportunity. If both players can regain close to their top form, the Fire may be able to salvage something out of this season.

Frank Yallop discussed the match, the upcoming game against Houston, injuries, and the plan for additions in the transfer window as a result of impending MLS rule changes during his post game press conference.


Fire line-up

GK Johnson

D Palmer (Gehrig 81'), Polster, Adailton, Cochrane

M Shipp (Nyarko 77'), Watson, Ritter, Jones

F Magee, Igboananike (J. Johnson 71')

The Fire will host Orlando City in the quarter finals on July 21 or 22.

Catch post-game video interviews with Mike Magee, Patrick Nyarko, and Mike Jeffries at the Fire Confidential Facebook page.

Filed under: 2015 US Open Cup

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • (Positives) Mike Magee is a difference maker. When he has the ball, good things happen. He only needs one chance while everyone else need 6-7. It was good to see Nyarko back out there. Hopefully he can stay healthy for a long stretch. In a couple of weeks, when everyone is healthy, who sits between Maloney, Shipp, Accam, Magee, Nyarko, and Iggy? Most likely will be two of those guys while we will still have players like Gehrig, Adailton, and Cocis as every week starters. Also, Sean Johnson won us that match last night. Without him, we lose that match. The only reason Jon Busch goes back in goal should be if Johnson gets hurt. It's also amazing to see what can happen when we keep the ball on the ground in the 2nd half, compared to kicking the ball as far as we can in the first.

    (Negatives) There is nothing like playing with two defensive midfielders at home, against a lower division team. Ritter is not good enough to play for this team. Iggy is nowhere near DP level and he won't ever get there. He's not fast enough to be insanely quick, his finishing is comparable to MacDonald, and his touch is on the same level as Calen Carr. He is equally as bad as Anangano. Polster is playing CB like a CM. leaves too much space and gets beat. He has been our best CM this season, taking him out from there is weird. Adailton is good in the air, bad on the ground. If they weren't in the third division, we would have lost that game. They were constantly getting behind our defenders and 1v1 against Sean. And the absolute worse thing that happened last night, Frank Yallop is still our manager.

  • Thoughts:
    Oh where, oh where did Stephens go?
    Oh where, oh where, can he be?

    -Agree on Polster

    -Now we have to beat an MLS side.

    -I seriously hope the front office doesn't even DARE to sell up Kaka for tickets sales again.

    -In addition to the HauptmanOut banner,during the course of the match, the Vamos Chicago chant turned into "Get Hauptman Out." I was amused.

    -Thank goodness for Magee and Nyarko.

  • Guillermo in past seasons the Fire has chosen to play some home games away from TP, like, Peoria. Considering the sparse attendance last night, which could have been predicted, I'm wondering if you have any insight as to what factored into the decision to play in Bridgeview.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I think it's been thought about (maybe more so for the first USOC game than others) but it seems the short turnaround from the announcement of the winning hosts for subsequent rounds to the time that the game actually takes place creates some real logistics issues.
    That's just my guess though. I haven't asked that specific question.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    If I recall (and I could be wrong), USOC games have been hosted elsewhere in the past, to the dismay of supporters, causing the club to decide to hold all games hosted by the Fire at Toyota Park. Thinking that may have happened after the 2011 Peoria game?

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Why take a home game and move it three hours away? They would have to drive there, play, and then sleep in a hotel. Drive back three hours and then fly out to Houston the following day.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Yes....all of this, although I took the question as more of a general thought rather than specific to this game.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I liked the games in Peoria. Then I only had to drive 10 minutes instead of the 2 and a half hours to Toyota Park for games.

    It is also my recollection that the supporters wanted the games as true home games, and the change was made after the last time the team played in Peoria.

  • The Fire will host Orlando City in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, July 22 at 7:30.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Could we petition the league to let us reschedule either the Sunday game versus the Crew on the 19th or the home game versus the Revs on July 25th so the team isn't "knackered"? ;)

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Five games in two weeks? What could possibly go wrong?

    Don't answer that.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Ha, ha - Revs would be the obvious choice - didn't we already move a game for them?

    If it was against non-MLS competition it would be worth it to ask. Given it's against an MLS side that everyone is falling all over themselves to flatter, this would be as pointless as asking for some kind of logic in allocating DPs.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Man, I hope it's not the 7/19 Crew game as we're planning to travel out there with the supporters and already booked a room. Got burned 3 years ago for the Toronto away game when TFC rescheduled it to host Liverpool.

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