Fire defeat Crew, advance to USOC Quarterfinals

A first half brace from David Accam was enough to propel Chicago past Columbus 2-1 and move the Fire into the US Open Cup Quarterfinals on July 20. Accam found space in the 7th minute and placed a perfect shot into the net from just outside of the penalty area after taking a pass from John Goossens. Despite Columbus controlling much of the possession, they didn't pose much of a threat offensively and Accam made them pay for the lack of efficiency in their final third by tapping in a well placed cross from Rodrigo Ramos in the 29th.

Gregg Berhalter inserted Will Trapp and Ethan Finlay to start the second half and Columbus continued to dominate possession but the Fire held on, even after a 79th minute penalty was called against Johan Kappelhof for a handball in the box. Veljko Paunovic switched to a 4-5-1 formation in the 69th, partly to rest Accam for a Friday night match against San Jose and partly to take a more defensive posture with a two-goal lead.

The Fire held on for a 2-1 victory and a ticket to host a Quarterfinal match against Wednesday night's Orlando City/Fort Lauderdale contest.

Chicago is now 6-0 against Columbus in US Open Cup play and keeps hope alive for something to be gained out of this season.

Michael de Leeuw will be available for the next US Open Cup match.

Filed under: 2016 US Open Cup

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Labrocca actually surprised in how he played today. I thought he would have been in trouble in that position. He also looked like a leader along with Gehrig and thats what we have been missing since Friedrich left.

  • GR, I could not attend or watch, were there any interesting strategies deployed or other interesting changes made? Do we know the date of the quarterfinal?

  • In reply to Krasov:

    As Paul Tenorio pointed out during the broadcast, they kept LaBrocca pinched in to help the central midfield pair close down the gaps that were problematic in front of the backline in the last two games. The switch to a 4-5-1 with the lead might have led to bunkering but they held on.
    The Quarterfinal date is July 20.

  • It reassuring to know that we actually can win a game.
    I'm leaving the negative half of that comment out.

  • Gilberto and the Fire mutually agree to part ways.

    Opens up a DP spot, international roster spot, and clears budget space since he is forfeiting the remainder of his salary to get out.

    He's headed back to Brazil.

  • GR, i didnt realize NYCFC was shopping Poku. Any idea why NR wouldn't make a run at him? I have a hard time believing we wouldnt be able to give him plenty of first team minutes. Hearing he went to an NASL team without the Fire talking to him is disappointing.

  • In reply to AJties:

    There's no chance an MLS team was going to pay the inflated transfer fee that Miami FC did. It was reportedly over $ there's the answer.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Oh i had no idea they paid that much, makes more sense now, thanks

  • Why would Gilberto forfeit the remainder of his salary? Is that so a Brazilian club would not have to buy him from the Fire? Do you think he will be giving up money to leave? If that is the case, I really am curious as to what is really going on.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Yes. That keeps the Brazilian clubs from having to pay a transfer fee or buy him at his current $1.2m dollar number. He's going to make less in Brazil but word is his significant other wants to go back home.

  • G, can you, or anyone, explain how Gilberto's leaving affects the cap in terms of league portion of his salary v. the above DP threshold the club eats?
    Is there ANY way ANYONE can understand and/or explain how much cap space we might have left, given the league allocated funny money in all of this?

  • In reply to Mac97:

    It's impossible to figure out exactly how much each team has in terms of budget space and funny money because the league doesn't publish those amounts. Losing Gilberto does open up roughly a half season of a maximum salary player or approximately $228,750.00 in cap space now. The league pays that amount toward any DP or max salary player. It would appear that Fire have ample cap space available given the current salaries, player count, and collected funny money. The DP spots are key however because they had 5 max positions filled before Gilberto left. Two of those were bought down with TAM.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Rodriguez said early on that he did not expect the Fire to be active in the summer transfer window. I assume that he said it then because he anticipated that his three DPs would be here through the end of the season.

    With the departure of Gilberto, does his approach change? Do you think that he has been actively shopping for a new DP-level player these last five weeks?

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    More on that today.

  • I actually found myself enjoying watching the Fire for once. I'm not sure if it was the watered-down competition, our lineup, the black kits or even my libations, but we actually looked like a professional team. One thing's for sure: Accam is a real talent and shows a lot of heart to stay in the fight despite the misery of this surroundings...

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