Fire beat TFC 4-1, finish preseason undefeated at 6-0

The past few preseasons have provided false hope by way of positive exhibition results coming into league play, but this 6-0-0 run from the Fire has a slightly different feel to it. This version of the Fire concluded training camp with its most impressive result so far, a 4-1 defeat of defending Eastern Conference champion Toronto FC.

Veljko Paunovic has stuck to his first team for most of preseason and this match featured what in all likelihood will be his opening day eleven against most of Toronto FC's starters. The result was certainly encouraging for a club that can't afford another dismal start to a new campaign.

Juninho struck early for Chicago, unleashing a blast from 30 yards out in the 10th minute after TFC had seen a lot of the ball to begin the match. After Toronto goalkeeper Clint Irwin ran over Michael de Leeuw in the box in the 16th minute, Nemanja Nikolic buried a penalty kick to give the Fire a 2-0 lead.

The Fire didn't create many chances in the first half but they capitalized on the looks did they get. That continued in the 39th when David Accam and Nikolic worked a give-and-go following a counter. Accam got the ball back from Nikolic and found de Leeuw at the far post for a tap in. The Dutch attacker finished a very good preseason in the 75th, picking of an errant TFC pass to beat Irwin for a 4-0 Fire advantage.

Toronto scored a goal late on spot kick of their own in the 89th. Other than right back, goalkeeper might be the Fire's biggest question mark. Jorge Bava tripped Tsubasa Endoh in the area and Tossaint Ricketts got the consolation score for TFC.

Results in preseason mean nothing but the signs during this go-round are encouraging. The Fire have shown that they have the personnel to bury chances when presented with them so far. If that continues, they'll at the least be entertaining to watch.

The real test begins next Saturday in Columbus.

Fire Line-up

Bava; Harrington (Barson 62'), Kappelhof, Meira (Campbell 75'), Vincent; Juninho, McCarty; Alvarez (Goossens 62'), de Leeuw (Arshakyan 75'), Accam (Soilgnac 62'); Nikolic (Mihailovic 75')

Filed under: 2017 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Did Campbell say some really rude things about Serbia or something? I just don't understand how he is behind Meira and Harrington (assuming Kap would move out wide) in the depth chart.

  • In reply to Shinny:

    Meira has apparently had a very good camp.

  • In reply to Shinny:

    Doesent Campbell speak Spanish also which might help Bava? Veljko has a really hard decision to make on which one to start. My guess is that Campbell will become a sub that comes off to bench as fresh legs

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    You don't bring on a CB for fresh legs. This seems like we are in the "win now" mode, which is understandable seeing how terrible we have been. But, I would hate to see us stop playing the youth, like Campbell and Polster because we have signed more veteran players. I'm staying optimistic because it has been a pretty decent season, but if things start to flatten out and our younger guys aren't getting minutes, it will be extremely annoying.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I'm staying pessimistic because, correct me if I'm wrong, the Fire went undefeated in the previous 2 preseasons and look where they ended up after the regular season.

  • Campbell, behind Harrington? Geez, that's why I've almost given up on this team. How that "player" is still on this team after his "ball watchin' prowess" at the end of the season and constant brain farting is well beyond me. I understand the soccer economics and all but I'm going to need more than that to justify his continued existence on this team. He showed some of that prowess already in two prior games. Someone please help me understand! I'm trying to walk off the ledge and give Pauno a chance.

  • In reply to FireRog:

    its probably more that Meira is beating out Campbell rather then Harrington beating out Campbell and they just don't have another right back to use instead of Harrington while not wanting to keep playing Kappelhof there. Maybe they feel that Kappelhof is strong enough to cover Harrington's gaffes and it is better to have Meira and Kappelhof together in the center then to put Kappelhof on the right.

    Personally I like Campbell next to Kappelhoff better then Meira next to Kappelhof, but I will concede that Meira looked better at the end of the season then he did at the beginning of the season. So maybe he has truly earned a starting spot. Next week will start to give a clearer picture. As for Harrington, I still believe that he belongs no where near Toyota Park in a Fire Jersey, but since they didn't get any quality right back to replace him... I guess we are stuck for the time being.

  • This is sad to write, Harrington is our best option to get forward and cross the ball. This skill must be important to Pauno. Having Kap and Dax on the same side with Harrington is going to hide alot of his flaws.

  • In reply to go fire:

    Yes, Harrington's service is excellent, but those Zidane imitations in his own end with multiple opponents in his face have to stop. He thinks he can out manuever every body and usually loses the ball. Besides that he plays no defense at all and just watches his man. I've never seen him take a ball away.

  • If the choice is between Meira and Campbell assuming they are committed to Kap playing CB, I think each player has pluses and minuses. I think that Campbell has growth potential that Meira does not. I hope that the decision to start Meira is truly a performance based decision and not some unexplained mind game that they played last year with SJ. If Campbell is the better player and he is buying into the tactics developed by the staff, then he should start. If he did something or said something that offended the coaching staff and he is in the dog house, then that is just dumb. Have the conversation, clear the air, and go forward. I can live with a determination by the coaching staff that Meira is performing better and is working harder so he earned the starting nod. I might not agree, but I can live and understand that decision. I cannot live with a repeat of an SJ situation repeating itself.

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    Anyone know what's up with the lack of Colin Fernandez action the last couple of games?

  • Fire signed Brandt Bronico and Matej Dekovic. Dekovic is an international. Doesn't that put them over the limit? Did they trade for another international slot?

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