US Open Cup matches in the early rounds are all about surviving and advancing. The Fire did just that in a 1-0 win over their former USL affiliate Saint Louis FC. Luis Solignac's "goal of the year" worthy back heel volley of Brandon Vincent's pass in the 28th minute was the difference in the game as Chicago hung on to advance to the fifth round of the competition.
Juninho almost gave Chicago a lead with a free kick attempt of the cross bar in the 14th minute. Saint Louis' Christian Volesky almost evened the match in the 68th with a post shot of his own. Matt Lampson may have rescued the night however, with an impressive diving save of headed ball in the 79th that kept the score where it was.
A second yellow card shown to Saint Louis' Dragan Stojkov in the 81st essentially ended the host's chances for a comeback.
The Fire kept Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Nikolic home with a league road game ahead of them on Saturday in New England. David Accam was also not available due to a red card from last year's USOC loss to the Revolution.
Chicago has advanced to the fifth round of the tournament and will learn who the competition will be tomorrow at 10am when US Soccer conducts the draw to determine opponents and locations for those matches. Should Chicago win the draw to host, they will play that "home" game in Peoria's Shea Stadium on June 28. The Fire have previously played USOC matches there twice in their history.
D Vincent, Campbell, Kappelhof, Conner
M Juninho, McCarty (Polster 57'), Johnson (Mihailovic 57'), de Leeuw, Alvarez
F Solignac (Dekovic 86')
Not used: Cleveland, Harrington, Bronico, Arshakyan