Preseason is off to a promising start with a second consecutive win and a good showing. The Fire defeated Philadelphia 4-2 on the strength of a strong second half performance and David Accam’s ability to create with pace. Accam scored twice in the first half, but the Fire put the game away by the 64th minute after goals from Nick LaBrocca and Gilberto gave them a 4-1 lead.
Trialist John Goosens showed well with a pass that sprung Accam for the second goal just before half time. He was also instrumental in the third score, after a combination with Gilberto he forced Andre Blake into a save which resulted in a rebound header for LaBrocca. Gilberto finished the scoring for Chicago after a give away by rookie defender Josh Yaro.
The team will train for one more day in Florida before heading back to Chicago and departing for the next phase of preseason in Portland.
“We’re very happy because when you’re working on concepts, and you see that the team believes, tries to play and give their best in every game, in every session, it’s very good for us,” said Veljko Paunovic after the match. “I think that playing an MLS opponent is very hopeful for us.”
Chicago: Accam (penalty kick) 14′
Philadelphia: Herbers (LeToux) 16′
Chicago: Accam (Goosens) 40′
Chicago: LaBrocca (unassisted) 60′
Philadelphia: Creavalle (Restrepo) 83′
McLain (Johnson 46′); Calistri (Vincent 46′, Doody 86′), Keller (Meira 75′), Campbell (Conner 75′), Harrington (Pineda 55′); Alvarez (Fernandez 46′, Mitchell 74′), Goosens (LaBrocca 46′, Maher 86′), Cocis (Stephens 46′), Shipp (Polster 46′), Accam (Morrell 55′, Bryce 86′): Igboananike (Gilberto 46′)
- It appears that transfer target Marcin Kaminski has opted to remain in Poland and sign a contract extension with Lech Poznan. His contract expired this summer, which led to interest from the Fire and other clubs but that pursuit has ended.
- The Fire have added Johan Kappelhof but remained in the market for another centerback, even if Kaminski decided to pass. There was also interest in Maccabi Tel Aviv defender Carlos Garcia, but that pursuit has waned as well. Garcia played with Paunovic at Almeria in Spain in 2008. The Fire now appear to be focusing their efforts on central and attacking midfield, and forward rather than another central defender.
- Arturo Alvarez has already impressed enough to earn consideration for a contract offer. That could come as early as within the next week.
- A report surfaced yesterday regarding interest in Ghanaian midfielder Enoch Kofi Adu. While no offer has been tendered, he could be one that’s being discussed as an option in central midfield.