Fire continue preseason roll with 4-0 win over Minnesota

It may not mean much come March 6, but this Fire team continues to look more prepared, disciplined, and competitive than they did at any point last season. Results during preseason aren’t necessarily an indication that the good times will continue once the games start to count, but a young team looking to build confidence can use any boost they can get. A 4-0 win over NASL side Minnesota United FC isn’t reason enough to believe that the roll will continue, but the win was expected and carried out showed that some of that youth can contribute.

Homegrown Player Joey Calistri scored a brace in the first half to give the Fire a 2-0 lead at half time. Calistri started preseason playing at right back and his ability to finish while in an attacking role is a good sign. Michael Harrington played an important part in both goals. His service into the box in the 24th was partially cleared away before the ball found its way to the foot of Calistri, who glanced a shot off the post and into the net. The second resulted from a good team buildup. Harrington’s pass through the front of the goal mouth found Brandon Vincent running toward the end line. The rookie left back connected with his fellow first year pro for a clean side footed finish in the 35th and a 2-0 lead.

Kingsley Bryce looped a header into the net from a Rodrigo Ramos service for the third goal in the 60th minute, Alex Morrell was tripped in the penalty area in the 88th. Arturo Alvarez buried the spot kick to finish the scoring.

“Even though it’s preseason, it’s another opportunity for us to prepare how we want to play during the season, so we always have 100 percent the same attitude and preparation from the staff and the players. I’m very happy for the guys, I’m very happy that we’re improving but there’s still a lot to do and we have to increase the level in the next game and in the training sessions that we have coming up in preparation for March 6,” said Veljko Paunovic at the conclusion of the match.

The Fire will close preseason on Saturday night against MLS Cup Champion, Portland Timbers.

Line up

GK Matt Lampson^ (Patrick McLain 60′)

DEF Michael Harrington (Rodrigo Ramos 46′), Johan Kappelhof (Joao Meira 46′), Johnathan Campbell (Vincent Keller* 60′), Brandon Vincent (Patrick Doody 46′)

MID Matt Polster (Drew Conner 46′), Michael Stephens (Razvan Cocis 60′), Joey Calistri (Alex Morrell* 46′), Nick LaBrocca (Kingsley Bryce 60′), Collin Fernandez (Arturo Alvarez^ 60′)

FWD Kennedy Igboananike (Christian Volesky^ 60′)


*unsigned draft pick

Filed under: 2016 Pre Season


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  • I thought that the team played well as a unit. Clearly, this coaching staff has the players on the same page. I agree that they may not have the talent level they aspire to have, but I think that they have the ability to compete with this coaching staff's ability to prepare them. This will be the most enjoyable Fire team to watch since Blanco left. Klopas is easy to listen to as well. He sounds like he is coaching the team.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I thought Klopas was very good on the call as well.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I really enjoyed Klopas too. Especially the shout out to the fans and section 8. There were a few extended periods of dead air that had me yelling at DK. How could you run out of things to talk about? You're sitting next to a Fire legend who oh btw used to coach the team, we have an almost entirely new roster, new coaching staff, we were playing a team that is set to join the league as an expansion team soon, and we were playing in the defending champs stadium. Ask a question, start some discussion. You're killin me Dan!

  • In reply to AJties:

    Put me in the "dead air is better than DK blather" crowd. You may regret what you wish for.

  • In reply to AJties:

    I never noticed the dead air. I felt that Klopas was a positive influence on Kelly. Kelly seemed to stay a lot more serious in the presence of Klopas and produced a more straight coverage commentary than normal. I appreciated that he didn't engage in his previous silly homer banter. He sounded a lot more professional and, considering the number of new players without names on their backs that I've not yet learned to recognize, it was very helpful to have him (usually) naming the player with the ball.

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    I was very impressed with Rodrigo Ramos. Can we expect them to sign Vincent Keller and Alex Morell?

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    Morrell had some nice moves in the second half! His best showing so far.

  • Was Goossens exclusion of yesterday's game a positive sign that he'll be signed?

  • In reply to cf97TID:

    More likely it's a sign that either they can't meet his price or they are resting him for the Portland game.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Was Volesky signed? I see no trialist mark by his name.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Not signed. I missed that during editing.

  • In reply to cf97TID:

    Could be the Fire were looking at some players who are on the cusp and see if they could offer something. If Goossens is a goner, he probably would have been cut at this point. So far he has been one of the stronger players in camp. Maybe they are looking for a cheaper edition of Goossens but who offers at least the same ability.

  • I'm going to attribute a slow game and some rust around the edges for my impression of FK. A lot of technical words were repeated a few times too many for me to handle. Over time, Frank and Dan's rapport will build and the games will get more exciting, lending to livlier commentary, but this one I had to put this on mute in the 75th minute. It was hurting.

  • The Fire have signed goalkeeper Matt Lampson to a one year deal with an option.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Well at least that position is covered.

  • Can confirm that John Goossens and the Fire have agreed to terms. May not be "signed" yet but he'll be with them this season.

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    Thanks for everything you do, you have my dream job and it's great to read the info you're able to get.

    Any word on Polster getting the armband permanently? I see him as the true leader of this team on the field and his composure on the pitch is amazing to watch. Stoked for next Sunday along with tomorrow's match as well. Toughest test yet but the confidence a victory would bring to this team would be priceless going into the season.

  • In reply to Sam Fredricks:

    Thanks Sam!

    I wouldn't expect he'll have the armband permanently this year but he is a guy who potentially could be the captain somewhere down the line. I'd expect Cocis will continue to wear it if he's starting.

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