Fire drop USF 3-0 in preseason opener

There wasn’t much trouble dispatching the University of South Florida in Veljko Paunovic’s Chicago coaching debut. The Fire controlled the play from start to finish and comfortably defeated their first opponent of the preseason by a 3-0 score. Trialist Arturo Alvarez made a case for a permanent spot on the roster with the opening goal and solid overall play. Alvarez scored in the 28th off of his own rebound after a feed from Gilberto following a free kick. David Accam, who tormented USF for a good portion of the first half, tallied just five minutes later.

The final goal came in the 53rd minute when Collin Fernandez played a ball over the top of the defense leading Vincent Mitchell in for the finish.

A few players got chances to show something at different positions. Joey Calistri had a decent run at right back. Mauricio Pineda started at center back.

The match slowed later in the second half as rain hampered the action. Regardless, Paunovic is off to a good start but an MLS test is up next. The Fire face the Philadelphia Union on Thursday at 3 pm in Tampa.

Line Up

First half: Lampson; Calistri, Keller, Pineda, Harrington; Cocis, Stephens, Alvarez, Accam, Shipp; Gilberto

Second half: McLain; Maher, Doody, Campbell, Keller; Mitchell, Conner, LaBrocca, Morrell, Fernandez; Igboananike

Filed under: 2016 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • I hope that wasn't indicative of the style of play out of the back that we'll see this year. So timid by the RB in the first half especially playing back when not pressured. All the passing sideways by the defense and not attacking against a college team was maddening. I saw Pauno hop up and yell at someone after one of these, and I'm sure some of these guys will not make the final roster, but hope to see a more rapid attack this year. Also disappointed to see pros knocked off the ball by college kids. The Fire need to get stronger and more physical to compete in this league.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    RB in first half is a naturally forward playing way out of position.

    He'll be on the roster, but dont expect him at fullback...

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    In reply to Bumsteer:

    Dude... it's the first match of the preseason... Not to mention that a good chunk of the roster is new this year. Give it some time.

  • So Meira must still be waiting for his visa, right?

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Meira expected in camp this week.

  • I liked the midfield play. I also like the gilberto plays. He is a playmaking striker. He sees runs the mids should be making. Over time, I think he and Accam will be a potent combo. It will be great to have another attacking wing on the right. Calistri at right back was interesting. Given his lack of experience at that spot I liked enough to want to see more and to see if he can withstand pressure from a pro level attack. Good over all start.

  • I thought Collin Fernandez played pretty well. He's a little more attack-minded than Shipp in my opinion. He's got a great upside and I hope he finds minutes somewhere in the midfield this season. Calistri also impressed me. Although I don't think he'll be playing much right back, I think he's a good option to have on the right side of the midfield. Heck, I'd even rather have calistri higher up on the depth chart than igbo up top.

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