The Chicago Fire earned a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Tuesday in a Central/Mountain Division meeting in the MLS Reserve League.
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Chicago, unbeaten thus far in Reserve League action with a 4-0-1 record, opened the scoring in the 13th minute on a well-placed strike from Orr Barouch that beat Sporting Kansas City Home Grown goalkeeper Jon Kempin.
But Sporting Kansas City (1-2-2) responded seven minutes later as central defender Daneil Cyrus, acquired on Saturday, found space on the right side of the penalty area and slipped a pass to trialist Dwayne James for the finish from close range.
The match-winner came in the 77th minute from second-half substitute Manny Guzman, as the Chicago academy player sealed the victory with a shot from outside the penalty area on the right side of the field.
Both sides battled the high temperatures to entertain the crowd gathered to see the first MLS Reserve League match played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, with each side using all of their available field players and Sporting Kansas City being forced to put in academy goalkeeper Jacole Turner at midfield when Korede Aiyegbusi exited through injury.
Sporting Kansas City and Chicago will each resume MLS Reserve League play at home to Colorado, with the Rapids visiting LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Monday, August 8th before traveling to Toyota Park on August 28th.
Sporting Kansas City: Jon Kempin; J.T. Murray**, Scott Lorenz, Daneil Cyrus (Eric DeJulio* 46), Kevin Ellis (Paul Oliver* 58); Joseph Peterson** (Derek Schrick* 46), Korede Aiyegbusi (Jacole Turner* 71), Dwayne James**, Leo Gibson**, Nate Opperman*; Soony Saad (Seo-In Kim* 46)
Chicago Fire: Jon Conway; Bratislav Ristic (Brady Wahl* 54), Dasan Robinson, Josip Mikulic, Pari Pantazopoulos; Baggio Husidic, Mike Videira (Peter Beasley* 46), Corben Bone (Manny Guzman* 66), Victor Pineda; Diego Chaves (Martin Rivas** 54), Orr Barouch
Subs not used: Alec Dufty
KC – Dwayne James (caution; Reckless Foul) 48
CHI – Dasan Robinson (caution; Reckless Foul) 68
CHI – Martin Rivas (caution; Reckless Foul) 87
CHI -- Orr Barouch (unassisted) 13
KC -- Dwayne James (Daneil Cyrus) 20
CHI – Manny Guzman (unassisted) 77
Sporting Kansas City assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin
Comments on the game..
I think that the guys put in a very good effort, particularly after giving up the first goal. We didn’t really waver and created some good opportunities, with Soony playing up front. I think he created some very good opportunities on his own.
I was impressed with (Daneil) Cyrus’ composure to not go for the goal but to let the ball go across for an easy goal. That was certainly a positive sign. I think what we can get out of this game is that the guys tried to play according to the game plan, and to try to get the guys on the same page with the trialists and the juniors so that they could play as a team today. I think that was a very good point from today. Overall, a very good day, with the exception of the result.
On the team’s tactics…
During the course of the game you always have to take the conditions into consideration. We knew it was going to be hot, so if we could possess the ball and use it as a time to rest, it would benefit us. I think as you look at all the moments that we operated within the game, I think we tried to circulate the ball on the attacking side. We played a lot of good penetrating balls that took a lot of their players out of position. Especially with Soony (Saad), he created a few golden opportunities in the first half. As the game wore on and as we got tired, some of our positions defensively weren’t as consistent and we got stretched a little bit.
Things will happen sometimes, especially with a young group, but overall it was a good performance and I’m proud of the guys. It’s something to build upon, but obviously you want to win games.
On the reserves moving forward…
I think as you look at the reserve games from game one, we’ve got different lineups. Guys have been coming in and out. We’ve had a first team lineup, where a lot of our starters were in the game. I think the Reserve League is obviously used to build and to give the younger players minutes and meaningful games, but also it’s a time for guys who aren’t getting first team action to play in these meaningful games. Because, at the end of the day, it is good competition and I think the guys have gotten a lot out of it, both physically and from a tactical standpoint.
Chicago Fire assistant coach Leo Percovich
Comments on the game…
We started well in the first minutes, and after that we relaxed and Kansas started to dominate the game. These kids (KC) did a great job, and made it very hard for us. The second half, we tried to change our attitudes. At the end we got the result. We are happy, but for me what was really good was the effort that both teams played with.
On being unbeaten in the Reserve League…
We’ve been trying to give opportunities to different players, that way we can be more dynamic and so we can work for the future of the team. I think we’re getting better. Sometimes you need to be consistent with strategy, and sometimes not. We are just looking for consistency in our performance, that’s what we’re really looking for.
On the team’s tactics today…
We started with a 4-1-3-2, but in the second half we moved to a 3-5-2. I think that really helped us get better results in the second half. After we got the results, we moved back to a 4-4-2 to finish off the game.