Friendly Highlights from Ave Maria

The Fire played their first pre-season friendly match in Ave Maria tonight against Florida Gulf Coast University.

Highlights as relayed from @Chicago Fire and @JefeCrandall on Twitter followed by a brief analysis and info on the unnamed trialists who made appearances tonight after the break...

Chicago Fire vs. Florida Gulf Coast University

Three 30 minute periods.

Estimated attendance: 1000+.

Period 1

Fire Starting XI: Johnson; Anibaba, Mikulic, Gibbs, Segares; Nyarko, Husidic, Pause, Paladini; Puerari, Ferrari

4-4-2 with Segares pushing up on the left into a 3-5-2

1' - Early free kick opportunity from Gaston Puerari from the right... Cory Gibbs can't get on the end of it... out for a deep throw in.

4' Yellow Card to FGCU's Christian Ruadales for a hard challenge on Baggio Husidic.

8' Fire defender Cory Gibbs with a long ball over the back, Puerari just a step slow to get to it and out for a goal kick.

10' Good combo between Nyarko and Husidic on the right, Baggio's attempted back heel doesn't come off as planned and its cleared.

12' Puerari beats his man down the right and sends a low cross for Paladini who's shot from just outside the six is saved by FGCU keeper.

14' Puerari shot from just outside the 18 is deflected out for the corner kick, ensuing kick from Puerari is snagged in the air by the GK.

15' Nyarko with a beating cross from the right and Paladini's diving headed effort begs just wide left. Still 0-0 Fire dominating possession

17' Cory Gibbs is chopped down by FGCU's Andres Navas... no call from the referee....Gibbs gets up after a minute down. Game on.

22' Gonzalo Segares crosses from the left to an open Gabriel Ferrari who forces keeper Adam Glick into another save. 3 on the night already

24' Nyarko breaks through up the middle, lays off a pass for Puerari who's effort is tipped just over the goal by FGCU's Glick - 4th save.

Period 2

2nd interval Fire XI: Conway; Yoximar, Watson-Siriboe, Pantazapolous, Muniz; Ristic, Burbano, Videira, Pappa; Carr, Costa

Straight 4-4-2

35' GOAL FIRE - Pappa starts the attack on the left, switching fields to Ristic who crosses from the right finding Pappa, who finishes. 1-0.

43' Pappa feeds Carr into the box up the middle, he's tripped up but no call. A lot of intensity from the 2nd period guys so far...

47' Pappa with a cross from the left endline finds Anderson Costa, heads it down forcing another point blank save from Glick. Corner cleared

48' GOAL FIRE - Marco Pappa corner kick from the right finds Kwame Watson-Siriboe on the opposite side who heads home past Glick 2-0 Fire.

54' FGCU's Andre Navas serves in a dangerous ball which Jon Conway rises up to claim deep in the box. Still 2-0 Fire.

Period 3

3rd Fire XI: Dufty; Ustruck, Anibaba, Watson-Siriboe, Schwarz; Bento, Rivas, Bone, Barrouch; Walker, Paul

65' GOAL FGCU Andres Navas hits a low rocket from 25 out beating Alec Dufty to his right. 2-1 Fire.

69' Fire sub Shane Clarke enters the match for Martin Rivas.

71' Jocian Bento plays Corben Bone in alone on goal but Glick is equal to the low effort. 7th save of the night for the FGC GK. 2-1Fire

75' Fire trialist Shane Clarke is shown the yellow card.

76' Ustruck called for a foul in the area... Penalty for FGC

76' FGC's Scotty Harrison converts the penalty and we're level at 2-2.

77' Chicago Fire defender Eric Ustruck is shown the yellow for a separate foul

79' Fire sub Yoximar re-enters the match for Eric Ustruck

84' Fire trialist Clarke plays Jason Herrick through, shoots just wide right from the top of the 18. Still 2-2.

89' Fire corner kick from Davis Paul finds a wide open Kwame Watson-Siriboe high in the box. KWS heads just wide left. Still 2-2.

FULL TIME. Game ends 2-2 between the Chicago Fire and Florida Gulf Coast.


Sounds like domination by the starting 11 with Gibbs, Paladini, Puerari, Sega, Nyarko having strong performances and connecting well. Interesting that Ferrari started in period 1 and Pappa was held until period 2. Ferrari is the only player to start Period 1 that is not currently signed to the official roster. A sign that there may soon be one less spot to fill? Perhaps, but after the last match we were talking a lot about Amani Walker. Tonight he came on in the 3rd period and I can't tell from the Twitter reports if he even had a touch. Puerari had great chances and showed a lot of speed. Jeff Crandall believes he should have had 2 goals in Period 1.

In period 2 it was the Marco Pappa show as he put up another great performance with the opening goal (assisted perfectly by Ristic) and an assist, solidifying his bid for most talented on the squad. KWS is not known for his finishing but was able to contribute off a corner, while Carr and new name Costa each had chances. Conway kept the shutout going through period 2. There are a lot of names in Period 2 who may have contributed to the club's success even though we didn't hear their names through Twitter. I am proud of Pari for making the Period 2 squad, what a great story if he makes the final roster. Yoximar got more playing time in Period 3 suggesting either glimpses of talent or perhaps not enough touches for DLC to get a good enough look.

Period 3 was one to forget for the Fire. A quick goal on Dufty, followed by a quick pull for Rivas, a yellow for his sub Clarke, a penalty given by Ustruck who then follows up by earning a yellow of his own and is quickly subbed. Clarke may have redeemed himself somewhat with a ball through to Herrick. New name Jocian Bento had a good ball to Bone who couldn't finish. KWS continued his period 2 form getting another chance at goal from the corner. No news from defense is usually good news as it means no costly gaffes (Ustruck).

I believe I can safely say that Ustruck has severely hurt his chances of making the final roster, and it sounds like DLC did not like what he saw with Rivas. Dufty allowed both goals against the Fire but he's young and still the only GK DLC is looking at for the final spot. Otherwise it was not an altogether revealing match. We already knew we had a hero in Pappa, and the players who made the biggest impact are already signed to the roster. It is good to hear them building some chemistry and connecting passes, even though the competition may not be the greatest. At this point we can't really make many conclusions about those signed, and in my opinion none of the trialists are really putting up a strong enough bid for these final roster spots. Lets hope some of them gain a sense of urgency after this match.

Kwame Watson-Siriboe on overall performance:

I think we were OK, but we could have done a little better. We have trialists and new players and we're still trying to get better every day with each other and know each other's habits.

On his goal:

It was an amazing corner kick from Marco, and I was just able to get away from my defender and head it in.

On his preparation:

Physically I was ready -- it's more the mental aspect that I've worked on. Sometimes last year I would play well, but I also had mental lapses. Anytime you get into the pro game, overseas or MLS, you will be physically able to play, but it comes down to your mental ability for 90 minutes.

New names: Anderson Costa and Jocian Bento

Anderson Costa - 26 year old Brazilian striker from Santo Andre in Brazilian Serie C. During 2001-2004 he made 55 appearances and scored 14 goals in the Campeonato Brasileiro for Vasco da Gama. 09-10 he scored 3 goals in 24 appearances for Pro Vercelli.

Jocian Bento - 32 year old Brazilian attacking midfielder/striker from Terengganu FA in the Malaysian Super League. Peak of his career was 1990-2003 when he played for Brazilian 1st Division Fluminense. Video


HIGHLIGHTS: Chicago Fire 2 - 2 Florida Gulf Coast from Chicago Fire Soccer on Vimeo.

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