The Chicago Fire and the Charleston Battery showed signs of a true rivalry with a chippy first half in the last match of the Carolina Challenge Cup. Three red cards were shown and multiple yellows all within 8 minutes secondary to some suspect refereeing.
The majority of the match was played 10 v 9 with Charleston down a man, and the score finished without any goals. Most of the big Fire names (Marco Pappa, Logan Pause, Diego Chavez, Bratislav Ristic, Cory Gibbs) did not even dress for the match and had the night off as coach De Los Cobos took one last look at the remaining trialists and reserves with the preseason coming to a close.
Chicago finished 3rd in the Carolina Challenge Cup after an earlier 2-2 draw between Toronto FC and DC United. Charleston finished 2nd behind DC while Toronto finished last.
The starting lineup for the Fire included Johnson, Anibaba, Videira, Pantazopoulos, Segares, Nyarko, Paladini, Bone, Paul, Puerari, and Barouch, with Robinson, Ferrari, and Muniz seeing time in the second half.
Player ratings after the break...
4427 in attendance
Sean Johnson 7 - Tested early but good saves, makes a good decision to run out to the ball beating a free battery attacker. Later is a little casual racing out to meet a loose ball, almost a huge gaffe leading to an easy goal.
Jalil Anibaba 7 - Good strike from distance testing Andrew Dykstra, connecting well with Nyarko, great pace, getting forward, not afraid to shoot.
Mike Videira 5 - caught looking, resorts to a late tackle and earns a yellow, second yellow later in the match for arguing with the referee.
Pari Pantazopoulos 5 - Slow to react, kept a battery attacker onside almost leading to a goal... ultimately a corner.
Gonzalo Segares 8 - Multiple threatening crosses in from the flank, forwards couldn't connect.
Patrick Nyarko 8 - Lots of speed throughout the match giving the battery defenders fits, shown off the ball a couple times but overall the best looking player on the pitch for the Fire.
Daniel Paladini 7.5 - Shown yellow during a scuffle after Armstrong's red for a high elbow on Puerari. Took a good free kick from distance testing the keeper, another set piece goes off the near post, Dykstra was otherwise beaten.
Corben Bone 6 - Some good combinations on the right but lots of open space with fewer players on the pitch, subbed out at the half.
Davis Paul 7 - Good long ball forward to Puerari who should have found the net, continues to create plays from the midfield, strong candidate to make the final roster.
Gaston Puerari 6.5 - Good pace but poor touches, went down in the box after the ball got away from him when he should have found the net. Held the ball fairly well up top but failed to test the keeper and wasn't connecting well with other attackers.
Orr Barouch 5 - Quiet, subbed out at the half.
Dasan Robinson N/A - Subbed on in the second half, didn't see much of the ball.
Gaston Ferrari 6.5 - Heavy feet at times, but multiple rocket blasts from distance forcing a great save by Dykstra, off target on the second attempt, made a strong statement for a final roster spot.
Michael Muniz 6 - Used his body well, held on to the ball too long, couldn't put the ball in the box, probably doesn't make the final roster.