The senior MLS Chicago Fire team may keep drawing but that doesn't mean other Chicago soccer teams aren't pulling off victories. Follow me after the break for the latest on the Chicago Fire PDL's run in the U.S. Open Cup tournament and this weekend's playoff schedule for the Chicago Fire U-16 & U-18 Academy teams.
Chicago Fire PDL
Despite having a one goal lead and a small army of Section 8 supporters taken away from them due to Tuesday night's postponement, the Chicago Fire PDL team came out unfazed against the Madison 56ers Wednesday afternoon. The rescheduled game did not benefit the amateur National Premier Soccer League side and the Fire PDL team dominated possession in the first half. It didn't result in any goals but the Wisconsinites were feeling the heat. The pressure boiled to a climax when double strikes in the 66th and 67th minutes gave the Fire PDL a 2-0 lead. The first goal was scored by midfield regular Andrew Ribeiro and was assisted by defender starter Harrison Petts. The second goal was setup by team leading goal scorer Chris Estridge and put away by forward Thierry Zahui. Zahui has typically been starting but entered the game as a substitute in the 65th minute for Brendan King. It took all of two minutes for Zahui to make his presence known and making the score 2-0.
The Chicago Fire PDL's U.S. Open Cup dream marches on thanks to the victory. Chicago Fire Country will cheer loud and from a distance as they travel to Kansas City next Tuesday, June 28th to take on Sporting KC at LiveStrong Park at 7:30 PM CST. The MLS squad will by far be the PDL team's biggest test as it's not just a higher level of quality, but Sporting Kansas City has been putting together decent results after a terrible start to the season. Last night's 0-0 draw to the Philadelphia Union means Kansas City kept pace withe Fire senior team. The basement of the Eastern Conference remains only two points away. Hopefully the PDL team can go in next Tuesday and disrupt some of their mild mojo. They might even do something the Fire senior team couldn't do; score at LiveStrong Park.
Chicago Fire U-16 & U-18
Congratulations to both Chicago Fire U-16 and U-18 squads on qualifying for the 2010-2011 Developmental Academy Playoffs. It began as a dream back in November and the opportunity has come for the youngsters to claim the respective ultimate prizes. The U-16 squad will be looking to pull off an unlikely defense of their 2009-2010 Developmental Academy Playoffs National Championship. After a season plagued by low-scoring affairs, the faucets unclogged in the last couple of regular season matches. The U-16s went 4-1-1 and outscored their opponents 16-4. Chicago Fire Country hopes that the team is coming together at just the right time in traditional Midwestern gritty style. To move on in the tournament, the U-16s will have to win their group composed of PA Classics, North Meck SC, and South Carolina United FC. The game against PA Classics is on Saturday, June 25th at 11:00 AM, they'll play North Meck SC on Sunday, June 26th at 8:00 PM, and finish up group play by battling South Carolina United FC on Tuesday, June 28th at 11:00 AM.
The U-18 team faces the same group format. They take on the California Development Academy on Friday, June 24th at 5:00 PM, Players Development Academy on Saturday June 24th at 4:00 PM, and PA Classics at 9:00 AM on Monday June, 27th. All games take place at various fields around Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX. We'll have updates as they come in. Best of luck to all sides wearing the Fire badge in upcoming tournament play.