It was a dry day in Chicago for once but it was raining goals at Toyota Park in yesterday's Reserves League game. The previously undefeated FC Dallas Reserves fell 5-0. Orr Barouch got a pair of goals while Cristian Nazarit pulled down a hat trick. The Chicago Fire Reserves took first place in the Central/Mountain Division with the convincing victory. How this game was like the game against the Rochester Rhinos, who surprisingly didn't play, and what Balkan population group is a big part of St. Louis after the break.
The full starting lineup yesterday was Jon Conway; Bratislav Ristic, Dasan Robinson, Josip Mikulic, Pari Pantazopoulos; Gabriel Ferrari, Daniel Paladini, Michael Videira, Corben Bone; Cristian Nazarit, Orr Barouch. If that looks familiar it's because last Tuesday's lineup against the Rochester Rhinos was identical sans Sean Johnson in for Conway and Diego Chaves was in place of Orr Barouch. The five goals equaled the total amount of goals the Fire scored across all competitions in June. Reserves League games don't count for much but it is encouraging to think about the fact that Marco Pappa, Diego Chaves, Dominic Oduro, Cristian Nazarit, and Orr Barouch have all scored a goal in a professional match in the past 11 days. Chicago needs all of them to be at the top of their confidence with 47% of the season remaining and a playoff picture to get into.
The Gabriel Ferrari at right wing experiment continued to get a look but he was subbed out at halftime. Corben Bone played on the wing for the second time in four Reserves League games meanwhile Michael Videira started in central midfield. Perhaps the coaching staff wanted to give Videira one last look at CM because as I wrote last week he is on the edge of losing his spot in the gameday 18, but I'd rather Bone got the time there. It looks like Baggio Husidic as starter in the senior games will continue.
Trialists, Academy Players & Other Bench Players
Lyle Martin and Dado Hamzagic were two newly announced trialists that popped up. Martin played at RB and has recently been playing in China. His presence doesn't bode well for Steven Kinney who is overdue on his return to health. The team could use some depth at the defensive wing so I could see Martin filling that role. Hamzagic is a great example of St. Louis' Bosnian population having attended high school in suburban St. Louis and he went to St. Louis University for college. He was drafted by the New England Revolution in 2009 but opted to go to play for FK Sarajevo instead. His presence should be greeted with enthusiasm because the team has been scouting this region very well recently. I'd be surprised if he was a star but I don't think they would waste their time on another midfielder either.
Martin Rivas continues to be on trial with the Fire and made a substitution in the 73rd minute. Academy players Brady Wahl and Peter Beasley both made their own substitutions in the 79th and 82nd minutes respectively. Curiously Victor Pineda did not make it into the game at all. Wahl and Beasley have more appearances in the Reserves League games than Pineda for what it's worth. Yesterday's game represented the first time that the Fire used a full 18 for a Reserves League match. Previously they had only used 16 or 17 players. Overall that's not a big deal because the primary object of these games is to develop players. Winning any game is great for a team that hasn't tasted much victory this year but I'd happily trade losing every Reserves League game if it meant the players improved in the senior team games. I will take first place though. Keep up the great work Chicago Fire Reserves.
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