The livestream of the Chicago Fire’s first preseason match up of the year was a debacle thanks to the unforgiving internet connection down in Ave Maria, FL. For those of us who wore out the F5 button on our keyboards, we did manage to watch roughly 5 minutes of the game. To Twitter we then flocked to catch a live tweet on @ChiFireMatch. In the end, the Fire managed a 1-0 victory on a goal from fourth-round draftee Giuseppe Gentile in a match watched by almost no one.
The kids got just about all of the playing time in this one. We immediately saw Hunter Jumper – who was playing at left back – connect with Harrison Shipp, who then attempted to chip the goalie to no avail, all in the third minute. Outside of that and a nice link up between Brendan King and Chris Ritter down the right, there was nothing left to see as the stream pretty much died.
It was a good day for Steven Kinney as he played all 80 minutes (yes, the game was only 80 minutes long) and came out healthy. He did pick up a yellow card in the 25th minute, however. Not to be outdone in the Thug Life Preseason Thug-Off, Hunter Jumper earned a straight red card the following minute for what was deemed to be a hard foul.
Down one man, Frank Yallop decided it was time to take off Shipp and Pineda for unsigned draftees Zach Bolden and Bryan Ciesulka. Giuseppe Gentile, a waiver-draft acquisition, fired in the Fire’s lone goal in the 41st minute. He looks to be quite the intriguing prospect, and as one of six forwards on the roster on the moment, has to keep up performances like this in order to make the final team.
The remainder of the match didn’t appear to have many highlight moments. Mass substitutions at the start of the half saw Kyle Renfro take over in goal, Parker Walsh, Kellen Gulley, trial winner Freddie Braun, and first round draft pick Marco Franco come on. Off went Alec Kann, Tim Ward, Ritter and Gentile, putting the Fire back at full strength. Gulley would attempt a long curler from 35 yards out, but it would sail wide. Freddie Braun provided the final highlight, and showed why he won a trial with the club with a half volley that narrowly missed the goal. After 80 minutes the Fire held onto win 1-0. Since this game was an effort to gauge the youth and the guest players, we’ll have to wait at least six days if not longer before we see newly acquired Lovel Palmer, Patrick Ianni or Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
Fire Starting XI: Kann, Ward, Alves, Kinney, Jumper; King, Pineda, Ritter, Shipp; Dantas, Gentile
Used Subs: Bolden, Ciesulka, Renfro, Walsh, Gulley, Braun, Franco
Goals: Gentile (41')
Disciplinary: YC: Kinney (25') RC: Jumper (26')
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