On Saturday— as the Fire’s first team was busy preparing for a 3-1 drubbing in Columbus— Chicago’s U13 academy team secured the CONCACAF Champions League title in dramatic fashion while playing in Toluca, Mexico.
The Fire, who were the only U.S.-based team in the tournament, battled Salvadoran side CD Santa Ana for North American glory. And, well, the game did not disappoint those in attendance.
The two sides played to a scoreless draw throughout regulation and extra time, and the match required penalties to determine a victor. Chicago were unsuccessful in two of their first three spot kicks, but came roaring back to win in large part because of three penalty saves from the Fire’s young keeper.
Here’s a look at the stop that earned Chicago a 4-3 shootout victory:
And the journey to this title was not easy for the Fire’s academy team, as they played six games in just 10 days. Here’s their record throughout the tournament:
Chicago Fire 1 - 0 Fuerza Naranja (Mexico)
Chicago Fire 2 - 2 Vancouver Whitecapes FC (Canada)
Chicago Fire 0 - 1 CS Herediano (Costa Rica)
Chicago Fire 3 - 1 Police FC (Trinidad and Tobago)
Chicago Fire 2 - 0 CD Plaza Amador (Panama)
Chicago Fire 0(4) - 0(3) Santa Ana (El Salvador)
Well done and congratulations to the Fire’s U13 Academy! And who knows, maybe there’s a Homegrown player or two on that roster.