[MLS] For the second game in a row at the Carolina Challenge Cup and third preseason game in a row, Chicago lost a player to a red card and this time it proved costly as the Fire fell to D.C. United. In Wednesday's other game the host Charleston Battery beat Toronto FC, 2-1.
After falling behind to a Blake Brettschneider finish of a Santino Quaranta free kick in the 10th minute, Chicago went down to 10 men for the third straight preseason game when Diego Chaves went over the ball on a two-footed tackle eight minutes before halftime. Fred nimbly stepped over the lunge to avoid a possibly serious injury, and referee Juan Carlos Rivera pulled out the red card.
Brettschneider, taken by United in the Supplemental Draft Jan. 18, upped his preseason tally to four goals, one behind team leader Joseph Ngwenya. Quaranta’s inswinging free kick from the right flank found a gap and an unmarked Brettschneider guided a glancing header into the net.
“I just found that seam and was able to put it in the top corner,” said Brettschneider, a University of South Carolina product who played the entire game up top with Charlie Davies. “It was a great ball from Santino, and all I had to do was redirect it. It felt good to help the team out.”
United is the only team with six points from two victories in the Carolina Challenge Cup heading into the final day of play and needs only to tie Toronto Saturday to win the competition for the second straight season.
“That’s two games in a row,” said Pause. “I was on the end of the first red card in the first game. It’s unfortunate. It makes for a long game, especially when we’re down a goal, trying to push. But taking some of the positives out, situations like these, they can build character, and reveal some of the things we kind of need to hone in on over the next week and a half until we start our first game.”
Toronto fell to Charleston in the second game played Wednesday night despite taking a 1-0 lead on a Nathan Sturgis penalty kick in the 14th minute. Dane Kelly scored to tie the match late in the first half, and in the second half drew a foul that provided the Battery with a penalty kick. TFC keeper Stefan Frei blocked Mike Zaher’s attempt, but Zaher tapped the rebound over Frei to notch the winner.
March 9 in Charleston, S.C.
D.C. United 1 Chicago 0. Goal: Brettschneider 10.
D.C. United -- Onstad (Willis 46,; Burch, Brasesco, White, Barklage, Fred (Shanosky, 68), Morsink (Kitchen, 79), King, Quaranta (Najar, 79), Davies, Brettschneider.
Chicago -- Conway, Anibaba (Segares, 41), Mikulic, Gibbs, Ristic, Husidic (Videira, 69), Pause (Barouch, 86), Pappa (Bone, 73), Paul (Nyarko, 56), Puerari (Ferrari, 41), Chaves.
Red card: Chicago -- Chaves 37.
Referee: Juan Carlos Rivera.
Charleston 2, Toronto FC 1. Goals: Kelly 43, Zaher 57; Sturgis (penalty kick) 14.
Charleston -- Wiggans (Dykstra, 46), Nigel Marples, Dugoni (Wiltze, 46), Flately (Keis, 46), Zaher, Prince (Cuevas, 46), Jackson (Mulholand, 46), Taylor (Caskey, 46), Mack (Santol, 46), Kelly (Rittemeyer, 62), Coleman (Bait, 46).
Toronto FC -- Frei, Harden (Gargan, 46), Attakora (Morgan, 46), Williams, Yourassowsky, LaBrocca (Gold, 58), Cordon (Ornoch, 63), Sturgis, Peterson, Martina, Makubuya (Soolsma, 70).