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Young Fire continues to impress
by Paul Kennedy, February 19th, 2014 8:50PM

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[MLS PRESEASON: Desert Diamond Cup] The Chicago Fire has been one of the most impressive teams in MLS preseason, winning its fifth straight game with a 2-1 victory of the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup at the Kino Sports Complex.

Desert Diamond Cup:
Game 1: Chivas USA 1 FC Tucson 1.
Game 2: Chicago Fire 2 Colorado Rapids 1.
Game 3: Real Salt Lake 0 NE Revolution 0

A change in coaches with Frank Yallop taking over for Frank Klopas has coincided with an influx of young talent that has fallen Yallop's way. It was on display again in Tucson as Grant Ward, a 19-year-old trialist from the Tottenham academy program hit a golazo for the Fire to give it a deserved lead in the first half. Quincy Amarikwa added a second with an easy tap-in into an empty net.

Harrison Shipp
, the Notre Dame star, Benji Joya, picked up from Santos in the weighted lottery, Victor Pineda, the Fire academy product recovered from a knee injury that slowed down his development, all started in midfield Ward in front of 12-year Fire vet Logan Pause.

TRIALISTS. Jose Mari, whom the Rapids hope to sign in place of Honduran Hendry Thomas, traded to FC Dallas, came on in the second half. The energetic Spaniard, who picked up 15 yellow cards in 38 games for Real Zaragoza, needed just half an hour to earn his first caution of the preseason.

In Wednesday's first game, Chivas USA, fielding its second team, hung on for a 1-1 tie with local club FC Tucson. The Cactus Pricks, the Tucson supporters, set off flares to celebrate the opening goal by Martino Rapella, but Carlos Alvarez came off the bench to salvage a draw for Chivas USA with a left-footed blast from distance. Like Chicago, Chivas USA is unbeaten on the MLS preseason with three wins and two ties.

TRIALISTS. Wilmer Cabrera used the game to give a start to Spaniard trialist Dani Fragoso, and 22-year-old Argentine Leandro Barrera's tryout continued. On Wednesday, Chivas USA announced that another Argentine, Agustin Pelletieri, had signed with the team.

The day's third game between Real Salt Lake and New England ended scoreless. RSL held out its three U.S. national team players -- Nick Rimando, Luis Gil and Kyle Beckerman. In addition, Diego Fagundez, who just returned from the MLS media events in New York, was held out by the Revs. Four other New England starters didn't play because of injuries or injury precautions: Andrew Farrell (foot), Kelyn Rowe (groin), Saer Sene (ankle), Chris Tierney (foot).

TRIALISTS. Belgian international forward Marvin Ogunjimi and Japanese midfielder Daigo Kobayashi, who spent last season with Vancouver.

Feb. 19 in Tucson, Ariz.
FC Tucson 1 Chivas USA 1. Goals: Rapella 54; Alvarez 59.
FC Tucson -- D'Arrigo, Acosta (Satticcia, 76), Campbell (Rincon 23), Smith, Kelly (Bolden, 76), Schmidt, Reyna, Montes (Gracia 46), Romero (Papa 46), Rapella (Galbrath-Knapp 80), Antoniuk (Silveira, 65)
Chivas USA -- Melia (Jackson 46), Ribeiro, Okiomah, Jean-Baptiste, Nwiloh, Fragoso (Alvarez 46), Borja, Tyrpak, de la Fuente, Calvert (Barrera, 68), Chueca.

Feb. 19 in Tucson, Ariz.
Chicago 2 Colorado 1. Goals: Ward 37, Amarikwa 40; Torres 68.
Chicago -- Reynish; Piermayr, Berry, Hurtado (Walsh 63), Jumper; Pause, Pineda, Joya, Shipp (Atouba 63); Ward, Amarikwa (Gentile 63).
Colorado -- Berner (Nasco 46); Edward (Sturgis 46), Watts (Wynne 46), Moor (Van De Casteele 46), Klute (Serna 46); Guzman (Mari 46), Galindo (Buddle 65'); Sanchez (Chavez 46), Hairston (Hill 46), Eloundou (LaBrocca 46); Brown (Torres 46)

Feb. 19 in Tucson, Ariz.
Real Salt Lake New England 0.
Real Salt Lake --
Attinella (Fernandez, 60); Beltran (Neil, 30; Balchan, 60), Borchers (Schuler, 60), Maund (Salcedo, 60), Mansally (Wingert, 60); Grossman (Dillon, 60), Velasquez (Grabavoy, 60), Mulholland (Stertzer, 60); Morales (Allen, 60); Garcia (Plata, 60), Sandoval (Saborio, 60)
New England -- Knighton; Alston (Smith, 46), Soares (Goncalves, 46), McCarthy (Barnes, 46), Woodbine (Sanchez, 46); Dorman (Herivaux, 30; Caldwell, 46), Imbongo, Neumann (Sundly, 46), Nguyen (Kobayashi, 46); Omanga (Mullins, 46), Bengtson (Ogunjimi, 46)


1 comment
  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: February 20, 2014 at 1 p.m.
    Surprise, surprise, Frank Yallop can put together a team. No high paid superstars, just a bunch of kids who come out and play energetic, well-organized soccer as a team. You would have ever guessed.


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