Fire captures U-15/16 championship

[DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY] The Chicago Fire became the first MLS team to win a Development Academy championship when it captured the U-15/16, defeating last year’s runners up, Cal Odyssey, 5-3, in a shootout after their game ended, 1-1.

Luis Medina opened the scoring for the Fire in the 20th minute, but Gregory Antongnoli pulled it even in the 56th. In the shootout, all five Fire players made their shots while goalkeeper Sam Euler stopped the second shot he faced to put Chicago ahead.

“It feels great,” said Fire head coach Larry Sunderland. “It’s a great experience for the kids. I’m really happy for them and I’m happy for the Fire organization and the ownership, who have put so much time into this.”

The Fire entered the title game for the first time after appearing in the inaugural Finals Week in 2008.

Odyssey returned five players from last year’s final.

THIRD-PLACE. Baltimore Bays Chelsea took third place with a 3-1 victory against De Anza Force. After conceding a goal in the 2nd minute from Brendan Ruiz, Baltimore bounced back to tie the match just before halftime when Matthew Shinsky converted a corner kick in the 40th minute. The Maryland club then scored two goals in quick succession in the second half to put the game out of reach, despite having gone down to 10 men in the 42nd minute.

FIFTH-PLACE. Cleveland club Internationals defeated Chicago Sockers FC with a goal by Yianni Sarris in the 49th minute. The win leaves the Internationals at 2-1-1 at Finals Week, while Sockers FC drops to 1-2-1.

SEVENTH-PLACE. CASL Chelsea FC Academy beat  D.C. United, 2-1. CASL used a double from Fernando Castellanos with both goals set up by Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler to close out their Finals Week on a high note. D.C. equalized the match through Ahmed Ismail in the second half before Castellanos headed home the winner in the 71st minute.

Final
July 16 in Carson, Calif.
Chicago Fire 1 Cal Odyssey 1 (Chicago Fire wins 5-3 on penalties).
CHI-L.Medina (Pineda) 20th minute
CAL-Antongnoli II (Bijev)  56
Cal Odyssey -- Dishno, Gutierrez, Alvarez, Posada, Watson; Flores, Rodarte, Medina, Biswell (Rueda, 109); Bijev, Antongnoli II
Chicago Fire -- Euler; Albert, Torres (Cuautle, 108), Beasley, Caban; Barajas, Pineda, L.Medina, Connor; J.Medina (Borge, 67, Egly, 108), Rios

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