February 10, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Chicago Fire defeated the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday in MLS preseason action at UC Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif. Offseason acquisition Jeff Larentowicz converted a late 79th minute penalty kick to give the Fire the victory. In the first match of the doubleheader, the Chicago Fire drew 1-1 with UC Santa Barbara courtesy of a 12th minute header from Michael Videira.
Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas had his full squad available for selection to start the match and was bolstered by the additions of Dilly Duka, Arne Friedrich, Sean Johnson and Patrick Nyarko, who all made their preseason debuts Saturday evening.
The Fire saw their best chance of the first half come in the 36th minute as midfielder Joel Lindpere laid off a ball for Nyarko before making a long run towards the box. The Ghanaian winger rewarded Lindpere's running, slipping the Estonian international behind the San Jose backline before goalkeeper Jon Busch came off his line to make a point-blank save.
As the match wound down and looked as if it would end in a scoreless draw, Corben Bone played the ball through to trialist Quincy Amarikwa, who was taken down in the box by the San Jose defense. Larentowicz converted the ensuing penalty kick in the 79th minute to give the Fire the late, 1-0 advantage.
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson, fresh off international duty with the United States, recorded four saves to preserve the shutout.
In the first match of the double header, the Fire Reserves drew 1-1 with UC Santa Barbara. In the 12th minute, Supplemental Draft pick John Gallagher's cross from the left found Michael Videira at the top of the six-yard box who headed home the first goal of the match. Less than ten minutes later, UCSB's Charlie Miller pounced on a rebound off the post in the 21st minute for the equalizer and the match ended 1-1.
The Fire return to Chicago Sunday and have two days off before heading to Charleston, S.C. for the Carolina Challenge Cup on Feb. 13.
Chicago Fire Season Tickets and #cf97withdrawals Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Night against the New England Revolution on Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network), while donning the four Fire hats and four pairs of Fire gloves, are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE, via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club's official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.