CARSON, Calif. (July 12, 2010) – The Chicago Fire U-15/16 took advantage of a goal in each half to secure victory against D.C. United U-15/16 in their second group match of the 2010 Development Academy Finals Week in Carson, Calif., at The Home Depot Center. The result for Chicago, coupled with the 1-1 draw in the 7 p.m. game between Sockers FC and DeAnza Force, meant that the Fire clinched a spot in the championship game on Friday with one group match yet to be played.
Brothers Luis and Jesus Medina scored the goals for the Fire in a strong display of cohesive passing play that proved too strong for D.C. The older Luis struck a wonderful long shot in the 20th minute to give Chicago the league and his younger brother, Jesus, scored the insurance goal right after the break in the 42nd minute.
The early exchanges of the match saw Chicago start on the front foot and controlling much of the possession although D.C. threatened from a set piece that striker Kennedy O’Shea headed over in the 7th minute.
As the match pressed on into passed the quarter hour mark, it was apparent both teams were committed to playing a fluid passing game with Chicago putting together a good combination down the left flank that the D.C. defense headed to safety.
The breakthrough for Chicago came on 20 minutes when Andrew Conner collected a throw in on the left sideline. He spotted Luis Medina in space in the middle of the field and quickly squared to the diminutive midfielder who took one touch and hit a rising strike from nearly 30 yards that gave D.C. ‘keeper Dakota Neidermeier no chance as it settled into the upper left corner.
D.C. would respond just four minutes later when Dario Redondo found space on the right to shoot from 18 yards but his effort did not trouble Robert Euler in the Chicago net who was able to hold his save without giving up a rebound.
Redondo continued to be the danger man for D.C. as the Washington club searched for an equalizer in the remainder of the first half. They labored the play the ball quickly to open up an organized Chicago defense but could not connect in the attacking third to create any clear opportunities.
The second half opened with a flurry of activity as D.C. almost found their goal after just 22 seconds of play. On their first attack from the second half kick off, Redondo was sprung free down the right flank again. He carried the ball deep, beating a defender and squared a pass into the area where midfielder Cody Albrecht could only manage to get a toe on his effort and poked his shot wide left from nine yards.
Chicago immediately responded, taking advantage of suspect D.C. defending to grab their second goal and start to stretch the game beyond the reach of United. From a Euler punt, substitute Patryk Ruta was able to flick the ball on after it was allowed to bounce inside the D.C. half. Jesus Medina ran onto the bouncing ball between two defenders and struck a one-time half volley into the net just inside the penalty area to join his older brother on the score sheet.
By the 50th minute, Chicago was beginning to assert more control over the contest and were the more dangerous side as D.C. could only muster attacks through Redondo on the right. D.C. started making a number of substitutes in the 57th minute looking for a new angle in attack but Chicago, especially with Luis Medina being a particular menace, remained in control of proceedings.
It was the midfielder himself who almost got this second in t 73rd minute when he ran underneath another long ball into the D.C. area. After the ball skipped over the last line of defense, Medina deftly lifted the ball over the onrushing Neidermeier only to see the ball bounce back off of the bar and cleared to safety.
With less than 10 minutes to play, the game shifted into a more defensive battle for Chicago as they fell deeper to defend their lead and attack only on the counter. D.C. enjoying more of the possession at this point could still not find a way through as they piled numbers forward. The Fire held strong and came out deserved 2-0 victors.
Chicago was left to await the result of the 7 p.m. game, needing a draw to clinch top spot in Group 1 and a place in the championship match on Friday, July 16. It was exactly that result which they got after Sockers FC and DeAnza Force played to a 1-1 draw sending the Fire top of the group to stay and join Cal Odyssey in the final.
Chicago closes out Group 1 play on Wednesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. on Field 2 at The Home Depot Center against DeAnza Force while D.C. looks to take second place in Group 1 and grab a spot in the third-place match when they play Sockers FC at 7 p.m. on Field 3 on Wednesday.
Development Academy Finals Week Match Report
Match: D.C. United U-15/16 vs. Chicago Fire U-15/16
Date: July 12, 2010
Competition: Development Academy Finals Week
Venue: The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
DCU 0 0 0
FIRE 1 1 2
FIRE – Luis Medina (Andrew Conner) 20th minute
FIRE – Jesus Medina (Patryk Ruta) 42
DCU: 1-Dakota Niedermeier; 19-Alfred Wilkins (28-Dallas Aminzadeh, 40), 2-Jordan Manley, 15-Jalen Robinson, 23-Julian Saldana (22-Kainoa Bailey, 51); 16-Marco Hurtado, 24-Michael Russo (32-Sebastian Cahe, 57), 21-Collin Martin (20-Ahmed Ismail, 72), 25-Cody Albrecht, 5-Dario Redondo (6-Bradley Vorv, 57); 7-Kennedy O'Shea (9-Yam Amankwa, 40)
Subs not used: 8-Julian Griggs, 11-Marcus Salandy-Defour, 14-Luis Cartagena, 17-Tyler Rudy, 18-Jose Porteria, 26-Carlos Santistevan, 27-Tyler Back
Head Coach: Roberto Da Silva
FIRE: 1-Robert Euler; 60-Keaton Albert, 46-Anthony Torres, 58-Peter Beasley, 53-David Caban; 59-Luis Barajas, 55-Victor Pineda, 49-Luis Medina, 52-Andrew Connor; 88-Jesus Medina (56-Elliott Borge, 46), 43-Manuel Rios (45-Patryk Ruta, 40)
Subs not used: 00-Zak Allen, 41-Joel Salmeron, 42-Francisco Sajuan, 44-Henrik Egly, 47-Horacio Sanchez, 48-Giovanni Sanchez, 51-Eduardo Cuautle, 54-Mitch Reavis, 57-Johnny Contreras, 62-Henok Russell
Head Coach: Larry Sunderland
Stats Summary: DCU / FIRE
Shots: 3 / 5
Shots on Goal: 1 / 0
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 1 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 11
Offside: 2 / 4
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Thornberry
Assistant Referee 2: Justin Mack
Fourth Official: Reed Christy