Fire Easily Handles Sockers, 1-0, Despite Close Score
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Tuesday, July 25, 2000) - Chicago Fire of MLS (Division 1) defeated the amateur Chicago Sockers (Division 4) 1-0 Tuesday night n front of a standing-room-only crowd of 5,127. The score was not indicative of the way the Fire dominated the tie, as the Sockers only had one good scoring opportunity, and Ricardo Costa's offering was saved by a diving Zach Thornton in the 61st minute. It was a typical story for the Fire, except for not allowing a late goal, as the Fire dominated possession and the match but failed to finish many opportunities, including taking a team record 18 corners. Chicago advances to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup and face the Dallas Burn who defeated the Minnesota Thunder, 2-0, in the Third Round.
For the first 20 minutes neither team applied sustained pressure but in the 22nd minute a Thornton goal kick was flicked on by a Sockers defender and Josh Wolff got on the end of the loose ball and volleyed it past Adam Throop for a 1-0 lead. After the Fire goal, the visitors took control and their PDL counterparts were lucky not to find themselves behind even more. In the last five minutes Josh Wolff had three clear cut opportunities on goal but was unable to convert sending the two teams into the second half only separated by one goal.
The second-half proved to be fairly uneventful with the most exciting moment for fans being a stray rabbit running on the field and amongst the players. The Chicago Sockers did manage to test the Fire defense, but Zach Thornton produced a smashing save from a Rodrigo Costa shot. Despite numerous set pieces the Fire was unable to convert from dead ball situations. Peter Nowak produced the only set piece threat but Throop responded with the save of the game, pushing the ball off of the woodwork and to safety. The Fire held on in the last ten minutes to advance to the quarterfinal stage.
2000 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP MATCH REPORT
|Participants:||Chicago Sockers (PDL) vs. Chicago Fire (MLS)|
|Competition:||2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round|
|Venue:||Forest View Park (Arlington Heights, Ill.)|
|Date:||July 25, 2000|
|Attendance:||5,127 (standing room only)|
Fire - Wolff (unassisted), 22.
FIRE - GK-#18-Zach Thornton, D-#2-C.J. Brown, D-#17-Andrew Lewis, D-#12-Carlos Bocanegra, M-#15-Jesse Marsch, M-#14-Chris Armas, M-#11-Diego Gutierrez (M-#7-DaMarcus Beasley 17, M-#4-Sam George 92+), M-#21-Dema Kovalenko, M-#10-Peter Nowak, F-#22-John Wolyniec (M-#3-Evan Whitfield 62), F-#16-Josh Wolff.
SOCKERS - GK-#1-Adam Throop, D-#18-Matt Bobo, D-#16-David Lara, D-#14-Alvin Hudson, D-#11-Jason Baker, M-#3-Eric Wilson, M-#17-Tim Regan, M-#7-Jason Acres, F-#9-Joe Carver (F-#6-Hamid Mehreioskouei 78), F-#20-Lee Paul (M-#8-Jimmy Harkness 60), F-#10-Rodrigo Costa (F-#23-Jason Kuska 89).
POST-MATCH QUOTE SHEET
BOB BRADLEY, Chicago Fire head coach
"We tried to get a few more goals early to finish the game, but we couldn't get it done. The Sockers have a great never-say-die attitude and they never quit and played their hearts out. They fought all over the field. We knew it would be a hard game because of their toughness and willingness to fight for 90 minutes, and we knew it would be very physical and they would foul a lot (Sockers out-fouled the Fire 31-16). This team, coached by Brett Hall, plays a lot like he played, very hard, always hustling, never giving up and very physical. We had our chances but couldn't finish and their keeper made a few great saves to keep them in the game."