USOC Recap: Fire cruise to 4-0 win over Red Bulls

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — The Chicago Fire advanced to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Tuesday night, cruising to an easy 4-0 victory over a reserve-laden New York Red Bulls squad in quarterfinal action at Toyota Park.

The Fire will play the winner of Tuesday’s Sporting Kansas City-Richmond Kickers match in the Open Cup semifinals on Aug. 30.

Chicago were rewarded for playing a full-strength lineup, dominating the Red Bulls throughout the match and taking an early lead in the seventh minute. Forward Dominic Oduro put Chicago on top, running onto winger Marco Pappa’s pass behind the New York defense on the left side before cutting into the box and slotting home from 12 yards.

The Fire continued to press after taking the lead and nearly doubled their advantage in the 19th minute. Some good combination play on the left sideline freed Oduro for a 25-yard shot that just missed finding the top right corner.

Chicago controlled the rest of the half but couldn’t put away any of their numerous chances. Their poor finishing nearly came back to haunt them in the 43rd minute, when New York's Mehdi Ballouchy collected John Rooney’s pass at the top of the 18, beat his defender to the middle and hit a low 15-yarder just wide of the right post.

The Fire put their finishing issues to bed early in the second stanza, scoring a pair of goals in the first seven minutes of the half.

Center back Yamith Cuesta put Chicago up 2-0 in the 48th minute. Midfielder Daniel Paladini and defender Gonzalo Segares combined on a short corner, with Paladini crossing to the unmarked Cuesta at the back post for an easy headed goal.

Halftime substitute Orr Barouch made it 3-0 in the 51st. Segares rolled a cross in from the left wing and the ball eventually found Barouch, who hit a left footed shot off a New York defender and into the back of the net.

Barouch scored his second goal in the 69th. The young forward chased down a Diego Chaves through ball in the left side of the box, beating Coundoul to the near post with a 15-yard smash.

Chicago easily saw out the rest of the match, which was pushed up two-and-a-half hours due to a power outage at Toyota Park caused by a heavy storm on Monday morning. Electricity came back on at the stadium about 90 minutes before kickoff.

Both teams return to MLS action this Saturday, with Chicago hosting Portland and New York playing at Chivas USA.

Scoring Summary:
CHI: Dominic Oduro (Cristian Nazarit, Daniel Paladini) 7’
CHI: Yamith Cuesta (Daniel Paladini) 48’
CHI: Orr Barouch (unassisted) 51’
CHI: Orr Barouch 2 (Diego Chaves) 69’

Disciplinary Summary:
CHI: Orr Barouch (caution) 59’
NY: Matt Kassel (caution) 85’
NY: Sacir Hot (caution) 87’

Lineups:

New York Red Bulls –- Bouna Coundoul (GK), Chris Albright (Marcos Paullo 60’), Stephen Keel, Tyler Lassiter, Mike Jones, Teddy Schneider (Sacir Hot 72’), Matt Kassel, John Rooney, Austin da Luz, Mehdi Ballouchy, Corey Hertzog
Substitute Not Used: Alex Horwath (GK)

Chicago Fire –- Sean Johnson (GK), Jalil Anibaba, Josip Mikulic, Yamith Cuesta, Gonzalo Segares, Daniel Paladini, Logan Pause, Patrick Nyarko (Baggio Husidic 66’), Marco Pappa (Diego Chaves 66’), Dominic Oduro, Cristian Nazarit (Orr Barouch 46’)
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway (GK), Pari Pantazopoulos, Dasan Robinson, Michael Videira

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee’s Assistants: Eric Boria, Anthony Vasoli
4th Referee: Abbey Okulaja