BRADENTON, Fla. - After compiling a perfect 3-0-0 record in its first three preseason matches, the Chicago Fire suffered its first loss of 2005, falling to the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 earlier today during an 80-minute exhibition match at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. The Quakes opened the scoring in the 13th minute after midfielder Brad Davis finished a perfectly placed cross from forward Alejandro Moreno. The Fire's best effort came in the 17th minute, as a John Thorrington cross was nearly headed in by an onrushing Damani Ralph.
The second half picked up the pace a bit for both teams, but San Jose would put the game away in the 73rd minute with their second tally of the afternoon. Fire forward Chad Barrett gave the Fire hope in the 45th minute as he unleashed a rocket from 20 yards out, but his effort sailed high over the crossbar. In the 54th minute, Fire defender Hollis Donaldson gathered a misclearance from Quakes 'keeper Pat Onstad. The Liberty University product's effort from 14 yards out forced the Canadian goalkeeper to make a leaping save. But it was Roger Levesque's diving header from within the goal box in the 73rd minute that gave San Jose the two-goal advantage and ultimately the win.
The loss follows an impressive preseason streak for the Fire, which two days earlier had added another "W" to the record books after a convincing 3-1 win over the U.S. U-17 National Team. The Fire overcame the University of Central Florida 4-1 Thursday and Brimstone Cup rival FC Dallas 3-1 on Friday. The "Men in Red" are scheduled to take part in two more exhibition matches in Florida before returning to Chicago for a four-day break. The Fire will resume its preseason activities in Guadalajara, Mexico and Jackson, MS. To view complete lineups/game summaries of the Fire's preseason contests, please visit www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Chicago Lineup (4-4-2):
GK- Zach Thornton (Matt Pickens 41), D-Kelly Gray (Griffin 54), Jim Curtin (Jack Stewart 41), CJ Brown (Denny Clanton 41), Leonard Griffin (Gonzalo Segares 41), M-John Thorrington (Hollis Donaldson 41), Scott Buete (Chris Rolfe 41), Thiago, Justin Mapp (Chris Karcz 52), Nate Jaqua (Chad Barrett 41), Damani Ralph (Boyzzz Khumalo 52).
San Jose Lineup (4-4-2):
GK- Jon Conway (Pat Onstad 41), D- Wes Hart (Craig Waibel 41), Eddie Robinson (Brett Rodriguez 56 ) , Ryan Cochrane (Chris Aloisi 41) , Wade Barrett (Kevin Goldthwaite 41) , M-Ian Russell (Brian Mullan 41), Danny O'Rourke (Chris Wondolowski 56), Tighe Dombrowski (Ricardo Clark 41), Brad Davis (Victor Arbelaez 60), F-Ronald Cerritos (Brian Ching 41) , Alajandro Moreno (Roger Levesque 41).
SJE - Brad Davis 13' (Moreno, Cerritos) SJE - Roger Levesque 73' (Mullan, Wondolowski)
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