CHICAGO - The MetroStars and Chicago Fire MLS Reserve Division teams settled for 0-0 draw on Saturday afternoon. Because of activities related to the NFL Draft taking place at Giants Stadium, the game was played on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Similar to the MetroStars (0-0-2, 2 pts.) first Reserve Division game, the match on Saturday had little action and was a heated defensive battle with four yellow cards. The goalkeepers of both teams - Michael Ueltschey of the MetroStars and Matt Pickens of the Fire - were hardly tested throughout the game.
Chicago (1-1-1, 4 pts.) had the first opportunity of the game in the 17th minute when Fire forward Chris Rolfe took a shot on net that took a deflection off a MetroStars defender but harmlessly landed in the hands of Ueltschey. The MetroStars then responded a minute later with a strong header from Jerrod Laventure, which was shot directly into the hands of Pickens. The game saw its first yellow card in the 28th minute when the Fire's Kenneth Robinson brought down a MetroStars defender on a retaliation foul. Three minutes from halftime, Abdoulaye Ibrahim of the MetroStars tried chipping the ball over Pickens who was off his line, but Pickens recovered well and was able to tip the ball out for a corner.
The start of the second half brought three new faces into the match. For Chicago, Hemir Niebles came in to replace Rolfe. The MetroStars brought in Jerome Robbins for Tim Ward and Douglas Hare replaced captain Tim Regan.
New MetroStars captain Mike Magee swung in a dangerous corner in the 49th minute that was headed just inches wide by Eddie Gaven. In the 56th minute, Chicago made another change bringing in former Fire member and guest player Ryan Futagaki for Logan Pause. In the 61st minute the MetroStars lost Abdoulaye to injury, who was replaced by Mark Pedreiras. For the second straight game Chris Cherry, who replaced Eddie Gaven in the 68tyh minute, made an appearance as a field player and not his listed position of goalkeeper.
The action picked up in the last fifteen minutes, with players from the Fire and MetroStars each picking up yellow cards for reckless fouls. The last moments of the game saw each team desperately trying to get the winning goal. Pedreiras received a great pass from Magee and took a hard shot on goal, which was brilliantly saved by Pickens and pushed out for a corner kick.
The Fire used the match to get minutes for a pair of starting forwards that were injured at D.C. United on Apr. 9. Rolfe and Costa Rican international striker Andy Herron both started the match for Fire Reserves Head Coach Denis Hamlett's side, with Rolfe exiting at the halftime break and Herron playing 69 minutes before being replaced by Chad Barrett.
Barrett and midfielder Will John left straight from New Jersey for Seattle, Wash., where the duo will join the rest of their United States U-20 Men's National Team mates for an exhibition match against the Seattle Sounders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division. The U-20s will use the exhibition match, which takes place this Monday, Apr. 25 at the Husky Soccer Field on the campus of the University of Washington at 9:00 p.m. CT, as preparation for the FIFA World Youth Championship this June in Holland.
The Fire Reserves will return to action next Sunday, May 1, when they will travel to Columbus, OH to face off against the Columbus Crew Reserves. The Fire's first team will have a busy week ahead of it, as Chicago will host the New England Revolution this Wednesday, Apr. 27 in the first match of an MLS-International doubleheader at Soldier Field at 6:00 p.m., a contest that will be followed by the national teams of Mexico and Poland squaring off at 8:30 p.m. CT. Chicago will then prepare for its second game of the week, which will take place in Ohio's capital city against the Crew on Saturday, Apr. 30 at 6:30 p.m. CT.
MetroStars Reserves - Mike Ueltschey, Chris Corcoran, Jason Hernandez, Seth Stammler, Tim Regan (Douglas Hare 45), Gilberto, Tim Ward (Jerome Robbins 45), Eddie Gaven (Chris Cherry 68), Abdoulaye Ibrahim (Mark Pedreiras 61), Mike Magee, Jerrod Laventure.
Subs not used: Ramon Bailey
Chicago Fire Reserves - Matt Pickens, Scott Buete, Gonzalo Segares, Leonard Griffin, Kenneth Robinson, Andy Herron (Chad Barrett 69), Will John, Logan Pause (Ryan Futagaki 56), Chris Rolfe (Hemir Niebles 45), Jack Stewart, Jared Montz.
Subs not used: David Mahoney
CHI - Kenneth Robinson (caution; Professional Foul) 28
MET - Tim Regan (caution; Reckless Foul) 43
CHI - Segares Gonzalo (caution; Reckless Foul) 75
MET - Douglas Hare (caution; Reckless Foul) 80
Referee: Jorge Gonzales
Referee's Assistants: Damian Anyora, Bradlee Whitson
4th Official: Ken Henriques
Weather: Cloudy and 44 degrees