CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire Reserves (2-2-2, 8 pts.) used three unanswered goals in the second half to cap off a 4-3 comeback victory over the MetroStars Reserves (1-1-2, 5 pts.) in an MLS Reserve Division match this morning at Flames Field on the campus of the University of Illinois - Chicago. Fire midfielder Will John and MetroStars forward Abbe Ibrahim each tallied twice for their sides, with John's second strike in the 75th minute proving to be the game winner for the "Men in Red."
In stark contrast to their scoreless affair in New Jersey on Apr. 23, both the Fire and MetroStars were determined to play an attack-minded style that paid off with plenty of scoring opportunities. It would be the MetroStars that would open up the scoring at the half hour mark, as newcomer Danilo Da Silva latched on to a loose ball in the Fire penalty area and finished confidently from 12 yards out to put the Metros on top 1-0. It would take only five minutes for the MetroStars to double the advantage, as Ibrahim would score his MLS Reserve Division best third goal of the season. The play started with MetroStars forward Sergio Galvan Rey sending midfielder Gilberto down the right flank with a well timed through ball. Gilberto darted into the penalty area before slotting a square pass that Ibrahim easily finished with a tap in from five yards out.
The Fire would get one back in the final minute of the first half, as John scored on a play similar to Da Silva's goal. The MetroStars were unable to clear a Ryan Futagaki corner kick, and the ball was kicked about in the penalty area until it fell to the feet of John, who sliced a low shot through traffic that beat MetroStars 'keeper Jonny Walker and snuck inside the right post, putting the score at 2-1 heading into the halftime break.
The MetroStars would get their two-goal advantage back in the 54th minute, when Galvan Rey sent Ibrahim into the left side of the Fire penalty area with another stellar through ball. Ibrahim took two touches before deftly looping a shot over Fire goalkeeper David Mahoney to notch his fourth goal of the campaign and second of the match, which once again put the Metros up by a pair.
The two-goal cushion for the Metros would be short-lived, as Fire midfielder Thiago would strike just four minutes later in the 58trh minute. Fire forward Chad Barrett sent a long pass that took a high bounce over a MetroStars defender and substitute netminder Michael Ueltschey 30 yards off his line. It was Thiago that would corral the pass behind both MetroStars players and finish easily from 25 yards out into an empty net to once again cut the deficit to one goal.
Just one minute later, MetroStars defender Seth Stammler fouled Fire forward Nate Jaqua inside the Metros penalty area while chasing a through ball, setting up a Chicago penalty kick. Barrett scored his team-high third of the season on the resulting spot kick in the 61st minute, burying a low shot inside the right post to knot the match at 3-3.
It would be John to the rescue for the Fire with a quarter-hour remaining, as the rookie ran on to a Hemir Niebles pass in the right side of the area, where he sent a tough-angled shot across his body and into the left side netting to give the Fire its first lead of the match. The MetroStars created a couple of solid chances to net the equalizer in the final 10 minutes, with Gilberto's turn-and-shoot attempt from 12 yards straight out from goal in the 89th minute being the best of them. The chance would miss just inches high and the Fire would hold on to jump into the top spot in the Reserve Division standings, pending results from across the league this weekend.
John and Barrett will depart the Fire camp this afternoon for Blaine, MN, where they participate in a short camp with the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team. The training stint with the U-20s will end this Wednesday, May 18, when the U.S. will square off against Fire forward Will Johnson and the rest of the Canadian U-20 National Team at 7:35 p.m. CT at the National Training Center in Blaine. Fans can follow the U.S.-Canada showdown live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics.
MET - Danilo Da Silva 1 (unassisted) 30
MET - Abbe Ibrahim 3 (Gilberto 2, Sergio Galvan Rey 1) 35
CHI - Will John 1 (unassisted) 45
MET - Abbe Ibrahim 4 (Sergio Galvan Rey 2) 54
CHI - Thiago 1 (Chad Barrett 1) 58
CHI - Chad Barrett 3 (penalty kick) 61
CHI - Will John 2 (Hemir Niebles 1) 75
Chicago Fire Reserves (3-4-3) - David Mahoney; Jared Montz, Kelly Gray, Gonzalo Segares; Kenneth Robinson, Logan Pause (Captain), Thiago (Hemir Niebles 60), Ryan Futagaki; Chad Barrett (Sunil Selmane 76), Nate Jaqua, Will John.
Subs not used: Adam Jones, Jeff Richey.
MetroStars Reserves (4-4-2) - Jonny Walker (Michael Ueltschey 45); Seth Stammler (Captain), Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes, Jason Hernandez; Ramon Bailey (Andy Rosenband 70), Gilberto, Chris Corcoran, Danilo Da Silva; Sergio Galvan Rey (Jerrod Laventure 66), Abbe Ibrahim.
Subs not used: Mamadou Diallo, Mark Pedreiras, Robens Jerome.
MET - Chris Corcoran (caution) 28
MET - Ramon Bailey (caution) 37
CHI - Ryan Futagaki (caution) 62
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee's Assistants: James Walter, Anthony Vasoli
4th Official: Mark Gorak
Weather: Cloudy and 49 degrees