Just as their first team brethren had done the previous evening, the Chicago Fire Reserves (1-1-0, 3 pts.) defeated their counterparts from the San Jose Earthquakes (0-2-0, 0 pts.) via a 3-1 score in an MLS Reserve League match this morning at Flames Field on the campus of the University of Illinois - Chicago. A brace from Chad Barrett and a late goal by Will Johnson sealed the victory for the Fire, while James Twellman tallied the lone goal for San Jose.
Neither team controlled play in early on, as both squads came out from the start playing a quick, high tempo game. With referee Marcel Yonan presiding over a match that suffered stretches of rugged play, both teams were able to get quality of chances off of restarts. Long range tries by San Jose defender Kevin Goldthwaite and Fire midfielder Will John both sailed high over the bar in the early going. San Jose goalkeeper Jon Conway also did well to stymie a breakaway chance for Johnson, coming 10 yards off his line to cut off the angle before sending the shot past the right post.
The deadlock was broke in the 23rd minute as Barrett connected with an incoming cross from the right side from Fire newcomer Jared Montz. John was also credited with an assist for the play, as he sent Montz into the outskirts of the penalty area with a well placed through ball.
In the 32nd minute, Earthquakes defender Chris Aloisi was issued a yellow card caution for bringing down John deep in the attacking third. Moments later, Barrett would score his second goal of the game on the ensuing freekick with a scorching 23-yard shot into the right upper ninety, resulting in a 2-0 scoreline that would stand until halftime.
The second half would start out slowly, but in the 62nd minute a strong cross from Earthquakes midfielder Ian Russell connected with forward James Twellman to create a point blank shot on goal. Fire goalkeeper David Mahoney would make the save to keep the lead of two goals intact.
Twellman would get another chance in the frantic late minutes of the game, as he collected a well-placed pass from Julian Nash in the 89th minute that he put past Mahoney to put the outcome in doubt. Tighe Dombrowski also assisted on the play.
It seemed as though the match would become even as stoppage time arrived as the Earthquakes put steady pressure on the Fire goal, but San Jose's best chance, a Wes Hart attempt on goal, was deflected and then cleared out of the box by Fire midfielder Scott Buete. A streaking Johnson collected at midfield and, with Conway cheating well up-field, took two touches before comfortably sliding a shot from long distance into the empty net, giving the game its final scoreline of 3-1.
The Fire used the match to get veteran D/M Tony Sanneh his first minutes in a Fire uniform. The U.S. National Team regular started the contest and played the first half in the squad's initial victory in Reserve League play. Sanneh has been sidelined since the preseason with nagging hip and hamstring injuries.
CHI - Chad Barrett (Jared Montz, Will John) 23
CHI - Chad Barrett (unassisted) 33
SJ - James Twellman (Julian Nash, Tighe Dombrowski) 89
CHI - Will Johnson (Scott Buete) 91
Chicago Fire Reserves (3-5-2) - David Mahoney, Jack Stewart, Tony Sanneh (Kenneth Robinson 46), Gonzalo Segares, Jared Montz, Scott Buete, Logan Pause (Capt.) (Larry Sunderland 88), Will John, Leonard Griffin, Will Johnson, Chad Barrett (Adam Jones 83).
San Jose Reserves (4-4-2) - Jon Conway, Wes Hart (Capt.), Chris Aloisi, Brett Rodriguez, Kevin Goldthwaite, Ian Russell, Tighe Dombrowski, Dwayne DeRosario (Chris Wondolowski 46), Orlando Ramirez (James Twellman 46), Roger Levesque, Alejandro Moreno (Julian Nash 46).
SJ - Chris Aloisi (caution) 32
SJ - Tighe Dombrowski (caution) 48
CHI - Chad Barrett (caution) 53
SJ - Brett Rodriguez (caution) 53
SJ - West Hart (caution) 66
Referee: Marcel Yonan; Referee's Assistants: Anthony Vasoli, Peter Balciunas; 4th Official: Jose Gesundheit Attendance: 200; Weather: Partly Sunny, 65 degrees