The Chicago Fire lost their second game of the preseason Wednesday, falling 1-0 to D.C. United in the Carolina Challenge Cup.
Chicago conceded a goal in the 10th minute and were dealt another blow in the 37th, when forward Diego Cháves was shown a straight red card for a rough slide tackle on DC midfielder Fred.
WATCH: Preseason recap: DC 1, CHI 0
Cháves’ ejection made it three straight matches in which the Fire had a player tossed. Team captain Logan Pause was hit with a straight red in Saturday’s match against Toronto FC and defender Cory Gibbs received two yellows on Feb. 26 against Seattle.
Pause, though, isn’t worried about the recent bevy of ejections turning into a trend.
“Just a coincidence,” he told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “It doesn’t concern me in the slightest.
“Diego and I just got caught on the wrong end of a challenge,” he continued. “It just came out of competitive spirit. Those who know myself and who know Diego know that neither one of us are the type of player that tries to hurt people or tries to put our team in a position where they’re playing a man down. We’ll learn from it and I’m not worried about it.”
Cháves’ ejection forced head coach Carlos de los Cobos into several changes that limited the first XI’s time on the field together. Not that Pause is concerned about the starters’ lack of game time, either.
“We’re going to spend the entire year gelling,” Pause said. “We’ve already spent many weeks on the road together. We train every day. … So in terms of gelling as a team, I’m not worried. I think we’ve got a group that’s well on their way to becoming a great team and a great unit.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.