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Chicago falls to Chivas Guadalajara in friendly

FireGuadalajara (Getty)


BRIDGEVIEW, Ill — A stunning, left-footed free kick strike in the 62nd minute from Jorge Mora was enough to pull Chivas Guadalajara past the Chicago Fire 1-0 in an international friendly on Wednesday night at Toyota Park.

A blistering second half start was well rewarded for Chivas Guadalajara. The visiting side earned a free kick from just outside the box due to a tackle from Fire's Paladini. Substitute Jorge Mora stepped up to take it and bent it viciously past the diving Jon Conway. Despite adjusting to a 3-4-3 in the second half, the Chicago Fire were unable to equalize against the leading Mexican Primera side. The score stood still and proved to be quite an exiting fixture for the 18,224 fans in attendance.

A total of 21 players, including three debutants, featured for the Fire in what many called an "unnecessary" friendly for the playoff chasing Chicago Fire. Academy products Victor Pineda and Kellen Gulley were among the new faces to see action.

"It was good, it was my first game on the pitch," said 17-year old Gulley. "I'm not able to able until 2012 so that's the only time I'll see the field (for the senior team.) I think I played well, I got 15 minutes so it was kind of hard to make an impact but overall I'm pleased with my performance."

Interim head coach Frank Klopas stressed the importance of how bringing in young players can significantly play a positive role in a player's development.

"Games like these for the young guys is great for them," said Klopas of his debuting youngsters. "For their experience, development, and stuff. Experiences like these for the guys go a long way and they're showing that they're going to be confident in the future."

2011 Open Tryout winner, Pari Pantazopolous also made an appearance for the club he supported ever since he was a young child.

"At first it was nerve-racking, but I just got out there and played like it was any other game," said Pantazopolous. "I didn't worry who was on the field or watching me, I just want to do my best.

Chicago Fire return to league play Saturday, September 17 when they take on Chivas USA. The Fire lost to the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0 last Saturday, snapping their three-game winning streak and put a big halt to their playoff hopes.

In other news, midfielder Marko Maric was waived by the Chicago Fire earlier today. Maric appeared in one match for the Fire before suffering an injury against the Portland Timbers on April 17. The Croat was never able to recover from his left ankle posterior capsulitis injury and spent the rest of the season away from action. 

The Fire are (4-8-15, 27 pts.) in their 27 league games played and are currently seven points away from DC United who find themselves in the 10th and final playoff spot. DC have two games in hand so playoff hopes are looming dark for the Fire. 


  1. I know that Gibbs was quoted saying that the loss hurt, but it’s tough to care when the second half team was essentially the reserves, and we need to focus on getting some season-ending wins – particularly on Oct. 4, a very, very tall order.


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