Soccer Sports News and Scores by From The Tunnel

Fire picks up first point this season in draw with Orlando

Chicago Fire John Goossens assisted on David Accams goal to give the Fire a 1-1 draw in Florida against the Orlando City. (Photo courtesy of USA Today)

The Chicago Fire traveled to Florida to face the Orlando City Lions following its home opener loss last week and toughed out a 1-1 draw for the red side’s first point of the season in the Orlando Citrus Bowl before 29,041 fans. The Fire’s David Accam scored his second goal in as many games this season.

“It means a lot,” said Accam. “I think we have the quality and we have more belief than last year. We believe we can beat anyone in this league. That belief will carry us forward.”

The Lions opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Kevin Molino threaded a forward pass to Cyle Larin running toward the Fire net. Larin caught the Fire defense flatfooted attempting to clear the ball and fired the ball past goalkeeper Matt Lampson to give the Pride a one goal lead.

“This is two weeks in a row that we gave up an early goal,” said Lampson, who once again got the call over Sean Johnson to play in the goal. “I think it’s definitely something that we should work on – coming out defensively strong early.”

The Fire came back in the 14th minute when Accam outran Lion defender Seb Hines for the ball and beat goalkeeper Joe Bendik to tie the score.

“David always give his best for the team and his teammates also help him to perform,” said Head Coach Veljko Paunovic. “It’s important to have guys like him who can decide the game, (and also) a hard working team who works with him and other strikers to score goals.”

Accam nearly scored the game winner in the 26th minute but his header went off the post.

Michael Harrington received a red card at the 32nd minute mark for a tackle on Brek Shea near the sidelines forcing the Fire to play with 10 men. Despite the Lions holding a 65-35 percent possession lead, the Fire had good opportunities to score but came away with a draw.

“(It) speaks volumes about the character of the team,” said Lampson. “When you have every single guy giving everything they have, you know you are going to be proud of what you put out on the field, regardless of the outcome. We can be proud of it. It shows the type of team that we are.”

The Fire returns to Toyota Park on Sat., March 11 to play the MLS Champion Columbus Crew SC. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. with the game carried over CSN Chicago Plus.

Sidelines: Italian superstar Antonio Nocerino played his first MLS game for the Orlando City Lions going 63 minutes on the left wing. Also, the Lions were without Kaka for a second game. The Brazilian star is recovering from a thigh strain suffered prior to the season opener. Servando Carrasco replaced him in the midfield.



Orlando City Lions: Joe Bendik (GK), Rafael Ramos, Tommy Redding, Seb Hines, Brek Shea (Capt.), Cristian Higuita (Hadji Berry 73′), Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino (Pedro Ribeiro 63′), Adrian Winter, Cyle Larin, Kevin Molino.

Substitutes not used: Earl Edwards (GK), Harrison Heath, Kevin Alston, Luke Boden, Aurelien Collin.

Chicago Fire: Matt Lampson (GK), Johan Kappelhof, Jonathan Campbell, Joao Meira, Brandon Vincent, John Goossens (Razvan Cocis 73′), Matt Polster (Capt.), Arturo Alvarez (Rodrigo Ramos 87′), Michael Harrington, David Accam, Kennedy Igboananike (Joey Calistri 84′).

Substitutes not used: Sean Johnson (GK), Nick LaBrocca, Michael Stephens, Alex Morrell.

Scoring Summary

Orlando City: Larin (Molino) 4′
Chicago: Accam Goossens 14′

Attendance: 29,041


(Fri., March 11)
Chicago Fire 1 @ Orlando City Lions 1

(Sat., March 12)
D.C. United 0 @ New England Revolution 0
Seattle Sounders 1 @ Real Salt Lake 2
New York Red Bulls 0 @ Montreal Impact 3
Los Angeles Galaxy 0 @ Colorado Rapids 1
Philadelphia Union 2 @ Columbus Crew SC 1
Vancouver Whitecaps 1 @ Sporting Kansas City 2
FC Dallas 0 @ Houston Dynamo 5

(Sun., March 13)
Toronto FC @ New York City FC
Portland Timbers 1 @ San Jose Earthquakes 2

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