Fire and Red Stars focus

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


Photo by Jeff Vorva

Arturo Alvarez, shown in a game earlier this year, scored the Fire’s lone goal Saturday night against Dallas.



WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Saturday

WHERE: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.



LAST TIME: New England beat the Fire, 2-0 on May 14 in Foxborough. Lee Nguyen and Femi Hollinger-Janzen scored goals for the Revolution.

 Fire’s road winless streak hits 34

It was just their luck.

The Chicago Fire was hoping to break its 33-match winless streak on the road Saturday with a tall task of facing Dallas, one of the top teams in Major League Soccer.

The task got taller when Dallas laid an egg in Seattle with a 5-0 loss on July 13. Dallas was in no mood for another setback – especially to a struggling Fire squad and beat the Fire, 3-1, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

The Fire trailed 2-0 heading into extra time in the game and Arturo Alvarez scored an unassisted goal in the 91st minute and a minute later, Dallas’s Mauro Rosales returned the favor. The Fire, 4-9-5, is in the midst of a five-match-in-15-day span and usual starters David Accam, Jonathan Campbell and Sean Johnson did not play.

 Fire wins on disputed goal

The Fire beat Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, July 13 at Toyota Park in a game delayed by storms and while the Chicago team felt good about the victory, KC coach Peter Vermes was stormy about new Fire player Michael de Leeuw’s goal in the 19th minute. The visiting coach thought the goal should be disallowed.

"It's a terrible mistake," Vermes said after the game.

His dispute stemmed from a pair of blown whistles and Fire rookie Brandon Vincent had a free kick which set up the goal.

"So the referee blows the whistle, and blows the whistle again and our guys stop,’’ Vermes said. “They hesitate because he blows the second whistle and what he’s trying to do, he’s trying to get guys to move back,” Vermes said. “But when you do that then you have to restart the play and unfortunately the hesitation happens from guys on our team.

“Look, if you play this game long enough, you know how it works. If you blow the whistle, the play starts. If you blow the whistle a second time, that means the play stops. You don’t communicate by blowing the whistle three times to guys. They don’t know what that means. You blow the whistle once to restart the play. A second whistle right after the first, it means, 'Hold on a second. Something’s going to happen. The referee wants to do something.' "

Earlier in the match, a KC goal was disallowed by a close offsides call.

Rookie Vincent named to All-Star game

Fire rookie defender Brandon Vincent has been selected for the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Gameday Roster by MLS All-Star head coach Dominic Kinnear. The MLS All-Stars will take on English side Arsenal FC at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday on ESPN and UniMas. 

"It's an unbelievable honor," said Vincent. "I'm really excited to have been selected but I think the biggest thing is to give credit to the guys, my teammates, the club as a whole, the fans who have been with us through the ups and downs, it's a huge testament to them. There are a lot of guys who deserve to be recognized and I'm just very happy, lucky and thankful to be the one representing this club and I look forward to it." 

"When we selected Brandon, we knew that he was an emerging talent," said Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez. "We are pleased that his hard work, attitude and outstanding character have been recognized with this great honor." 

The Valencia, Calif. native earned his first senior international cap for the United States when he entered in the second half of a 1-0 win over Canada on Feb. 5.

Calistri makes it to Homegrown Game

Homegrown rookie Joey Calistri was selected by MLS Homegrown head coach Landon Donovan to the 20-man roster for the 2016 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game. The young MLS team will take on the Mexican Under-20 National Team in the third annual Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Avaya Stadium. 

Signed to a Homegrown contract on Dec. 17, 2015 after a standout collegiate career at Northwestern University, Calistri made his professional debut when he entered in the 81st minute of the Fire's season opener against New York City FC on March 6. In 10 league appearances, including two starts, Calistri has tallied one goal and one assist, scoring his first professional goal against the Colorado Rapids on June 18. 



WHEN: 7 p.m., Saturday

WHERE: Toyota Park, Bridgeview



LAST TIME: The two teams opened the 2016 season in Houston and the Dash topped the Red Stars 3-1 on April 26.

Finally a goal and finally a win


Taylor Comeau celebrated her birthday a little early and gave her Chicago Red Stars teammates quite a present Saturday night.

Comeau, who turns 23 today, Thursday, scored her first professional goal in the 23rd minute and it stood up a 1-0 victory over Orlando at Camping World Stadium.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak and the score snapped a 320-minute streak without a goal. It was one of eight shots on target for Chicago Vanessa DiBernardo was credited with the assists and goalie Michele Dalton earned her first shutout of the season for the 6-4-3 Red Stars.

Late in the game, lighting was seen and the match was delayed more than an hour. Orlando fell to 6-7-0 and was not able to leapfrog over the Red Stars for fourth place in the National Women’s Soccer League Standings.

 It’s official – three Red Stars named to Olympic squad

U.S. Women’s National Team coach Jill Ellis named the 18-player roster for August’s Summer Olympic Games last week and, as expected, Red Stars players Christen Press, Julie Johnston and Alyssa Naeher made the team.

The U.S. will open Group G play on Aug. 3 - two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony - against New Zealand at Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte. The USA will stay in Belo Horizonte - which is 270 miles north of Rio de Janeiro - to face France at Mineirão Stadium on Aug. 6 and finish group play against Colombia on Aug. 9 at the Amazônia Stadium in Manaus, the same arena in which the U.S. Men’s National Team tied Portugal 2-2 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the furthest soccer venue from Rio (more than 1,700 miles).

The U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team has advanced to the gold medal game of every Olympic women’s soccer tournament that has been contested. The USA won the inaugural gold medal in 1996 in Athens, Ga., won silver in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, and will be going for its fourth straight gold medal after standing atop the podium in Athens, Greece in 2004, in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012.

Naeher joins Hope Solo as the team’s two goalies. Johnston joins Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Ali Krieger, Kelly O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn as defenders. Press joins Crstal Dunn, Lexi Morgan and Mallory Pugh at the forward spots. The team is rounded out by midfielders Morgan Brian, Tobin Heathk, Lindsey Horan, Carli Lloyd, Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe.
“The last few camps capped a nine-month evaluation process and the players certainly made it a real challenge to narrow the roster down to 18,” Ellis said. “We’ve got a great blend of players with experience at the Olympic Games and in major events along with the youthful energy of some players who did not play in the Women’s World Cup last summer. As a coach in the Olympic Games, you want to put together a group capable of reaching the top of the podium while also being mindful of getting players prepared for the next World Cup, and I think we’ve done that.”

 Not a flakey honor

Johnston is one of five Olympians that Kellogg’s is putting on the front of its cereal boxes this summer.

She is featured on Corn Flakes and Special K.