The FC Dallas and Chicago Fire reserves might not play for the Brimstone Cup like the first teams from the two sides two, but these squads delivered an entertaining match on Tuesday morning at the Adidas field that ended 3-2 in favor of the Men in Red.
“I think it was a good exercise. For sure, the reserves bring a lot of benefits for the guys who aren’t playing currently, for the guys that are part of the academy, for the guys that we don’t know and want to see in action competing against MLS players who are active,” Dallas reserves coach Oscar Pareja said.
He added: “We take a lot of out of the game. The results always hurt because you want to compete and get a good result. But the boys did have a very good half. In the first 20 minutes, we were very sharp. At the end, we were struggling with some injuries and some things but I think they fought hard today.”
Chicago drew first blood in the 25th minute when Diego Chaves scored off a penalty kick, knocking it into the left side of the FCD net. The call came after Dallas right back Zach Loyd was whistled for taking down a Fire player inside the FCD area.
Even with the one-goal edge, the Fire kept pressing forward and Chaves added a second goal just two minutes later, knocking a shot off Dallas trialist Christian Ibeagha that ended up in the back of the net to give Chicago a 2-0 edge.
However, FCD answered just four minutes later when a goal by Bryan Leyva cut the Fire edge in half. After a throw-in on the far sideline by Dallas left back Moises Hernandez, Jair Benitez, who was starting at left mid, got the ball to Leyva who then knocked the ball by a Fire defender before regaining possession long enough to punch a nice shot into the right side of the net for a solid tally.
“I got the ball from Jair [Benitez], took a touch forward. I didn’t have an option really,” Leyva said of the goal. “I decided to go one-v-one, had passed it through the legs of the defender. I thought about the cross but didn’t see anyone open again and went for the shot, second post. Glad it went in.”
That’s how it was heading to the break with the visitors ahead 2-1.
FCD reserves coach Oscar Pareja made several changes to begin the second half, bringing on Bobby Warshaw for Loyd. Dallas academy player Daniel Garcia also came on for guest player Lance Dempsey and Andrew Wiedeman entered the match for Benitez.
Things were pretty quiet until the Fire went ahead 3-1 in the 69th minute after some solid give-and-go play between Kellen Gulley and Orr Barouch, who finished to give the visitors a two-goal edge for the second time in the game.
But once again, FCD answered. This time it was Garcia connecting on a header near the left post after a rock-solid cross from Wiedeman that came from the right flank.
Several minutes later, Chicago nearly went ahead 4-2 but Victor Ulloa made a solid save inside the box to deny the attempt and keep it a one-goal affair, but that’s how it finished, in a
Once this one was in the books, Pareja was asked to name which players stood out for him in today’s match. He cited three specific examples.
“Well, three guys that are in different stages stood out. The first one was Bryan [Leyva]. I think he had a decent game and a good first half,” he said. “I’m very happy with the things that I saw. Of course, he needs to keep going but I thought he had a very good performance.
The next player he cited was center back Iheaga, a 6-foot-2 Houston native who started 61 games for Duke between 2007 and 2010. However, he was limited to just five starts as a senior due to a season-ending injury.
“Christian [Ibeagha] in the back, a guy who is a trailist, a kid that we didn’t know, this is his first time with us,” Pareja said. “It’s an exercise to expose him to different challenges and I think he did very well.”
And the final player on Papi’s radar was a guy he knows quite well.
“Danny Garcia, an academy player, came in and scored a goal,” Pareja said. “They all came in and did well.”
Plano native Corben Bone, a Wake Forest product, got in the game for the final 28 minutes for the visitors. Other names of note playing for the Fire include Baggio Husidic and goalkeeper Jon Conway.
The Dallas reserves return to the pitch in just five days time, hosting the Houston reserves on Sunday morning.
CHI - Diego Chaves (penalty kick) 25
CHI - Diego Chaves 27
DAL – Bryan Leyva (Jair Benitez) 31
CHI – Orr Barouch (Kellen Gulley) 69
DAL – Daniel Garcia (Andrew Wiedeman) 85
DAL – Jair Benitez (caution; reckless foul) 18
DAL – Bobby Warshaw (caution; tactical foul) 68
CHI - Kwame Watson-Siriboe (caution; reckless foul) 73
CHI - Kellen Gulley (caution; reckless foul) 79
CHI - Kellen Gulley (caution; simulation) 89
CHI - Kellen Gulley (ejection; second caution) 89
FC Dallas Reserves – Chris Seitz (Josh Lambo 62), Zach Loyd (Bobby Warshaw 46), David Rodriguez, Christian Ibeaga, Moises Hernandez, Victor Ulloa, Bryan Leyva, Lance Dempsey (*Daniel Garcia 53), Jair Benitez (Andrew Wiedeman 46), Maicon Santos (Ruben Luna 46), Jonathan Top.
Substitutes not used: *Kellyn Acosta, Richard Sanchez.
* = FC Dallas Academy player
Chicago Fire Reserves – Jon Conway, *Francisco Mendoza (Pari Pantazopolous 46), Yamith Cuesta, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Dan Gargan, Daniel Paladini, Orr Barouch, Baggio Husidic, Mike Videira (Corben Bone 62), Diego Chaves (Kellen Gulley 58), Cristian Nazarit (Victor Pineda 53).
Substitutes not used: Alec Duffy.
* = Chicago Fire Reserves guest player
Referee: Jared Peeler
Referee’s Assistants: Jack Damrill, Paul Nothuran
4th Official: Tom Harlett
Weather: Clear, 80 degrees