Philadelphia Union dropped a closed scrimmage Thursday to the Chicago Fire at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
After a scoreless first half, Chicago’s Michael de Leeuw collected his own rebounded shot and buried it home for the winner in the 56th minute.
The halftime substitutions of Tribbett for Onyewu, Epps for Ilsinho, and Picault for Simpson disrupted the smooth defensive shape the Union had showed in the first half. Off a right channel counter attack at the 55:10 mark, Chicago found an unmarked de Leeuw at the far post. John McCarthy, on for Andre Blake at the interval, made a reaction save that rebounded straight back to de Leeuw, who put it home.
Both sides substituted all remaining starters in the 62nd and 63rd minutes respectively.
The Union subs were on the front foot nearly the entire time they were on the field, but the Chicago defense held firm. The best Union chance sailed just high over the bar in the 87th minute.
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- Simpson shoots: Jay Simpson shoots when he has a chance. In the last 12 minutes of the first half he took four shots, the last of which he should have buried.
- Bedoya’s work rate: Alejandro Bedoya’s acreage covered and work rate were noticeably in advance of anyone else’s, Chicago or Philly.
- Young midfield subs: Adam Nejam, 22, and Anthony Fontana, 17, were the mighty mites of the substitute central midfield, and their being backed by Derrick Jones, 19, was also interesting. The positions they played reflected some degree of preseason improvisation. But it was an intriguing central spine.
Philadelphia: Andre Blake (John McCarthy ’46), Keegan Rosenberry (Ray Gaddis ’62), Oguchi Onyewu (Ken Tribbett ’46), Richie Marquez (Jack Elliott ’62), Fabinho (Giliano Wijnaldum ’62), Warren Creavalle (Derrick Jones ’62), Alejandro Bedoya (Adam Najem ’62), Roland Alberg (Anthony Fontana ’62), Ilson Jr. (Marcus Epps ’46), Fabian Herbers (Chris Pontius ’62), Jay Simpson (Fafa Picault ’46)
Chicago: Jorge Bava (Matt Lampson 64’); Michael Harrington (Jonathan Campbell 64’), Johan Kappelhof (Drew Beckie^ 80’), Joao Meira (Matej Dekovic* 72’), Patrick Doody (Collin Fernandez 72’); Arturo Alvarez (John Goossens 64’), Juninho (Daniel Johnson 72’), Dax McCarty (Brandt Bronico* 72’), David Accam (Drew Conner 72’); Nemanja Nikolic (Luis Solignac 64’), Michael de Leeuw
CHI – Michael de Leeuw (Nemanja Nikolic) 56’
PHI – Roland Alberg (caution) 39’
CHI – Patrick Doody (caution) 49’