FENTON, MO (June 14, 2017) – Saint Louis FC came into this match excited to play an MLS opponent. They left defeated. Thanks to a fabulous goal from Luis Solignac in the first half, the Chicago Fire won the match. Sebastian Dalgaard was sent off late in the game, stalling Saint Louis’s chance for a comeback.
We saw a hybrid lineup from both teams. Saint Louis Head Coach Preki started his team in a 4-4-2. Adam Grinwis started in goal with former Houston Dynamo player A.J. Cochran securing the backline. Mats Bjurman and Sebastian Dalgaard started in wide midfield. Dragan Stojkov started centrally behind Christian Volesky.
Veljko Paunovic had his team in a 4-2-3-1. Matt Lampson started in goal with Johan Kappelhof at center back. Former STLFC loanie Drew Conner started at right back. Regular starters Dax McCarty and Juninho started in midfield. Luis Solignac started up top with Arturo Alvarez on his wing.
Ten Man Saint Louis FC Crash Out Of Open Cup Against Chicago Fire 1-0
The home side started off well. Forward Jose Angulo got several good chances off turnovers at the back. The Columbian forward had trouble controling the ball and finishing his chances.
The two teams traded chances for the rest of the half. Dalgaard led the way for Saint Louis FC, forcing Matt Lampson to make a big save in the 16th minute. Just a few minutes prior, Juninho had a free kick chance that rang off the post.
Chicago took the lead in the 27th minute. Brandon Vincent sent a dangerous cross into the box. Solignac tracked back to the ball and delivered a deft back heel shot. The ball looped over Grinwis and inside the far post. The Men in Red were off and running after that. They pressed for the rest of the half but could not double their advantage.
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The half ended 0-1 with Octavio Guzman and McCarty on yellow cards.
Arturo Alvarez came alive in the second half, leading the attack. Grinwis was forced into a great save on a break away just minutes into the half. Alvarez spearheaded several waves of offense after that, but Grinwis was up to the task each time.
Saint Louis FC were much more organized defensively in the second half and they gradually found their offense. They generated several late chances through Volesky. Angulo nearly scored on a header in the 79th minute but Lampson got a hand to it and deflected it out of the box.
The home side took a major blow in the 82nd minute when Captain Sebastian Dalgaard was given a second yellow card. Down to ten men, Saint Louis FC could not muster a comeback. The match ended 0-1.
This is a good result for Chicago. They played a hybrid lineup and got a result on the road against a desperate team. It was great for them to see Solignac score a worldie of a goal. For Saint Louis, this is just another bitter pill to swallow. The team is struggling in league play and this was their chance to make a statement against MLS competition. It’s back to the drawing board for Preki and company.