Chicago Battle For Youth Supremacy

CHICAGO – In a battle of Chicago youth supremacy, the team with the MLS connections won out. Goals from Andy Huftalin and Eric Marofske led the Chicago Fire’s U17/18 squad to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Sockers in US Development Academy action last Saturday.

Huftalin put the Fire on top of their local rivals in the 30th minute with a great individual play. He received the ball, turned on his defender and took a touch inside the box before firing a shot to the far post. Ten minutes later, Marofske got on the end of a long free kick, dribbled past his defender and ripped a shot into the back of the net to double the Fire’s lead.

“I’m very happy with our performance on Saturday,” said Fire head coach Louis Mateus. “We played well, earned a lot of quality chances and possessed the ball very well. I’m excited about the way the players worked together. When we step on the field we want to be fast and skillful, and today we lived up to that standard.”

The Fire controlled much of the possession, and their defense prevented the Sockers from getting dangerous scoring opportunities. Goalkeeper Kit Carson was only called upon to make two saves in the game.

“It was really an overall team effort,” said Mateus. “Andy and Eric scored two great goals, but really the story of the game was how well we possessed, so it’s hard to pick out any player individually.”

The Fire play host to the U.S. National Team next weekend at Toyota Park and will look to break up the National Team’s undefeated Academy season. The Sockers play host to FC Milwaukee, who will be looking for their first Academy win, on Saturday at Elmhurst College.

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