The Chicago Fire scored three times in the first half to cruise to a 4-1 victory over the Cleveland City Stars of the USL Second Division.
The four-time champs took only thirteen minutes to jump into the lead, as reserve midfielder Mike Banner beat goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap after slipping on an attempted one-timer shot from a cross by Calen Carr. Just ten minutes later it was Carr who netted a goal of his own, sending a left footed shot into the near corner of the goal. Three minutes later, Chicago tallied for the final time of the half when Chris Rolfe was brought down in the box by Cleveland’s Kiel McClung. Chad Barrett beat Gilstrap with the ensuing spot kick to put Chicago up 3-0.
McClung made amends for the penalty kick by scoring the City Stars’ lone goal on a 20-yard shot fired past Fire goalkeeper Nick Noble. Banner added his second goal of the night in the 73rd minute to all but end Cleveland’s hopes.
Chicago will continue their quest for a record-tying fifth US Open Cup Championship when they visit DC United in the Quarterfinals next Tuesday.
Cleveland City Stars — Hunter Gilstrap, Mark Schulte, Jeremy Tolleson, Kiel McClung, Neil Hlavaty (Ryan Stewart 55), Floyd Franks, Dere Potteiger, Godfrey Tenoff, Sallieu Bundu (Ian Leibbrandt 74), Adam Ruud, Luke Williams (Adriano Sella 69),
Substitutes Not Used: Randolph Jerome, Dana McGregor, Ryan Miller, Eric Reed
Chicago Fire — Nick Noble, Austin Washington, Brian Plotkin, Daniel Woolard, Lider Marmol, Mike Banner, Stephen King, Peter Lowry, Chris Rolfe (Tomasz Frankowski 46), Calen Carr (Cuauhtemoc Blanco 85), Chad Barrett (Patrick Nyarko 46),
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Busch, Diego Gutierrez, Justin Mapp, Bakary Soumare
Chicago Fire Cleveland City Stars
total shots: 12 (Peter Lowry 3) 10 (Adam Ruud 3)
shots on goal: 7 (Mike Banner 2) 7 (Adam Ruud 2)
fouls: 8 (Calen Carr 3) 8 (5 tied with 1)
offsides: 0 3 (3 tied with 1)
corner kicks: 6 (Peter Lowry 3,
Brian Plotkin 3) 1 (Luke Williams 1)
saves: 6 (Nick Noble 6) 3 (Hunter Gilstrap 3)
CHI — Lider Marmol (caution; Tackle from Behind) 57
CLE — Ryan Stewart (caution; Reckless Foul) 78
referee: Hidajet Tica
Referee’s Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Victor Herrera
4th official: Ricardo Salazar
time of game: 1:51
weather: Clear -and- 75 degrees