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FGCU men’s soccer suffers loss against MLS team Chicago Fire

(EN Photo / Brad Young)

With the MLS team, Chicago Fire, visiting FGCU for their preseason training, the men’s soccer team had the opportunity to face the professional side, nearly producing an incredible win.
Coming off its best season in program history, the Eagles fell 1-0 to the Chicago Fire Saturday, Feb. 4.
The match also marked the first time new head coach Jesse Cormier led the Eagles. After being announced as the new head coach less than two weeks ago, Cormier became just the second men’s soccer head coach in FGCU history.
Regardless of the recent change and quick turn-around time, the Eagles still produced impressive results under the new head coach.
“We needed to be a little bit more dangerous in the final third and we struggled connecting a little bit,” Cormier said. “We didn’t have a lot of depth tonight because of some injuries, but there’s a lot to work with here. This was a great chance to learn and as long as we continue to learn this spring we’ll be in great shape.”
With less players than the Fire, FGCU was forced to defend more, but the Eagles continued to hold their own throughout the entire match.
Defensively, the Eagles were impressive. With stops from the back line and two early grabs from FGCU’s goalkeeper Jared Brown, Chicago was kept off the scoreboard for much of the first half.
Starting off slightly timid, the Eagles finally got the rhythm of the game and began pressing forward.
The first shot for FGCU came from Dennis Zapata, however, the shot went straight into the arms of Chicago’s goalkeeper Jorge Bava in the 29th minute.
Yet, nine minutes later, Nemanja Nikolic scored in the box to put the Fire up 1-0, heading into halftime.
In the second half, the Fire brought out a brand new lineup, but after becoming more comfortable, the Eagles were able to create moments on goal.
The Eagles goalkeeper, Brown, kept FGCU in the match, allowing Arion Sobers-Assue to test the Fire goalkeeper in the 51st minute.
Albert Ruiz also earned a corner late in the half, producing a corner shot that nearly tied the game, however, the ball was headed away, ending the game 1-0 in favor of the Fire.

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