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Sunday, March 23, 2003

Fire Scrimmage


McKinley Tennyson (center) suited up for the Chicago Fire



A sporadically wet afternoon at the University of Portland’s Merlo Field saw the Chicago Fire run out 6-0 winners against a team made up of signed Timbers, timbers trialists and a couple of Seattle Sounders players (Gregor and Burpo). McKinley Tennyson was present, suited up for the Fire (“ I was hoping not to see McKinley this afternoon”, was Jim Taylor’s comment!), but there was no indication as to whether he is likely to sign for the Fire or return to Portland next year. It was mixed emotions, wanting to see him play well and get his chance in the MLS and hoping he fouled up big time!

The first half was a pretty evenly matched affair considering, with the Fire taking the lead on 11’ through a powerful header from Damani Ralph, which sailed past Burpo in the Timbers/Sounders goal. The Seattle keeper had a particularly impressive first half, pulling off one memorable save in particular, tipping over a swirling 35 yd drive from Fire full back Kelly Gray to gasps from the Fire bench.

There were a number of signed Timbers on display throughout the game. Gavin Wilkinson, Erik Ozimek, Ben Somoza, Brian Winters, Hugo Alcarez-Cuellar and Bryn Ritchie. There were also a number of players who according to Jim Taylor were all getting looked at closely. A few names: Byron Alvarez (who was formally signed to the Metro Stars), Jason Melendez (UNLV) who both played up front and Aaron Heinzen (U of W) at the back.

Chris Smith, Matt Napoleon’s understudy last year, played the second half and found himself up against a Fire front line of McKinley Tennyson and Rodrigo Faria. The Fire took control in this half and starting with a long range shot from Craig Capano on 51’ (all times approx!) scored 5 more. Tennyson got the 3rd on 55’ shooting from the edge of the box, and then Faria ended the game with a hat-trick (74’ 83’ and 87’). With Fire boss Dave Sarachan looking on from the stands, the game ended with the small crowd having seen the likes of DaMarcus Beasley, Zach Thornton and Chris Armas, possibly the last game McKinley Tennyson will play in Portland for a while and the first signs of the 2003 Timbers side.

posted by the timberlog at 3:50 PM



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