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Rookies Shine in Fire's First Preseason Match

By Scott Smith in News on Feb 8, 2006 5:58PM

The Chicago Fire's preseason got off to a great start Tuesday by defeating the United States Men's Under 17s 4-0 in Bradenton, Florida. Although it's tough to predict the success of a team by pre-season performance, it is a great time to evaluate their talent. The Fire 2006_02_fire.gifsurely were elated to see many of their 2006 Major League Soccer Super Draft selections perform well.

Chicagoist was most excited by midfielder Brian Plotkin's performance. Plotkin cracked a one-time shot to the back of the net to get the Fire started and later was the catalyst for a play that resulted in the team's second goal. The Fire is lucky that Plotkin was still available for its third selection as he was often regarded as one of the top three college players in the country. He has the potential to be one of those players other teams kick themselves for passing up in the draft.

The Fire's first draft pick, forward Calen Carr, was not to be outdone and also found his way onto the scorer's sheet. Carr was the PAC-10 Player of the Year and the conference's leading scorer with 13 goals. Despite his collegiate success, pre-draft criticism of Carr was that he was not a pure finisher. Those criticisms may have been quieted yesterday, as he proved he can indeed score goals given the opportunity.

Forward Nate Jaqua, second in goal scoring for the Fire last season, has suffered a Grade II MCL Sprain and will be out for 4-6 weeks. Jaqua had been training with the United States National Team in preparation for the World Cup in July. Jaqua's injury gives these two rookies and excellent opportunity to play their way onto the starting eleven come April 1, when the Fire open the 2006 campaign versus FC Dallas.

Thanks, Todd!