A number of lineup changes didn't change the result for the Chicago Fire.
The Fire beat Minnesota United FC 4-0 in the Fire's second match of the Simple Invitational from Providence Park in Portland on Wednesday.
There were six changes from the starting lineup that took to the field in the 3-2 win against Vancouver on Sunday. Only Michael Harrington, Johan Kappelhof, Brandon Vincent, Matt Polster and Joey Calistri returned as starters from that win. All five of those players subbed off at halftime. Three of those five are defenders, so Fire coach Veljko Paunovic appears to recognize that the defense needs to get game action together to develop chemistry because all of them are new to the team.
Despite the changes it was another preseason victory. For whatever it's worth, the Fire are now 4-0 in 90-minute preseason matches.
Joey Calistri was the standout with two first-half goals.
Calistri's first came in the 24th minute when he found some room in the penalty box and calmly finished. Michael Harrington had sent in a cross from the right that bounced around a bit near Brandon Vincent before landing at Calistri's feet. It was a nice display of composure in the box for Calistri.
The same three names were involved in the second goal. Harrington hit a low cross that went all the way across the face of goal and just stayed in play by the time Vincent got to it. Vincent found Calistri open in the box and he scored with a first-touch finish just inside the far post.
Kingsley Bryce scored the third with a looping header that effectively was a chip shot over goalkeeper Kristian Nicht.
Of note in the second half was the first glimpse of Brazilian right back Rodrigo Ramos. Ramos joined the team in camp earlier this week and could challenge for the starting spot at right back. Ramos assisted on Bryce's goal with a cross.
Alex Morrell did his part to add an exclamation point on the match by drawing a penalty kick in the 88th minute. Morrell is known for his speed and ability in 1-on-1 situations and showed both. He beat one man with a nice move just outside the box and a second Minnesota defender tripped him in the penalty box. Arturo Alvarez finished the penalty kick for the final goal.
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It's worth mentioning that while Minnesota expects to join Major League Soccer next season as an expansion team, the club is still in the North American Soccer League and lost 4-0 to the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
The Fire's final preseason game will take place on Saturday against the Simple Invitational host Portland Timbers at 7 p.m. CT.