CHICAGO (Jan. 21, 2016) – The Chicago Fire announced goalkeeper Zach Bennett as the winner of the Fire’s eighth annual Open Tryout. Bennett will join the Fire for the first phase of preseason training camp at The Private Bank Fire Pitch beginning on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016.
A four-year standout at Michigan State University, Bennett appeared in a total of 77 games, leading the Spartans to the 2012 Big Ten Tournament crown, three NCAA tournament appearances and back-to-back appearances in the Elite 8.
Bennett currently holds the distinction as the winningest goalkeeper in MSU history with 43 wins and holds sole possession of the Spartans’ shutout record with 34.
A native of Plano, Texas, Bennett led Plano High School to the 5A State Championship as a freshman. Bennett was a three year starter with the Solar Chelsea Under-16 and Under-18 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy squads.
Bennett will look to follow in the footsteps of defender Pari Pantazopoulos, who emerged to win the club’s Open Tryout in 2011 and a spot on the first team’s preseason roster. The Mt. Prospect, Ill. product advanced through all three phases of the club’s preseason camp to sign on as a member of the Chicago Fire.
Pantazopoulos made his first team debut on June 28, 2011 in a U.S. Open Cup match vs. the Rochester Rhinos and went on to appear in the club’s midseason friendly against English giants Manchester United at Soldier Field on July 23.