TAMPA, FLA. – Chicago Fire FC secured its first victory of the 2020 preseason on Thursday at the University of Tampa with a 3-1 win against MLS newcomers Nashville SC.
CJ Sapong, the Fire's team MVP a year ago, opened the scoring before Elliot Collier doubled the Chicago advantage with a deflected finish. Earlier in the day, Collier re-signed with the Fire on a new deal for the 2020 season. He was originally selected by the Club in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft out of Loyola University Chicago.
“Elliot has fully earned this new contract,” Head Coach Raphael Wicky said. “He has impressed our staff with his desire to come in and work hard and he has continuously shown improvement after every training session.”
Nashville's Randall Leal netted before the halftime break to pull one back for the expansion side, but new Designated Player signing Robert Berić later restored the two-goal advantage from the penalty spot after drawing the foul on a give-and-go with Collier.
The match marked the end of Chicago's preseason stint in Tampa. The squad returns home on Friday before departing for Southern California on Monday for another two weeks of regular season preparation.
The Fire will face USL Championship side Orange County SC (Feb. 12), Colorado Rapids (Feb. 15), Toronto FC (Feb. 19) and LA Galaxy (Feb. 22) during its training camp in California. The Fire’s matches against Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy will be held at Dignity Health Sports Park as part of a doubleheader and will be open to the public.
Chicago Fire FC starting XI: Bobby Shuttleworth, Brandt Bronico, Nicholas Slonina, Francisco Calvo, Jonathan Bornstein, Mauricio Pineda, Djordje Mihailović, Álvaro Medrán, Elliot Collier, Robert Berić, CJ Sapong.
Chicago Fire FC substitutes: Gabriel Slonina, Jonathan Campbell, Jesús Vázquez, Jonathan Jiménez, Micheal Azira, Raheem Edwards, Fabian Herbers, Jeremiah Gutjahr, Javier Casas, Allan Rodríguez, Alex Monis.