Chicago Fire received a lesson in soccer

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. Anquan Boldin Elite Jersey . — The Chicago Fire received a lesson in soccer from Aston Villa on Saturday night. Gabriel Agbonlahor scored in the 29th minute and then left with an injury in the second half as the English Premier League club beat the Fire 1-0 in an exhibition match. Villa thoroughly dominated the match nearly until the final whistle. It wasnt until nearly three minutes into extra time that the Fire launched their one on-target shot of the night. However, backup goalkeeper Brad Guzan, a Chicago-area native, made the save to preserve the shutout. Agbonlahor went down clutching his left leg after spinning by a defender in the 63rd minute, screaming in pain. The trainer for Villa gingerly flexed Agbonlahors leg, which caused more pain, and the forward was carted off. Villa manager Paul Lambert said he thought the Agbonlahor could be out for two weeks. Villa came out attacking, and the push paid off with Agbonlahors goal. He headed the cross of defender Chris Herd past Chicago goalkeeper Jay Nolly from 10 yards out. Villa continued pushing after with and without the ball, keeping the Fire players on their heels. Their defensive movement from side to side was particularly impressive. “Their quickness,” Fire defender Dan Gargan said. “Theyre an organized, compact unit.” Villa went 7-14-17 in the Premier League last year, then brought in Lambert to coach. Theyre 3-0-0 in their preseason, including two wins against MLS squads. “This was great for us,” Lambert said. “Ive got nothing but praise for the players, the way theyve gone about it. As a group, our defence is very strong, not just the back four.” Asked if there was a team similar to Villa in MLS, Gargan hesitated and said, “I dont know. Some are similar, but thats a different side.” For his part, Chicago head coach Frank Klopas said he got what he wanted out of the exhibition, which included four yellow cards and a good deal of hard tackling. “Im happy with the effort, and both our (backup) goalkeepers played 45 minutes,” Klopas said. “Its different for them when you get in pressure situations. “We played a very good team. Its good for our guys in their first year in the league to play a team like this.” The Fire were back on their heels from the start. Villa midfielder Stephan Ireland narrowly missed scoring with a sliding kick in the box in the 12th minute, and midfielder Charles NZogbia shoved an even closer shot over the goal three minutes later. Aside from defender Arne Frederich, Chicago played a lineup of backups from Nolly forward. The Fire brought in starters Dominic Oduro and Patrick Nyarko with 30 minutes to play, and added other regulars in the final minutes, but generated little offence. Villa started defender Eric Lichaj, its other Chicago-area-bred player, with the recently re-signed Guzan entering with 11 minutes remaining. Lichaj played 57 minutes, his best play a sharp pass to NZogbia that nearly paid off with a goal. The Lions opened their three-match exhibition tour of the U.S. by beating Philadelphia 1-0 on Wednesday. It concludes with a match at Portland on Tuesday. Haloti Ngata Limited Jersey . — Twice in the three weeks since he took over as Denvers starting quarterback, Tim Tebow has had one of his sacks erased by the NFLs statistics keepers after reviews of the game film. Justin Tucker Womens Jersey .J. . — The Denver Broncos have hired Mike Sullivan as their new director of football administration. Haloti Ngata Pink Jersey .A. spotlight. Not that steering clear of top billing has hurt this magical run, two wins from concluding in the franchises first Stanley Cup banner. Paul Kruger Jersey . UFC president Dana White confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that Jones, the current light-heavyweight champion, and Sonnen, the former middleweight who is now returning to the light-heavyweight class, will each coach a team of prospective fighters on the MMA reality show before facing each other for the title.COLUMBUS, Ohio — Five days after disappointing a capacity crowd in their home opener, the Columbus Blue Jackets took a step toward winning back some fans. Theyve got a lot of work to do, though. Rick Nash scored two goals and Steve Mason stopped 31 shots to lead Columbus to a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night before 9,802 fans — the smallest home crowd in Blue Jackets history. “Yeah, it was unfortunate we got embarrassed,” Nash said, referring to a lethargic, lopsided 5-2 loss to Chicago on Friday night. “The only way were going to win them back is by winning games. That was a good start tonight.” Coach Scott Arniel said the Blue Jackets owed their faithful a good effort. “We wanted to make amends for (what happened Friday),” the first-year coach said. “We held on a little bit in the third period, but we found a way to win.” Derek MacKenzie also scored for the Blue Jackets, who had been pushed around by the Blackhawks in their home opener. Disgusted fans booed them after the second period and later booed a lacklustre power play. “We played well,” said MacKenzie, who has goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his 69 NHL games. “Do we have room to improve? Yeah. There were a few parts in the game where we took penalties. Those are things on some nights that are going to catch up to us. For the most part the guys had a gritty, hardworking game.” The previous low attendance for the Blue Jackets, in their 10th season, was 10,494, also against Anaheim on Oct. 27, 2008. Teemu Selanne notched his 609th career goal for Anaheim, which was opening a four-game road swing. Nash scored with the help of an opposing defenceman in the second period for a 2-0 lead, then drilled an empty-netter with 30 seconds left as the Ducks were turning up the pressure. “We were trying not to (just hang on),” he said of the third period, when the Bluue Jackets were outshot 12-6. Joe Flacco Super Bowl Jersey. . “But they really turned it up. They started cheating (in the offensive zone) a lot more — and it was working.” After a scoreless first, the Blue Jackets broke through when MacKenzie collected a loose puck and skated solo down the left wing. As defenceman Sheldon Brookbank pinched in, MacKenzie leaned in to keep him away from the puck, sliding it through Jonas Hillers leg pads for his second of the season. Just 1:21 later, Nash appeared to be passing to Antoine Vermette at the right doorstep, but defenceman Toni Lydman tried to block the puck from getting through but instead deflected it in off his right hand and stick. “We did some things very well but we made some mistakes,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “We give up a goal to MacKenzie, a slap shot into the pads; thats a mistake. Then the next thing you know, Nash gets a goal and it kind of goes off our defenceman.” The Blue Jackets killed off four straight minor penalties in the second period. The Ducks came in sixth in the NHL on the power play with a 26 per cent success rate, while Columbus was 24th on the kill at 76 per cent. “The power play wasnt effective tonight,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “Those things kill you in games. You have to win those special teams battles.” Mason was solid throughout. “We responded after they got the (Selanne) goal,” he said. “We did a really good job of blocking shots and making sure that the second opportunities that were there were taken away.” NOTES: D Danny Syvret, recalled earlier this week from Syracuse (AHL) by Anaheim, played 21 shifts totalling 15:27 of ice time. … Columbus LW Ethan Moreau was hit by a shot at four minutes of the second period, breaking his hand. He did not return. … Selannes goal moved him to 16th on the career list, breaking a tie with Dino Ciccarelli. ‘ ‘ ‘

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