As the Chicago Fire shift their preseason out West to Arizona,
the team has found success with a number of the younger players through its four
preseason games thus far.
The Fire recently completed the second leg of preseason with
three matches, all victories by shutouts.
They beat DC United in two of the matches by scores of 1-0 and
2-0 and got past Orlando City SC 3-0 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Now in four matches, the Fire haven't conceded a goal.
Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop has been going with a
number of the younger players and giving them the majority of playing time. While some of the expected starters have seen limited amounts of play, it's what the Fire is trying to do for the opportunity of younger players getting on the
field and seeing if they can make the club.
One off the most impressive looking young players catching the eyes
of the Yallop, the coaches and the rest of the players is Harry Shipp. He could
in the running for making the team and shooting for a spot in the
starting line up.
Shipp, in four preseason matches, has scored two goals and
dished out 4 assists
"You never know how a young player is going to fit into the
professional side of things," Yallop said. "He looks at
home when he's playing. He's just very confident on the field and off of it. He
feels he belongs and he has excelled.
Big question surrounding Shipp, if there's a true fit with the
rest of the team and what the Fire is trying to develop during the preseason and
before the start of the season.
"Obviously performances dictate if you get a chance to play,"
Yallop said. "If he continues what he's doing what he's doing now, I can't see
him not playing for us this season."
Shipp came to the Chicago Fire as a homegrown player. He's from
the Northern suburbs of Chicago in Lake Forest.
The 22-year old recently helped lead Notre Dame to the 2013 NCAA
championship. He was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy as the nation's top
collegiate player and earned academic and athletic All-America
Shipp distinguished himself during his Irish career with 23
goals and 24 assists in 83 matches. He finished his senior year with 12 goals
and 10 assists and earned ACC first-team and league offensive player of the year
honors. His best highlight was Notre Dame's first national title with a
2-1 victory over Maryland last December. Shipp was also named the tournament's
Co-Most Outstanding Player.
The Chicago Fire will be training in Tucson, Arizona until March
2, they will take part in the Desert Diamond Cup facing fellow MLS teams
Colorado Rapids, New England Revolution and USL PDL side FC Tucson.