In the first half the Fire reserves played like reserves.
In the second half of Saturday night's friendly against Mexican side Santos Laguna, the Fire reserves played like starters.
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The teams finished in a 2-2 draw before 18,597 fans at Toyota Park.
The Fire defense looked disorganized in gifting two goals to Santos Laguna in the first half, but in the second half Michael Videira cut into the lead with a side volley off a corner kick in the 48th minute, and in the 63rd minute Corben Bone one-timed a Dominic Oduro pass to tie the game.
"The first 45 was pretty disheartening for us as a group, and then as the second half came I thought that the team was a little more comfortable playing with each other," Bone said. "I thought the ball moved a little bit better in the second half. The transition from the first half to the second half I thought was good for our team tonight."
Getting the reserves minutes in a game situation could matter in the final eight regular-season games. In case of injuries, these guys will be called on to step in without missing a beat.
Newcomer Sherjill MacDonald was the only healthy regular to start as he tries to improve his fitness, though Daniel Paladini split time with the recovering Logan Pause and Jalil Anibaba and Pavel Pardo also saw second-half action.
"The good thing is that a lot of guys got some valuable minutes," Fire coach Frank Klopas said. " ... That's important for guys who haven't gotten enough minutes to see that they're in good form and ready to step in and help the team."
The Fire kept peppering Santos Laguna backup goalkeeper Miguel Becerra, looking for the game-winner. Becerra tipped a Dan Gargan point-blank header over the crossbar in the 65th minute, and a 19-year-old homegrown player Victor Pineda, a Bolingbrook resident, tested Becerra a minute later with a shot on goal.
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