Fire Victorious in Carolina Challenge Cup Opener, Face Charleston Battery and Vancouver Whitecaps FC

A weekly account of all things Fire

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Photo Credit: 
Charleston Battery

FIRE CONTINUE PURSUIT OF CAROLINA CHALLENGE CUP
The Chicago Fire opened Carolina Challenge Cup play with a 3-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo Saturday evening at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.  After falling behind in the 15th minute, the Fire were propelled by goals from Sherjill MacDonald and Jeff Larentowicz and were aided by a Houston Dynamo own goal for the 3-2 victory. A full recap of the match can be found here.
 
The Fire, who currently sit tied with the Vancouver Whitecaps atop the table, face hosts and defending USL-PRO champions Charleston Battery on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:15 p.m. CT and fellow MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 4:00 p.m. CT to round out tournament play.
 
In five previous years, the winner of the Carolina Challenge Cup has gone on to win one of MLS’ two year-end trophies, the Supporters’ Shield or MLS Cup.
 
The remaining two matches of the annual preseason tournament will be streamed live via Chicago-Fire.com and can be followed @ChiFireMatch on Twitter.
 
Tickets for the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup are available at (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or www.charlestonbattery.com.
 
The club’s full preseason schedule can be found here.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: Feb. 18 – Feb. 24
 
Monday, Feb. 18:               Training 9:30 a.m. CT*^
Tuesday, Feb. 19:              Training 9:30 a.m. CT*^
Wednesday, Feb. 20:         Chicago Fire vs. Charleston Battery – Carolina Challenge Cup – Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston, S.C. – 6:15 p.m. CT
Thursday, Feb. 21:             Training 9:30 a.m. CT*^
Friday, Feb. 22:                  Training 9:30 a.m. CT*^
Saturday, Feb. 23:              Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Carolina Challenge Cup – Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston, S.C. – 4:00 p.m. CT
Sunday, Feb. 24:                Return to Chicago
     
*Training will take place at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, S.C.
^Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training. Times are subject to change. Please contact Brendan Hannan or Eunice Kim for media requests.
 
CHICAGO FIRE RESERVES DEFEAT COASTAL CAROLINA 4-2
The Chicago Fire Reserves defeated Coastal Carolina 4-2 Sunday afternoon at Charleston Southern University.
 
After falling behind in just the second minute, the Fire found goals from Maicon Santos, Alex, Wells Thompson and trailist Colin Rolfe for the 4-2 victory.
 
A full recap of the match can be found here.
 
MARCH TO SOCCER – FIRE OPEN 16TH CAMPAIGN AGAINST MLS CUP CHAMPION LA GALAXY IN 13 DAYS
The Men in Red open their 16th season on the road in just 13 days when they visit two-time defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, March 3 at 4:00 p.m. CT (Univision). The following week, in just 19 days, the Fire will host the New England Revolution for Opening Night at Toyota Park on Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network).
 
The Fire’s full 2013 schedule can be found at www.Chicago-Fire.com/schedule. The Fire are slated to appear in a total of 16 nationally televised broadcasts throughout its 16th season of MLS play.
 
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS NOW ON SALE; SEASON TICKET HOLDER EXCHANGES BEGIN MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18
Individual single game tickets for the club’s 16th MLS season at Toyota Park are now on sale via Ticketmaster.
 
One of the most affordable live events in the Chicagoland area, single game ticket prices start as low as $20 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.
 
Chicago Fire Season Tickets and #cf97withdrawals Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Day while donning the four Fire hats and four pairs of Fire gloves included in the pack are now on sale. Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE, via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
 
Chicago Fire Season Ticket Holder exchanges begin Monday, Feb. 18. Information on the exchanges can be found here and by contacting Season Ticket Services at 708-496-6800 or by  email at seasonticketservices@chicago-fire.com.
 
SUPPORT THE CHICAGO FIRE FOUNDATION AT THE 15TH ANNUAL SEASON KICKOFF LUNCHEON MONDAY, MARCH 5
Get your tickets for the 15th annual Chicago Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon which will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati will help kickoff the event by delivering the keynote address. This is the first chance of the season to meet your 2013 Chicago Fire Soccer team. The event includes a reception, lunch and silent auction featuring Chicago Fire and other sports memorabilia, gift certificates and more. The first 20 full paid tables of ten (10) at $850 will be seated with a Fire player or coach. Tickets are available here or by calling (708) 496-6751.
 
FIRE IN THE NEWS
 
Pause ready for anything - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - February 16, 2013
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-spt-0217-fire-chicago--20130217,...
 
Jalil Anibaba, Logan Pause wage heated battle in Fire camp for starting job at right back - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - February 14, 2013
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/18236368-626/jalil-anibaba-lo...
 
Klopas: Fire ahead of schedule - Orrin Schwarz - Daily Herald - February 14, 2013
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130214/sports/702149794/
 
English Premier League vet Chimbonda on trial in Chicago - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - February 14, 2013
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/02/14/english-premier-league-...
 
Fire prep for final stage of preseason - Guillermo Rivera - Chicago Fire Confidential - February 14, 2013
http://www.chicagonow.com/fire-confidential/2013/02/fire-prep-for-final-...
 
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
New midfield acquisitions help lead Fire past Dynamo 3-2 in Challenge Cup Opener – February 16, 2013
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2013/02/new-midfield-acquisitions-help-...
 
EPL veteran Chimbonda hopes to earn Fire contract in Charleston – February 14, 2013
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2013/02/epl-veteran-chimbonda-hopes-ear...
 
NOTEBOOK: Charleston trip means roster decisions coming for Klopas – February 14, 2013
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2013/02/notebook-charleston-trip-means-...
 
So there was an alligator at training today… – February 13, 2013
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2013/02/13/so-there-was-alligator-training-today