Weekly Notes

Fire host Opening Day at Toyota Park against Sporting KC

Just five days after the official start of Spring, the Men in Red will welcome Sporting Kansas City for Opening Day at TOYOTA PARK Presented by T-Mobile this Saturday, March 26 at 3:00 p.m. CT (My50/TeleFutura). For the first time in club history, the Fire will host a home league match in Chicago in the month of March.

The Fire return to Chicago encouraged and in search of their first victory of the season following a hard-fought 1-1 draw and point on the road at FC Dallas on the weekend. Uruguayan forward Diego Chaves, in his first MLS game, opened his Fire account to give the side its second draw and fifth positive result against the Brimstone Cup rivals in Dallas.

Carlos de los Cobos’ revamped squad will meet a Kansas City club that has had a makeover of its own this offseason. The former Kansas City Wizards will make their first appearance at TOYOTA PARK as Sporting Kansas City. The re-branded side bring with them new Designated Player and Omar Bravo. The Fire defense will work to contain the Mexican forward, fresh off a two-goal performance in his first MLS game in Sporting KC’s 3-2 victory over Chivas USA on Saturday.

The Men in Red are 3-1-1 in Opening Day matches played in the club’s soccer-specific home in Bridgeview, Ill. The Fire’s lone defeat at TOYOTA PARK came last April when Marco Pappa’s MLS Goal of the Year wasn’t enough to elevate the Fire over the San Jose Earthquakes in a 2-1 defeat at the outset of 2010.

CHICAGO FIRE WEEKLY TRAINING SCHEDULE: March 21 – March 27

Chicago Fire players and coaches will be made available to media at TOYOTA PARK (7000 S. Harlem Ave. Bridgeview, IL 60455) following each training session this week. Media are able to begin conducting interviews after training, which runs approximately two hours. (All times central)

Tuesday, March 22: Training 10:00 a.m. – TOYOTA PARK Practice Field*^

Wednesday, March 23: Training 10:00 a.m. – TOYOTA PARK Practice Field*^

Thursday, March 24: Training 10:00 a.m. – TOYOTA PARK Practice Field*^

Friday, March 25: Training 10:00 a.m. – TOYOTA PARK Practice Field*^

Saturday, March 26: Chicago Fire vs. Sporting KC – TOYOTA PARK – 3:00 p.m. – My50/TeleFutura

Sunday, March 27: Chicago Fire Reserves vs. Louisville – TOYOTA PARK practice field – 10:00 a.m.

*Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training, which runs approximately two hours.

^Training times are subject to change. Please contact Brendan Hannan at 708.496.6725 for media requests.

CHICAGO FIRE vs. Sporting KC

· The Fire hold a 20-10-8 all-time record against the Kansas City side with the Men in Red holding a decided 13-3-2 (38 GF, 16 GA), advantage in matches played in the Windy City.

· The Fire are 4-2-1 against Kansas City in matches played at Toyota Park.

· Fire Captain Logan Pause is set to appear in his 200th career regular season match.

· Diego Chaves tallied his first MLS goal in his first MLS game in the Fire’s first match of the season.

· This will mark only the fourth time out of 14 seasons that the Fire will play their second game at home. The Fire have a 4-2-7 record in the second match of the season.

· The Fire are 7-3-3 on Opening Night at home since 1998.

· The Men in Red tied and lost to Sporting Kansas City in 2010. In the first leg at CommunityAmerica Ball Park, May 15, Julio Martinez and Brian McBride tallied to give the Fire the first half lead, only for Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara to notch a second half brace to tie the game at 2-2. Davy Arnaud and Teal Bunbury scored to top the Fire 2-0 at TOYOTA PARK Oct. 12.

· Chicago has outscored Kansas City 74 to 47 over the 12-year series history.

· Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas played for the Kansas City club in the 1996 and 1997 seasons, scoring seven goals in 54 appearances.

LOGAN PAUSE BECOMES YOUNGEST FIRE PLAYER TO 200 CAREER MLS REGULAR SEASON MATCHES

When Fire Captain Logan Pause, 29, takes the field this Saturday, he will become the youngest Fire player to reach the 200 game milestone. Pause, the fifth captain in the Fire’s prestigious 14-year history joins Fire legends Jesse Marsch (200 games), Chris Armas (214), Zach Thornton (215) and C.J. Brown (296) as the fifth Fire player to reach the 200 match mark.

Fire Original Brown hit the 200 match mark at 30, while Marsch, Thornton and Armas reached the 200 match plateau at 31, 32 and 34, respectively.

CHICAGO FIRE TO LIVE STREAM LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP QUALIFIER AGAINST COLORADO RAPIDS FROM BRADLEY UNIVERSITY’S SHEA STADIUM

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that the Fire will stream the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Play-In match against the Colorado Rapids live on Chicago-Fire.com. The Fire take on the defending MLS Cup Champions at Bradley University’s Shea Stadium on Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 PM CT in Peoria, Illinois.

Tickets for the U.S. Open Cup qualifying game between the Fire and Rapids will be $20 for reserved seating in the Shea Stadium grandstand and $15 for general admission seating on the grass berms. A limited number of $10 general admission tickets will be available to Bradley University students, faculty and staff at a maximum of two per person. Tickets will go on sale at 9:00 AM CT on Wednesday, March 16 at the Renaissance Coliseum box office, all TicketMaster outlets and online at www.BradleyBraves.com.

The Fire will provide a Season Ticket Holder bus, paid for by the Fire, to assist supporters in travel to Peoria for the Fire’s Open Cup clash. The Season Ticket Holder bus is limited to the first 45 Season Ticket Holders. Room is still available on the bus and Season Ticket Holders can RSVP by emailing events@chicago-fire.com.

CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB TOWN HALL MEETING FRIDAY AT ENGLISH

For the second consecutive year, all Fire supporters are invited to come out to English Bar (444 N. LaSalle Blvd.) from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, March 25 for a Town Hall Meeting with Fire owner Andrew Hauptman, President Julian Posada, Technical Director Frank Klopas and Director of Player Personnel Mike Jeffries ahead of Saturday’s Opening Day match at TOYOTA PARK.

English is offering a cash bar or a wrist band for $25 which is good for domestic drafts and bottles, well drinks and wine.

Supporters are urged to RSVP to events@chicago-fire.com by Thursday, March 24.

CONCACAF GOLD CUP DOUBLEHEADER AT SOLDIER FIELD

The Chicago Fire are offering a special Mexico Two-Pack ticket offer which gives supporters the opportunity to see the Men in Red on Opening Day at TOYOTA PARK and the Mexico national team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Soldier Field on Sunday, June 12.

Mexico Two-Packs are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com.

The special Mexico Two-Pack offers supporters a chance to witness the Fire’s Opening Day at TOYOTA PARK Presented by T-Mobile against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 26 at 3:00 p.m. CT and a ticket to the CONCACAF Gold Cup Doubleheader featuring El Salvador vs. Cuba and Mexico vs. Costa Rica at Soldier Field on June 12 starting at 5 p.m. CT.

CHICAGO FIRE NAME COMCAST SPORTSNET AND MY50 OFFICIAL BROADCAST PARTNERS

Comcast SportsNet (CSN) and WPWR My50 Chicago will return as the official broadcast partners of the Chicago Fire for the 2011 season. CSN and My50 will broadcast 24 Fire matches over the course of the MLS season with each of the club’s 34 matches being broadcast across multiple local and national programming platforms. CSN begins its coverage of the Fire for the Men in Red’s First Kick match against MLS Cup runners-up FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 PM CT (CSN/TeleFutura). The duo that will call Fire matches on CSN and My50 will be announced at a later date.