Chicago Fire Wrap Up Preseason with Two Matches at Carolina Challenge Cup

Fire set to face Crew and Battery this week in Charleston, SC

Pardo Quaker vs. DC

Photo Credit: 
Tony Quinn

 

CHICAGO FIRE OPEN CHALLENGE CUP WITH 1-0 LOSS TO D.C. UNITED, LOOK TO REBOUND VS. COLUMBUS AND CHARLESTON THIS WEEK

Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.

-      Cecil B. DeMille

The Chicago Fire close out its 45-day, four-stop preseason tour with the remaining two matches of the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. this week. The Men in Red will return to Chicago Sunday, March 4 and will take on the Minnesota Stars FC at the Toyota Park practice field on Friday, March 9, 10:00 a.m. CT, in its final tune-up before the 2012 campaign begins in earnest against the Montreal Impact at the Stade Olympic Saturday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. CT.  

Frank Klopas continues to evaluate and shape his roster ahead of Major League Soccer’s March 1 compliance date and will utilize Wednesday night’s match versus the Columbus Crew (4 p.m. CT) as the team’s final test before cutting his roster down to 30 players. 

The Chicago Fire dominated nearly every aspect of Saturday’s Carolina Challenge Cup opening match earning a penalty kick and hitting the crossbar, but it was D.C. who took all three points using new Designated Player Hamdi Salihi’s single strike and some excellent goalkeeping from Joe Willis to take a 1-0 victory.

With the Crew drawing 2-2 against the hosting Charleston Battery in Saturday night’s second match, the Fire need victories against both remaining opponents  for a chance to win the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup as they face both sides later this week. Watch both matches live via Chicago-Fire.com and follow along @ChiFireMatch on Twitter.

Below is the club’s full 2012 preseason schedule.

January 20-February 3:    First Team trains in Ave Maria, Fla.                                     

GAMES:  

Sunday, January 29 – Chicago Fire 0, D.C. United 0 - Florida Gulf Coast University – Ft. Myers, Fla.

Wednesday, February 1 – Chicago Fire 3, Florida Gulf Coast University 0 – North Park – Ave Maria, Fla.

February 3-5:                  First Team trains in New Orleans, La.

  GAMES:

Saturday, February 4 - Chicago Fire 3, Real C.D. Espana (HON) 1 – Tad Gormley Stadium – New Orleans, La.

February 5:                           First Team returns to Chicago

February 8-18:                     First Team trains in Oxnard, Calif.

 GAMES:

Saturday, February 11 – Chicago Fire 1, Chivas USA 0 – Oxnard College – Oxnard, Calif.

Saturday, February 11 – Chicago Fire Reserves 0, Ventura County Fusion 0 – Oxnard College, Oxnard, Calif.

Wednesday, February 15 – Chicago Fire 0, Portland Timbers 2 – The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Saturday, February 18 – Chicago Fire 0, San Jose Earthquakes 2 – Oxnard College - Oxnard, Calif.

Saturday, February 18 – Chicago Fire Reserves 2, Ventura County Fusion 1 – Oxnard College, Oxnard, Calif.

February 22–March 4:                    First Team trains in Charleston, S.C.

 GAMES:

Saturday, February 25 – Chicago Fire 0, D.C. United – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.

Sunday, February 26 – Chicago Fire Reserves 2, College of Charleston 1 – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.

Wednesday, February 29 – Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew – 4 P.M. CT – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C. – Chicago-Fire.com

Thursday, March 1 – Chicago Fire Reserves vs. Coastal Carolina University – 7 P.M. CT – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.

Saturday, March 3 – Chicago Fire vs. Charleston Battery – 6:15 P.M. CT – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C. – Chicago-Fire.com

CHICAGO FIRE CHARLESTON TRAINING SCHEDULE: February 27 – March 4
Chicago Fire players and coaches will be made available to media at the Charleston Southern Soccer Complex (9200 University Blvd.; North Charleston, SC 29406) following each training session during the team’s stay. Media are able to begin conducting interviews after training, which runs approximately two hours. (All times eastern unless noted)

 

Monday, Feb. 27:                         Training 10:00 a.m. – Charleston Southern*^

Tuesday, Feb. 28:                        Training 10:00 a.m. – Charleston Southern*^

Wednesday, Feb. 29:                    Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew – 4:00 p.m. CT – Blackbaud Stadium – Chicago-Fire.com

Thursday, March 1:                      Training TBA – Charleston Southern*^

Chicago Fire Reserves vs. Coastal Carolina University – 7:00 p.m. – Charleston Southern*^

Friday, March 2:                          Training 10:00 a.m. – Charleston Southern*^

Saturday, March 3:                      Chicago Fire vs. Charleston Battery – 6:15 p.m. CT – Blackbaud Stadium – Chicago-Fire.com

Sunday, March 4:                        Depart for Chicago

*Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training.

^Training times are subject to change. Please contact Brendan Hannan at 720.937.8962 or Jeff Crandall at 734.751.4820 for media requests.

CHICAGO FIRE MATCH VS. TORONTO FC AT BMO FIELD MOVED TO SEPTEMBER 12
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced last Thursday that the club’s match against Toronto FC at BMO Field scheduled for Saturday, July 21 has been moved to Wednesday, September 12 at 6:00 p.m. CT.  

The Fire take on TFC three times in 2012, twice North of the border on Saturday, April 21 at 2:30 p.m. CT (NBCSN) and Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 6:00 p.m. CT. The Men in Red will challenge their Eastern Conference rivals at Toyota Park on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

CHICAGO FIRE ORIGINAL C.J. BROWN TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE ‘RING OF FIRE’
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that former Fire defender and Fire Original C.J. Brown will be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame, known as the Ring of Fire, during halftime of the team’s match against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, May 9 at Toyota Park.

Having brought to end a 13-year career following the 2010 MLS campaign, Brown holds the club record for most MLS regular season appearances (296), MLS Cup playoff appearances (35) and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearances (25). Serving as Fire captain from 2008-09, Brown’s 372 appearances across all competitions are also a club record and rank him third all-time behind only Jaime Moreno (415) and Cobi Jones (392) for most competitive games played for one MLS club. Brown joins current Ring of Fire member Chris Armas and recently retired goalkeeper Zach Thornton as the only three players to be a part of all six of the club’s domestic championships.

Brown joins fellow Ring of Fire inductees: former Fire captain Peter Nowak, former Fire defender Lubos Kubik, former Fire forward and current head coach Frank Klopas, the Fire’s first General Manager Peter Wilt, former Fire head coach Bob Bradley and former Fire midfielder Armas in the club’s Ring of Fire.

Tickets for Brown’s Ring of Fire induction can be purchased here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/04004832C9C1426F?artistid=805916&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=11

CHICAGO FIRE NOW ACCEPTING CREDENTIAL REQUESTS FOR 2012 SEASON
Applications for media credentials for the 2012 Chicago Fire season are available now. Individual media members looking to receive a season credential can apply online at  https://chicagofire.iworldreg.com/mediaenglish/apply.

Please fill out the application form to the fullest of your abilities, as the data collected in this form will be used by the Chicago Fire Communications Department to update our records and better serve our constituents throughout the upcoming 2012 season. PLEASE NOTE: failure to submit a .jpeg photo with your application will result in an automatic DENIAL.

Applications that are submitted by the close of business on Sunday, March 4 and approved by the Fire Communications Department will be received in time for pickup beginning on Monday, March 19 at Toyota Park in the club’s Communication’s office.

The 2012 Fire season credentials will be honored for all Chicago Fire home contests. Credentials will also be available for pick-up on Opening Day at Toyota Park when the Fire meet Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. CT at the Media Will Call booth – located on the southwest side of the stadium at GATE A – beginning at 5:30 PM CT. If you have any questions or issues regarding the online credential application process, please contact Brendan Hannan, Fire Communications Manager at bhannan@chicago-fire.com or 708.496.6725 (office) or 720.937.8962 (mobile).

Media members who will not be covering the entire Fire season can request single game credentials through the Fire Communications Department by emailing Fire Communications Manager Brendan Hannan at mediacredentials@chicago-fire.com. The bearer must be on a specific assignment for the organization to which the credential is issued.

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS FOR THE CLUB’S 2012 MLS CAMPAIGN AT TOYOTA PARK NOW ON SALE
Single game tickets and Family Four-Packs for the club’s historic 15th MLS season at Toyota Park are now ON SALE. Individual game tickets start as low as $15, while Family Four Packs which include 4 Pepsi’s, 4 hot dogs and 4 match tickets are $79 (Corner Kick) and $99 (Premier).

Both individual game tickets and Family Four-Packs can be purchased by calling 1-(888)-MLS-FIRE, visiting Ticketmaster online, via their Facebook page, or by clicking on Chicago-Fire.com. Download the 2012 Chicago Fire home schedule by clicking here (PDF).

Hosting 14 of the club’s 17 MLS regular season home matches on weekends, the club begins its 2012 home schedule with Opening Night at Toyota Park against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM CT.

SUPPORT THE CHICAGO FIRE FOUNDATION AT THE 14TH ANNUAL SEASON KICKOFF LUNCHEON MONDAY, MARCH 12
Get your tickets for the 14th annual Chicago Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon which will be held on Monday, March 12, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. This is the first chance of the season to meet your 2012 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 $800 get to sit with a Fire player or coach. Purchase your tickets today to guarantee your seat for the Luncheon!

Click here to download an order form or here to purchase your tickets online. 

FIRE IN THE NEWS

Klopas decides on Guerrero, quashes Bofo rumors – Anthony Zilis – MLSsoccer.com – Feb. 24, 2012

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/02/24/chicago-decide-guerrero-klopas-quashes-bautista-reports

Klopas likes Fire’s depth entering final tuneup tournament – Jack McCarthy – Chicago Tribune – Feb. 23, 2012

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-spt-0224-fire-chicago--20120224,0,4458632.story

Cory Gibbs won’t let the Fire’s defense rest – Seth Gruen – Chicago Sun-Times – Feb. 23, 2012

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/10837773-626/cory-gibbs-wont-let-the-fires-defense-rest-in-2012.html

CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM

Oduro earns Ghana call – February 23, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/02/dominic-oduro-called-ghana-national-team

Join me for Firehouse East 2012 in Columbus – February 23, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/02/firehouse-east-heads-back-columbus

Logan Pause rushes home to see new Fire fan into the fold – February 22, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/02/new-fire-fan-fold