Fire open phase two of preseason with win over Chivas

Men in Red ready for two more matches this week in California

The Chicago Fire began the team’s 11-day, preseason phase two stay in Ventura, Calif., last Wednesday, kicking off the team’s match schedule on the west coast with a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA Saturday afternoon in Oxnard, Calif.

Head coach Frank Klopas has used the team’s initial preseason games to evaluate the status of signed first team players as well as to take a look at the team’s draftees and invited trialists as he looks to finalize his 28-man roster for the team’s opening match, Saturday, March 17 at Montreal.
 
The team continues its preparations for their 15th MLS campaign this week with matches against the Portland Timbers (February 15) and San Jose Earthquakes (February 18).
 
Both games can be followed live via the club’s Twitter home for in-game updates, @ChiFireMatch. Following the 11-day stay in California, the team will return to Chicago for two days before departing for the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C. on February 21.
 
See below 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.
Wednesday, February 15 – Chicago Fire vs. Portland Timbers – 1:00 p.m. CT – The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Saturday, February 18 – Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 11:00 a.m. CT – Ventura, Calif.
 
February 18: First Team returns to Chicago
 
February 21-March 4: First Team trains in Charleston, S.C. as part of 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup
GAMES:
Saturday, February 25 - Chicago Fire vs. DC United – 4:00 p.m. CT – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.
Wednesday, February 29 – Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew – 4:00 p.m. CT – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.
Saturday, March 3 – Chicago Fire vs. Charleston Battery (USL) – 6:15 p.m. CT – Blackbaud Stadium - Charleston, S.C.
 
March 4: First Team returns to Chicago

CHICAGO FIRE ORIGINAL C.J. BROWN TO BE INDUCTED INTO RING OF FIRE
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club, in consultation with the Ring of Fire membership, announced Monday that former Fire defender and Fire Original C.J. Brown will be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame 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 came to the Fire as the first overall selection in the 1998 MLS Supplemental Draft. The San Jose State product quickly entrenched himself in the Fire starting XI during the club’s inaugural season, appearing in 37 of the team’s 41 competitive matches while helping the side to a still unprecedented “Domestic Double”, winning the 1998 MLS and U.S. Open Cup championships.
 
Through the preceding 12 seasons, Brown helped lead the team to four more domestic titles – the 2000, 2003 and 2006 U.S. Open Cups and 2003 MLS Supporters Shield – as well as four more finals – the 2000 and 2003 MLS Cup, 2004 U.S. Open Cup and 2009 SuperLiga.
 
Brown joins fellow 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, which began in 2003.

 

FIRE USE PALADINI’S 49th MINUTE STRIKE TO DOWN CHIVAS USA 1-0 SATURDAY
The Chicago Fire used midfielder Daniel Paladini’s strike just after halftime to down Chivas USA 1-0Saturday afternoon in Oxnard, Calif.
 
Playing two different XI’s in the match, head coach Frank Klopas saw the return of goalkeeper Sean Johnson following U.S. Men’s National Team camp last month. Johnson was called into action in the 22nd minute when a giveaway in the back saw Michael Lahoud walk in alone before the U.S. international parried his shot out for a corner kick. The save preserved the scoreless deadlock heading into halftime.
 
With a new XI inserted at halftime, the Fire would find the game-winner just after the break when midfielder Daniel Paladini strode toward goal before firing a low blast that beat Chivas goalkeeper Tim Melia inside the lower right post in the 49th minute.
 
Check out highlights of the match and get a further recap by clicking here.
 
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/media/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 19at 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 mediacredntials@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 went on sale to the public Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. CT. 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 teamThe event includes a reception, lunch and silent auction featuring Chicago Fire and other sports memorabilia, gift certificates and moreThe 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
 
Fire growing together in preseason – Matthew Doyle – MLSsoccer.com – Feb. 11, 2012
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/02/11/fire-growing-together-preseason-after-late-2011-surge
 
Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson confident after national duty – Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times – Feb. 9, 2012
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/10542801-626/fire-goalie-sean-johnson-confident-after-national-team-duty.html
 
Nolly brings great experience to Fire backup role - Jack McCarthy – Chicago Tribune – Feb. 9, 2012
 
Fire coach Frank Klopas says roster almost set – Orrin Schwarz – The Daily Herald – Feb. 9, 2012

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

Sean John’s Air Miles – February 10, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/02/sean-johns-air-miles 

Robayo Joins Camp – February 9, 2012
 
Positional Breakdown: Forwards – February 6, 2012