Fire return to Chicago for final regular season preparation

Men in Red prepare to take on Montreal, March 17

The Chicago Fire returned to the Windy City early Sunday morning and will train for 11 days in Chicago before taking on the Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec on Saturday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. CT. Frank Klopas’ side will play a final tune-up against the Minnesota Stars FC on Friday, March 9 at the Toyota Park Turf Field. The final exhibition match is free and open to the public.

Following a productive preseason away from Chicago, the Men in Red closed out its 45-day, four-stop preseason tour Saturday night in Charleston, S.C. after their Carolina Challenge Cup finale against the hosting Charleston Battery was canceled due to severe weather and a soggy Blackbaud Stadium pitch.

Unable to play the final match, the Fire finished second (1-1-0) at the annual preseason tournament and returned to Chicago to complete the final preparations for the club’s 15th Major League Soccer campaign.

Friday’s exhibition game vs. the Minnesota Stars FC can be followed live via @ChiFireMatch on Twitter beginning at 10:00 a.m. CT.

CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: March 5 – March 11

Chicago Fire players and coaches will be made available to media at the Toyota Park Practice Field. Media are able to begin conducting interviews after training, which runs approximately two hours. (All times central)

Monday, March 5: OFF
Tuesday, March 6: Training 10:30 a.m.*^
Wednesday, March 7: Training 10:30 a.m.*^
Thursday, March 8:Training 10:30 a.m.*^
Friday, March 9: Chicago Fire vs. Minnesota Stars FC – 10 a.m. CT –  Toyota Park Turf Field
Saturday, March 10: OFF
Sunday, March 11: Training 10:00 a.m.*^

*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.

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. 

2012 CHICAGO PRESEASON ROUNDUP

Below are the club’s full 2012 preseason results:

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.
Saturday, February 4 - Chicago Fire 3, Real C.D. Espana (HON) 1 – Tad Gormley Stadium – New Orleans, La.
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.
Saturday, February 25 – Chicago Fire 0, D.C. United 1 – 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 1, Columbus Crew 0 – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.
Friday, March 9 – Chicago Fire vs. Minnesota Stars FC – Toyota Park Turf Field – Bridgeview, Ill.

FIRE TEAMS WITH SUPPORTERS FOR FIREHOUSE EAST ON MAY 26 IN COLUMBUS

Following the 2011 invasion of Columbus in which over 500 Chicago Fire supporters saw the side earn a dramatic and late 1-0 victory over the Crew, the Fire are again teaming with the club’s Supporters Season Ticket holders to create rousing home support of the club when the team travels visits the Columbus Crew on Saturday, May 26.

The Fire are offering all 2012 Section 8 Chicago, Sector Latino and Section 80 Season Ticket Holders a FREE bus ticket to the match with the goal of bringing 800 Fire supporters to Crew Stadium for the 2012 Firehouse East invasion of the Ohio capital.

All Fire fans are invited to “get on the bus” to Columbus see prices below:

Supporters Season Ticket Holders:            $20 (match ticket & commemorative scarf)
Non-qualified Chicago Fire Fans:               $45 (match & bus ticket, commemorative scarf)  

RSVP for the Firehouse East Trip by Friday, May 11 by clicking here.
For more information on Firehouse East, visit www.firehouse-east.com

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.

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.

FIRE IN THE NEWS

Nyarko: Fire captain Pause has to play in 2012 – Anthony Zilis – MLSsoccer.com – March 2, 2012

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/03/02/nyarko-chicago-captain-pause-has-play-2012

Italian keeper poised to lock down spot with Fire – Jack McCarthy – Chicago Tribune – March 1, 2012

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/chi-italian-goalie-poised-to-lock-down-spot-on-fire-20120301,0,2510501.story

Nolly, Tornaghi battle for backup keeper spot – Seth Gruen – Chicago Sun Times – March 1, 2012
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/10993408-626/jay-nolly-italian-import-paolo-tornaghi-battle-for-fires-backup-goalie-spot.html

Fire Academy sweeps preseason tournament – Travis Clark – TopDrawerSoccer.com – February 29, 2012
http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/club-soccer/club-soccer-archives/nid-23874/Chicago-Fire-sweeps-preseason-tournament  

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

Training Camp Check-In with Dan Gargan – February 29, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/video/2012/02/29/checking-dan-gargan

Nyarko Late Addition for Ghana Friendly – February 28, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/02/nyarko-late-addition-ghana-roster-wednesday-friendly-vs-chile

Reserves and Academy Wrap – February 27, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/02/fire-reserves-down-college-charleston-academy-teams-earn-win-and-draw-vs-dc