Chicago Fire Begin U.S. Open Cup Play to Round Out Busy Month of May

Midweek match before league game at Revolution Saturday

CHICAGO FIRE TAKE ON MICHIGAN BUCKS AND NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION TO COMPLETE FIVE GAMES IN FIVE CITIES IN TWO WEEKS

The Chicago Fire (5-4-3, 18 points) travel to Pontiac, Mich. where they will take on the Michigan Bucks in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Ultimate Soccer Arenas on Tuesday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. CT (live webcast available via www.chicago-fire.com) before heading east to take on the New England Revolution (4-7-1, 13 points) at Gillette Stadium Saturday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. CT (CSN Chicago/97.5 ESPN Deportes).
 
The Michigan Bucks (USL Premier Development League) advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open Cup after beating the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1-0 on Tuesday, May 22 on a 90th minute penalty kick by Stew Givens. They currently sit atop the PDL’s Great Lakes Division with six points from two matches.
 
New England Revolution, currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, enters Saturday’s match after a 3-2 loss to D.C. United on May 26, in which they scored two goals in two minutes with a 48th minute goal by Saer Sene and 50th minute by A.J. Soares. The Revolution will travel to Harrisburg, Penn. to take on USL-PRO side Harrisburg City Islanders for their third-round matchup of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 29. 
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: May 28 – June 4

Monday, May 28: Training 6:00 p.m. in Pontiac, Mich. – Ultimate Soccer Arenas*^
Tuesday, May 29: Chicago Fire vs. Michigan Bucks - Ultimate Soccer Arenas - 6:30 p.m. CT - live webcast available via www.Chicago-Fire.com 
Wednesday, May 30: OFF
Thursday, May 31: Training 10:30 a.m.*^
Friday, June 1: Travel to New England
Saturday, June 2: Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution – Gillette Stadium -6:30 p.m. CT - TV: CSN Chicago / Radio: 97.5 ESPN Deportes
Sunday, June 3: Train in Boston
Return to Chicago               
Monday, June 4: Training 10:30 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 for media requests.
 
FIRE vs. Michigan Bucks
 
Four-time champions of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Fire hold a 30-7-2 all-time record in the 99-year-old tournament.
 
The Chicago Fire are 1-0-0 all-time against PDL teams in the tournament. The Men in Red used a 22nd minute goal from Josh Wolff to defeat the Chicago Sockers 1-0 in the third round of the tournament on July 11, 2000, en route to their second Open Cup title later that year.
 
The Fire have never faced the Michigan Bucks. This is also the first time that the Men in Red will play a match in Michigan. 
 
Two members of the Fire, forward Kheli Dube (2005-07) and defender Tony Walls (2009, 2011) have both previously spent time with the Bucks. Having scored 25 goals in 41 matches for the team, Dube was inducted into club’s Hall of Fame in 2011.
 
The Michigan Bucks became the first PDL team to beat an MLS side in the competition’s history when a 90th minute goal from Chad Schomaker gave the fourth division side a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution in the second round of the tournament on June 27, 2000. 
 
The seventh time the Bucks will face an MLS team in the tournament, the team holds a 1-5-1 record all-time against first team opposition.
 
FIRE vs. New England Revolution
 
The Fire hold an 18-13-9 all-time MLS Regular Season record against the New England Revolution, including an 8-9-3 record in matches played in New England.
 
The Fire went 1-1-0 against the Revolution during the 2011 MLS Regular Season. In the first encounter at Gilette Stadium on June 18, the Men in Red rushed out to a first half lead, as Dominic Oduro bagged a goal in the 32nd minute but had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Rajko Lekic’s 48th minute equalizer. In the return leg at Toyota Park on September 25, the Fire went up 3-0 inside the first half hour with goals from Sebastian Grazzini (5’), Dominic Oduro (9’) and Patrick Nyarko (30’) before the Revs Ryan Guy pulled two goals back in stoppage time to leave the score at 3-2.
 
The two teams have met 15 times in the post-season with an evenly split 7-7-1 record. The most recent matchups between the two teams were in the 2008 and 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals where the Fire knocked the Revolution out of the MLS Cup chase to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. 
 
Three members of the Fire have previously spent time with the Revolution. In 2010 defender Cory Gibbs make 25 appearances, all starts, with the Revolution, and served as captain in eight games. Forward Kheli Dube was selected in the first round (8th overall) by the New England Revolution in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. He went on to appear in 72 games, scoring 14 goals and tallying nine assists for the Revolution from 2008-11. Milford, Mass. native Michael Videira was selected in the second round (18th overall) in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft but elected to sign with Hamilton Academical of the Scottish Premier League. Videira returned to sign with the Revolution in 2009, making 12 appearances and notched a total of 973 minutes from 2009-10. 
 
CHICAGO FIRE BEGIN QUEST FOR FIFTH LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP ON MAY 29
The Chicago Fire will begin the journey for its fifth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy when they take on the Michigan Bucks at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich. on Tuesday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. CT. The match will be available via a live webcast on www.Chicago-Fire.com. 
 
The Bucks defeated the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1-0 at Chartiers Valley Stadium in Bridgeville, Pa. The game looked to be heading into extra time when the Bucks were awarded a penalty kick in the 90th minute. Stew Givens converted the spot kick to give the Bucks the late 1-0 victory.
 
The Fire have previously hoisted the coveted Dewar Trophy four times, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.
 
Since 1997 the Fire have compiled an impressive 30-7-2 record in Open Cup play, reaching the semifinal round eight out of 14 times and the final six times. The Fire were defeated by Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 in the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final at CenturyLink Field. The 2006 title marked the ninth time a team from Chicago won the Open Cup and made the Fire one of five teams to capture the crown at least four times in the tournament's 99-year-long history.
 
The 99th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup includes a random selection process for determining home teams from the first round through the quarterfinals among clubs that have applied to host. The process, conducted by a coin flip, gives participating teams with venues meeting tournament standards an equal chance at hosting their possible opponent for these rounds.
 
Recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
 
MARCO PAPPA CALLED UP FOR INTERNATIONAL DUTY
Midfielder Marco Pappa joined the Guatemalan national team on Sunday, May 27 for los Chapines’ friendly on June 1 against Costa Rica in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
 
While on international duty, Pappa will miss the Fire’s May 29 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match at the Michigan Bucks as well as the team’s match on June 2 against the New England Revolution. Pappa has garnered 24 international caps for Guatemala since his debut in 2008.
 
Guatemala are currently preparing for their opening CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying semifinal round matches at Jamaica on June 8 and against the United States on June 12. In the second round of qualifying the team finished atop Group E with a perfect 6-0-0 record, scoring 19 goals while only allowing 3.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TO HOST ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE SIDE ASTON VILLA ON SATURDAY, JULY 21 AT TOYOTA PARK
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that the Fire will take on seven-time English League champions Aston Villa in an international friendly at Toyota Park on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
 
Advance tickets for the Chicago Fire vs. Aston Villa are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting Chicago-Fire.com or Ticketmaster. The international friendly will serve as Bonus Game 1 in the Fire’s Season Ticket Package, and is also a part of the Ten Game Plan.
 
Aston Villa, one of the oldest and most successful clubs in English football history, will make their first trip to Chicago. Since its founding in 1874, Villa has amassed 19 major domestic honors, including seven English Premier League titles and seven FA Cups. The Villans also won the 1981-1982 European Cup. One of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, Aston Villa has competed in the top flight of English soccer ever since.
 
This is the second consecutive year the Fire will host an English Premier League team. In 2011, the Fire took on famed English club Manchester United in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 61,000 soccer supporters at Soldier Field, scoring first before falling 3-1 to the eventual Premier League Champions. The Fire currently hold a 2-1 record against English Premier League foes, defeating Everton FC by a score of 2-0 in 2008, and Derby County 1-0 in 1999.
 
Aston Villa features two former Chicago Fire Premier players, goalkeeper Brad Guzan, originally from Homer Glenn, Ill. and defender Eric Lichaj, a product of Downers Grove, Ill. 
 
CHICAGO FIRE TO HOST 'FIRE, BREWS AND BITES' EVENT
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will host the first 'Fire, Brews and Bites' event at Roots Pizza (1924 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622) on Saturday, June 9 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. CT.
 
Hosted by the Chicago Fire Foundation, this 21+ event will be an afternoon filled with beer, food and more. Guests will enjoy various selections from MillerCoors' unique portfolio paired with select food from Roots Pizza. Guests will also receive a commemorative beer stein. 
 
Information on this even can be found at http://firebrewsbites.eventbrite.com or by calling 708-496-6751.
 
FIRE IN THE NEWS
 
Dan Gargan talks Fire, art on CTL - CSNChicago.com - May 24, 2012
 
Pappa's goal gives Fire 2-1 victory - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - May 23, 2012
 
Save by Sean Johnson sparks Fire in 2-1 victory over FC Dallas - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - May 23, 2012
 
Chicago Fire enjoys a winning ride - Orrin Schwarz - Daily Herald - May 23, 2012
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120523/sports/705239560/
 
Fire aim for first-ever home win vs. FC Dallas - Len Ziehm - CSNChicago.com - May 21, 2012
 
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
 
Fire to Travel Over 600 Supporters to Columbus Saturday - May 25, 2012
 
Five Things You Should Know About Saturday's Game at Columbus - May 25, 2012
 
Five Things You Should Know About Wednesday's Game vs. FC Dallas - May 23, 2012
 
Fire PDL readies for second round of U.S. Open Cup encounter Tuesday vs. Dayton - May 22, 2012