Fire travel to Portland to take on the Timbers

Fire head to Portland for Rose City rumble

CHICAGO FIRE HEAD TO PORTLAND TO TAKE ON THE TIMBERS

The Chicago Fire (4-2-3, 15 points) head to Portland where they will take on the Portland Timbers (2-5-2, eight points) at JELD-WEN Field Sunday, May 20 at 6:00 p.m. CT (Galavision/97.5 ESPN Deportes). After a daunting stretch in which the Men in Red tallied seven points in nine days, the Fire will have a full week of training to prepare for their lone trip to the Pacific Northwest in 2012.

Sunday’s game marks the first and only regular season meeting between the two squads. In 2011 the Fire dropped both games in the series, falling 4-2 on April 14 at JELD-WEN Field and 1-0 on July 16 at Toyota Park.

The Timbers will enter the match after a quick turnaround as they travel to Houston on Tuesday, May 15 to take on the Dynamo at the new BBVA Compass Stadium.
 

CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: May 14 – May 21

Monday, May 14: Off
Tuesday, May 15: Off
Wednesday, May 16: Training 10:30 a.m.*^  
Thursday, May 17: Training 10:30 a.m.*^
Friday, May 18: Training 10:30 a.m.*^
Saturday, May 19: Depart for Portland
Sunday, May 20: Chicago Fire at Portland Timbers – JELD-WEN Field – 6:00 p.m. CT – TV: Galavision/Radio:97.5 ESPN Deportes FM
Monday, May 21: Return to 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 for media requests.

FIRE at Portland Timbers

·With two defeats to their name, the Fire have the fewest number of losses in the Eastern Conference and are one of three teams with only two losses on the season, San Jose and Seattle being the others.

·The Fire hold a 0-2-0 all-time MLS Regular Season record against the Portland Timbers.

·The Fire dropped both games of the 2011 MLS Regular Season series to the expansion Timbers. Marco Pappa notched his second goal of the season but Portland’s offense proved to be too much as the Fire fell to the Timbers 4-2 on opening night of JELD-WEN Field on April 14. On July 16, a ten-man Fire were undone by the Timbers as a 25th minute penalty kick from Jack Jewsberry proved the difference as the home side dropped a 1-0 decision at Toyota Park.

·Sebastian Grazzini opened his goal scoring account for the season with his converted penalty kick in the 61st minute of Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Sporting KC.

·Dominic Oduro’s 81st minute game-winner on Saturday night was his fourth goal of the season, which moves him into an eight-way tie for sixth place in the MLS Golden Boot race. The strike also moves in into a tie with Lubos Kubik and Cuauhtemoc Blanco for 14th all-time on the club’s MLS goal scoring list.

·Sitting on 99 career MLS Regular Season appearances, Marco Pappa looks to enter the century club with an appearance in Sunday’s match. Signed by the Fire in 2008, Pappa is currently ranked 15th in the club’s career MLS Regular Season appearance list.
 

MEN IN RED SHOW RESILIANCE WITH LATE GOALS
Dominic Oduro’s late 81st minute game-winner against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday demonstrated a fighting spirit that has characterized the Men in Red all season. In the last four matches the Fire have recorded three goals in the last ten minutes of the game.

Marco Pappa has tallied two late, including an 89th minute goal directly from a corner kick on April 28 and a late stoppage time game-winner on May 4 against Chivas USA.

The Fire have also gained points while trailing their opponents, finding equalizers at Montreal March 17 and against Houston April 15. On April 21 the Fire broke Toronto FC’s hearts when just a minute after Reggie Lambe’s goal to give TFC the 2-1 lead, Gonzalo Segares equalized in the 41st minute and Patrick Nyarko found the back of the net in the 58th minute to give the visitors a 3-2 victory.   
 

CHICAGO FIRE TO HOST ART OF FUTBOL GALLERY SHOWING

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Arte y Vida Chicago will showcase work from Chicagoland artists who submitted original works that celebrate love and passion for soccer and community at the second annual Art of Futbol exhibition at the Society Art Gallery (2140 W. Fulton Street, Chicago, IL 60612) on Wednesday, May 16 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. CT.

Hosted by the Chicago Fire Foundation, the club has put out a call to Chicagoland artists looking for original works that celebrate the game of soccer and everything it represents. Each individual views soccer in a different perspective and artists are asked to submit original works displayed through various mediums including paint, pencil, photography, poetry and digital.

The exhibition will also feature an original modern art piece by Chicago Fire Defender Dan Gargan, who minored in studio art while attending Georgetown University.

Artists interested in creating and submitting original artwork can email artoffutbol@chicago-fire.com. Tickets to the event, which benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation, can be purchased here.
 

CHICAGO FIRE ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC MERGER WITH PLAINFIELD SOCCER ASSOCIATION LEGENDS TO FORM CHICAGO FIRE JUNIORS WEST
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Friday that the travel component of the Plainfield Soccer Association Legends will become an affiliate of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and will be known as the Chicago Fire Juniors West. The new Chicago Fire Juniors West is one of nine clubs in the Chicago Fire Juniors family and the third in the state of Illinois. Since 2008, the Fire’s youth development program has grown from 400 participants to more than 10,000 across seven states.

Tracing its roots back to 1982, the PSA Legends are dedicated to providing a family-oriented, community feel to the club along with an overall great soccer experience. Members are encouraged to attend both recreation and competitive games. In addition to organized trips to Chicago Fire games, the PSA Legends participate in community outreach events in conjunction with all four of the Plainfield high schools, including volunteering at the local food pantries.

In addition to their recreational program that has more than 3,000 participants, the PSA Legends currently have 37 travel teams, including 19 girls teams and 18 boys travel teams. With over 90 percent of the teams made up of Plainfield residents, the PSA Legends are truly the community’s club.

Tryouts for the U-8 through U-18 age groups, boys and girls, will take place in May and June at Van Horn Woods in Plainfield, Ill. For more information, visit http://www.chicagofirejuniorswest.com/

The Chicago Fire Juniors program was formed to train area youth in a professionally run environment and has since expanded to include branches in Chicago, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky. Through the Juniors program, players ages eight-years-old to 18-years-old receive professionally developed curriculum to help build skill and knowledge of the game. The Juniors program has seen direct results, including the signing of Mississippi Fire Juniors product Kellen Gulley to the first team.
 

FIRE EXPAND FULLY-FUNDED ACADEMY PROGRAM TO INCLUDE U-10 THROUGH U-18 AGES GROUPS

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Wednesday that the club has expanded the Chicago Fire Academy program to include a fully-funded program for youth soccer players ranging from Under-10 to Under-18. The new Chicago Fire Academy is the only comprehensive, fully-funded player development program in Major League Soccer encompassing players from U-18 down to U-10.

The Chicago Fire Academy program is designed to maximize the frequency of training and give players access to the top soccer development facilities in the Midwest. The Academy will utilize MLS programming and competition platforms that are currently the highest standard of play in the United States, and will provide players with access to the most professional training environment of its kind in Chicago.

The Fire player development program has grown from 400 youths to over 10,000 across seven states, and will expand the Chicago Fire Academy program to new age groups with Academy teams now being operated at U10, U11, U12, U13, U14 & U15 in addition to the U16 and U18 age groups that participate in the USSF Development Academy. All players selected for this program will be eligible for inclusion on the club’s Homegrown Player List.

Players in the new Academy program will undergo the highest level of instruction from Fire coaches, as the Fire staff are all certified with a United States Soccer Federation “A” coaching license. In addition, the Chicago Fire Academy provides a foray into to the club’s “Team for the World’ alliance with eight international clubs including Atletico Madrid (Spain), Club America (Mexico) and Internacional (Brazil).

The Chicago Fire Academy provides an elite player development environment designed to identify and develop the best young talent within the Chicago area, with the ultimate goal of cultivating the elite player who aspires to be a professional or top level collegiate player.

For more information on Chicago Fire Academy tryouts: Visit www.chicago-fire.com or email academy@chicago-fire.com or by phone at 708.496.6640.
 

MEDIA ACCREDITATION DEADLINE NEARS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE MEXICAN NATIONAL TEAM’S 2012 U.S. TOUR

Media planning to cover the remaining three games of the  Mexican National Team’s 2012 U.S. Tour, including the Mexico vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina match on May 31 at Soldier Field can apply now for media credentials using the online form by clicking HERE.

As Mexico is preparing for World Cup Qualifiers, all players are expected to be available for the final three tour games.

 

Date                 Opponent                               Venue                           City                                       Time (CT)

May 27            Wales                                     MetLife Stadium           East Rutherford, N.J.        2 p.m.  

May 31            Bosnia-Herzegovina            Soldier Field                Chicago, Ill.                         8 p.m.

June 3             Brazil                                      Cowboys Stadium      Arlington, Texas                 2 p.m.

 

To apply for media accreditation for any of these games, please click HERE.

The deadline to submit a credential application for all three games is Monday, May 21 at 5 p.m. ET. No credential applications will be accepted after the deadline.

Please note the following when applying for credentials:

  • No credential applications will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Credentials per organization will be limited.
  • Field access is available for photographers and videographers only. No radio stations or TV talent will receive field access.
  • Photo agencies must be working on assignment from a specific news outlet.
  • All other approved media will have access to the press box and post-match media work areas, such as the news conference and mixed zone.
  • Media who are approved for credentials should not wear apparel supporting any of the competing countries.

For further media credential information, please contact Susan Marschall at SUM Communications, +1-212-450-1292 or Susan.Marschall@SUMworld.com.
 

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 www.Chicago-Fire.com or via 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. 
 

FIRE IN THE NEWS

Fire top Sporting Kansas City 2-1 – Jack McCarthy – Chicago Tribune – May 12, 2012  
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/ct-spt-0513-fire-chicago--20120513,0,1416388.story

Fire keeper Sean Johnson gets his shutout in draw - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - May 9, 2012 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/12430288-626/fire-keeper-sean-johnson-gets-his-shutout-in-draw.html

Fire defender Arne Friedrich joins Chuck Garfien on Chicago Tribune Live  - CSNChicago.com - May 11, 2012 http://www.csnchicago.com/pages/firevideo?PID=6cLLTB-tzEk4FRDzTNc4Rz3ZVNiCdH0D5JW8ZAU 

‘Fire Original’ C.J. Brown returns – Chris Sosa – RedEye Chicago – May 8, 2012

http://www.redeyechicago.com/sports/ct-red-0509-cjbrown-20120508,0,150385.story

Game-winner gives Chicago's Oduro much-needed boost - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - May 13, 2012 http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/05/13/game-winner-gives-chicagos-oduro-much-needed-boost
 

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

Five Things You Should Know About Saturday’s Game vs. Sporting KC – May 12, 2012

http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/05/five-things-you-should-know-about-saturdays-game-vs-sporting-kc-0

Brown returns to Chicago for “Ring of Fire” induction – May 9, 2012

http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/05/brown-returns-chicago-ring-fire-induction

Five Things You Need to Know About Wednesday’s Game vs. RSL – May 9, 2012

http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/05/five-things-you-need-know-about-wednesdays-game-vs-rsl

All-In with C.J. Brown – May 7, 2012

http://www.chicago-fire.com/2012/podcast/cj-brown