Fire Chase Red Bulls in Mid-Week Matinee Prior to Welcoming EPL Side Aston Villa

Fire look to catch Red Bulls in Eastern Conference standings

Dominic Oduro

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

FIRE HEAD TO HARRISON; HOST EPL SIDE ASTON VILLA
The Chicago Fire (9-6-4; 31 points) take on the New York Red Bulls (9-5-5, 32 points) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ on Wednesday, July 18 at 12:00 p.m. CT (CSN Chicago/97.5 ESPN Deportes) before hosting English Premier League side Aston Villa in an international friendly Presented by TrueCar on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. CT at Toyota Park.
 
Wednesday’s game marks the second of three regular season meetings between the Fire and the Red Bulls this season. On June 17 an early, 4th minute goal by Patrick Nyarko lead the way for a 3-1 Fire victory. Gonzalo Segares found his second goal of the season and Chris Rolfe tallied his first goal since re-joining the club to end the Red Bull’s six-game unbeaten streak.
 
The Red Bulls currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of the Fire. The Red Bulls enter the match after a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at Red Bull Arena July 15.
 
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 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 will mark the second game of the Villan’s three-game American tour. They will face the Philadelphia Union July 18 and the Portland Timbers July 24.
 
Advance tickets for the Chicago Fire vs. Aston Villa are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting www.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.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: July 16 – July 23
 
Monday, July 16:    Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Tuesday, July 17:    Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Depart for New Jersey
Wednesday, July 18:    Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls –Red Bull Arena – 12:00 p.m. CT – CSN Chicago/97.5 ESPN Deportes          
Return to Chicago
Thursday, July 19:    Off             
Friday, July 20:    Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Saturday, July 21:    Chicago Fire vs. Aston Villa FC Presented by TrueCar – Toyota Park – 7:30 p.m. CT
Sunday, July 22:    Off             
Monday, July 23:    Off                
 
*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.
 
CHICAGO FIRE at New York Red Bulls
 
·         The Fire hold a 21-11-9 all-time regular season advantage over the Red Bulls with an overall 37 to 19 goal differential.

    The Fire are 9-6-4 (31 points) through 19 games. Only four MLS teams (Sporting KC, D.C. United, San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake) have more than nine wins on the season. New York Red Bull sit on nine wins during the 2012 campaign.

 
·         The Men in Red have a slight 9-8-3 edge against the Red Bulls in matches played away from home, outscoring the Red Bulls 29 to 28.
·         The Fire have only played at Red Bull Arena twice; a 1-0 loss on March 27, 2010 and a 2-2 draw on August 13, 2011.
·         This is the second of three meetings between the two squads this season. Goals from Patrick Nyarko, Gonzalo Segares and Chris Rolfe lead the Men in Red to a 3-1 victory June 17, ending New York’s six-game unbeaten streak. The Fire will again travel to Harrison, NJ to finish the three-game series on Saturday, October 6 live on NBC.
·         Chris Rolfe’s goal against the Red Bulls June 17 marked his first goal since re-joining the Fire in mid-April. Rolfe scored his first MLS hat trick against the Red Bulls on October 23, 2008, tallying all three goals in the first half while helping the visiting Fire to a 5-2 victory.
·         Current Red Bulls defender Wilman Conde spent four seasons with the Fire from 2007-2010. In 73 regular season matches, Conde scored four goals and added four assists. In 2009 Conde was named the club’s Defender of the Year and was a member of the MLS Best XI.
·         Two current Red Bulls, midfielder Brandon Barklage and defender Tyler Ruthven spent time with the Chicago Fire PDL during their collegiate careers.
 
·         The Fire will be without the services of German defender Arne Friedrich, who received a red card in the Fire’s 1-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday evening and will serve a one-match suspension Wednesday.

    With Pavel Pardo’s goal in the 10th minute of Saturday evening’s match marked the tenth Fire player to score for the Men in Red this season.

CHICAGO FIRE vs. Aston Villa FC
 
·         The Fire are 6-10-3 all-time in international friendlies since 1998. The Fire have played 19 friendlies against teams from Mexico, England, Italy, Germany, France, Scotland and Poland.
·         The Fire are 2-1-0 all-time in friendly matches against English Premier League opposition. The Men in Red defeated Derby County 1-0 on July 20, 1999 at Soldier Field, downed Everton FC 2-0 on July 30, 2008 at Toyota Park, and went ahead first before falling 3-1 to Manchester United on July 23, 2011 in front of a crowd of 61,308.
·         Aston Villa features two former Chicago Fire PDL players, goalkeeper Brad Guzan, originally from Homer Glenn, Ill. and  defender Eric Lichaj, a native of Downers Grove, Ill. and
 
VICTOR PINEDA TO REPRESENT UNITED STATES U-20 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM IN NORTHERN IRELAND’S MILK CUP
The Chicago Fire’s first homegrown player Victor Pineda has been named to U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos’ 18-man roster for the 2012 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.
 
The United States opens play against Denmark on Saturday, July 21 at 1:00 p.m. CT before taking on Turkey on July 23 at 2:00 p.m. CT. Also participating in the six-team tournament are Northern Ireland, Chile and Mexico. The playoff games to determine final placement in the event, including the championship, will take place on Thursday, July 26.
 
This is Pineda’s second consecutive year competing in the prestigious tournament for the United States. Pineda was part of the U.S. U-18 MNT squad that took third place in the 2011 Milk Cup.
 
CHICAGO FIRE U-16s HEAD TO HOUSTON FOR U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENTAL ACADEMY FINALS WEEK
The Chicago Fire U-16 team posted a perfect 3-0-0 record in the 2011/2012 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in Frisco, Texas to advance to the U.S.S.D.A. Finals July 16-23 in Houston.
 
The U-16s will open play against the Charlotte Soccer Academy at 8:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, July 17. They will then take on the New York Red Bulls at 9:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 19 and Pateadores at 8:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, July 21. The winner of the group will advance to the championship match on Monday, July 23 against the winners of Group 2 which consists of the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves, D.C. United, PA Classics and St. Louis Scott Gallagher.
 
This is the second time that the Chicago Fire U-16 team has advanced to Finals Week. The Fire U-16s were crowned champions in the 2009-10 season after converting all five penalty kicks in a shootout victory over Cal Odyssey on July 16, 2010.
 
TEN-MAN CHICAGO FIRE EARN 1-0 VICTORY OVER VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
The Chicago Fire used an early free kick from Pavel Pardo before a 10-man defensive effort earned the team a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday night at Toyota Park.
 
The Fire threatened early on as Brazilian midfielder Alex played a combo to send Gonzalo Segares up the left flank. The Costa Rican international took the space and looped in a cross for Chris Rolfe who hit his first-time effort wide left of goal in the fourth minute.
 
Moments later Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko continued the dangerous attacking play he’s shown all season as he slid through the Vancouver defense before drawing a ninth minute foul just outside the box by Jun Marques Davidson. On the ensuing free kick a minute later, Pavel Pardo stepped up and lofted a perfect right-footed ball over the Whitecaps backline and inside the left post to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
 
The Fire nearly made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute as Dominic Oduro forced a turnover at midfield. The bouncing ball fell to Chris Rolfe who slid his ball through two Whitecaps FC defenders to put Oduro into the box but the Ghanaians effort was thwarted by a charging Joe Cannon.
 
The Fire thought they’d found their second goal in the 53rd minute when Alex distributed the ball to Rolfe on the left side. The veteran attacker cut inside the box and threaded his shot between two defenders where Dominic Oduro knocked it down before hitting it to the back of the net but the Ghanaian was quickly ruled to be offside leaving things at 1-0.
 
Just as it looked like the Fire would find a second goal, the match would turn on its head beginning in the 67th minute when Fire defender Arne Friedrich was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Mattocks at midfield
 
Two minutes later, the speedy Jamaican forward ran on to a through ball between Friedrich and Fire center back Austin Berry before going down just yards outside the penalty area. Referee Jose Carlos Rivero took little time to shown the German defender his second yellow in as many minutes, resulting in his sending off from the match.
 
It took the Whitecaps FC a while to key in on the man advantage but the visitors would come closest to equalizing in the 87th minute. Working his way up the right, Young-Pyo Lee belted in a whipping cross that substitute striker Eric Hassli redirected towards goal, forcing Johnson to tip the ball out for a corner kick.
 
A series of corner kicks went without a goal and the Fire did well to hold possession at the other end of the field before Rivero blew the final whistle, giving the Men in Red a hard-earned 1-0 victory.
 
CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL WHITE PARTY
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will host the Second Annual White Party presented by Swissôtel Chicago at the MCA Warehouse (1747 W. Hubbard) on Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. CT.
 
This unique, stylish event provides guests with an opportunity to sip cocktails while getting to know the Fire and the Chicago Fire Foundation off the pitch. The White Party will feature a premium open bar, live DJ, hors d’oeuvres and a gift bag for each guest to top off the night. Guests are strongly encouraged to don their most stylish white attire.
 
Proceeds from the White Party will benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation. In 2011, the White Party was attended by nearly 600 urban professionals and raised more than $20,000 for the Foundation.
 
Tickets to the event, which start at $50 for a general admission ticket and $75 for a VIP ticket that includes an upgraded gift bag and access to the VIP lounge, can be purchased here.
 
Who:    Chicago Fire players, staff and ticketed guests
 
What:    The Chicago Fire Soccer Club’s Second Annual White Party presented by Swissôtel Chicago.
 
Where:    MCA Warehouse (1747 W. Hubbard, Chicago, IL, 60686)
 
When:    Thursday, August 23, 7:30 – 11:30 PM
 
For additional information, please email whiteparty@chicago-fire.com, visit Chicago-Fire.com or click here: http://chicagofirewhiteparty.eventbrite.com/.   
 
FIRE IN THE NEWS
Austin Berry stops by Chicago Tribune Live - Comcast SportsNet Chicago - July 12, 2012
http://www.csnchicago.com/pages/video?PID=D6UzfHrt7Ke9RbecXGeHSooCddjfy8Uq
 
On a Roll - Matt Lee - Men's Book Chicago - July 10, 2012
http://www.modernluxury.com/mens-book-chicago/articles/roll
 
Fire's Gibbs ahead of schedule in recovery - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - July 10, 2012
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-spt-0711-bits-fire-chicago--2012...
 
Fire look to get back to winning ways - Len Ziehm - CSNChicago.com - July 13, 2012
http://www.csnchicago.com/soccer-chicago-fire/news/Fire-look-to-get-back...
 
Pavel Pardo da ejemplo en Chicago - Arch Bell - Marca.com - July 10, 2012
http://www.marca.com/2012/07/10/futbol/futbol_internacional/estados_unid...
 
'El Bebé' se estrena como goleador esta temporada - Jose Luis Sanchez Pando - Vivelohoy.com - July 15, 2012
http://www.vivelohoy.com/deportes/8115522/el-bebe-se-estrena-como-golead...
 
Alex, Rolfe help Fire offense find its rhythm in win - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - July 15, 2012
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/07/15/alex-rolfe-help-fire-of...
 
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
Happy Anniversary American Soccer Fans! – July 14, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/07/14/happy-anniversary-ameri...
 
@TheSoccerDon, Please #PickPat – July 11, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/07/11/thesoccerdon-please-pic...
 
Hey Ben Olsen, #PickPat – July 10, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/07/10/hey-ben-olsen-pickpat