Fire Quarrel With Philadelphia Union

A look at the week ahead for the Men In Red

Marco Pappa

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

FIRE DUEL WITH EASTERN CONFERENCE BRETHERN IN CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE
The Chicago Fire (10-7-5, 35 points) head to the City of Brotherly Love to face the Philadelphia Union (7-11-2, 23 points) on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 6:00 p.m. CT (Galavision/97.5 ESPN Deportes).
 
The Fire reached the 10-win mark by defeating Toronto FC 2-1 at Toyota Park Saturday evening. With 10 wins and 12 matches to play, the Men in Red have surpassed the win total of the past two seasons and can eclipse the win totals of 2009 (11) and 2008 (13) before the conclusion of the 2012 campaign.
 
Sunday’s game marks the second of three meetings between the two squads this season. The Fire emerged victorious March 24 as Dominic Oduro’s goal in the 28th minute was the difference as the Fire won their home opener. The Fire will host the Union at Toyota Park on Wednesday, Oct. 3 to close out the regular season series.
 
The Union enter the match having dropped their last game 2-0 to the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday, Aug. 4.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: Aug. 6 – Aug. 13
 
Monday, Aug. 6: Off
Tuesday, Aug. 7: Off              
Wednesday, Aug. 8: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Thursday, Aug. 9: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Friday, Aug. 10: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Saturday, Aug. 11: Training 9:00 a.m.*^
Depart for Philadelphia                     
Sunday, Aug. 12: Chicago Fire at Philadelphia Union – PPL Park – 6:00 p.m. CT – Galavision/97.5 ESPN Deportes             
Monday, Aug. 13: 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.
 
CHICAGO FIRE vs. Philadelphia Union

  • The Fire hold a 2-2-1 all-time regular season record against the Philadelphia Union. The Fire have never won against the Union in Philadelphia, holding an 0-2-0 record in matches played at PPL Park.
  • The Fire are currently 3-5-3 in matches played on the road.
  • An appearance in Sunday evening’s match will mark the 250th MLS Regular Season appearance by Fire captain Logan Pause. With 249 appearances under his belt, Pause sits second behind only C.J. Brown (296 appearances) on the Fire’s career regular season leaders standings for games played.
  • Current Union defender Bakary Soumare spent three seasons with the Fire from 2007-09. Drafted second overall in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, Soumare went on to appear in 63 regular season matches for the Men in Red. Soumare was a 2008 MLS Defender of the  Year finalist and was named to the 2009 MLS All-Star team in 2009. Soumare signed with the Union in June 2012 and has yet to make a first team appearance for the side.
  • Sunday’s match marks the homecoming of Fire defender Dan Gargan, who was born and raised in Philadelphia. Gargan was named All-State and team MVP his junior and senior seasons at Chestnut Hill Academy, and was league MVP as a senior. Gargan spent his youth career with local club FC Coppa.
  • Rookie defender Austin Berry’s game-winning goal in Saturday’s match marked his third goal of the season and his first at Toyota Park. Berry, a potential MLS Rookie of the Year candidate, leads all defenders in scoring. The Fire’s first round pick has started in 16 consecutive matches.
  • Uruguayan Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez made his Fire debut, logging 50 minutes before coming off due to an ankle injury. Dutch striker Sherjill MacDonald made his Toyota Park debut, replacing Dominic Oduro at the start of the second half.
  • Marco Pappa’s 64th minute equalizer moves him into the team lead with six goals on the MLS campaign. The goal also moves the Guatemalan international into a tie with Peter Nowak for fourth on the club’s all-time list at 26.
  • Saturday’s win was the Fire’s fifth come-from-behind victory on the season.

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/.   
 
CHICAGO FIRE COME FROM BEHIND TO DOWN TORONTO FC 2-1
The Chicago Fire used second half goals from Marco Pappa and Austin Berry to overcome a 1-0 halftime deficit and defeat Eastern Conference foes Toronto FC 2-1 Saturday night at Toyota Park. The Fire improved to 7-2-2 at Toyota Park and remain undefeated against Eastern Conference opponents at home.
 
After early Fire domination, Toronto FC would take the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute when TFC striker Ryan Johnson ran onto an errant pass from Pappa to the back line. The Jamaican international strolled into the box and placed his effort past Sean Johnson to go up 1-0.
 
Despite mostly one-way traffic, Toronto FC nearly stole a second goal just before halftime. Central midfielder Terry Dunfield sent in a penetrating cross from the left that Ryan Johnson flicked back for Luis Silva. The rookie midfielder took a close range shot that Sean Johnson dove to his left to turn away, preserving the 1-0 deficit going into the locker room.
 
Toronto would have the first chance of the second half in the 53rd minute when a Torsten Frings corner kick from the left bent away from Johnson to find Doneil Henry, but the defender headed his effort wide right of goal.
 
The Fire would finally find the equalizer 10 minutes later. Rolfe flicked an effort into the box that saw Henry’s clearance deflect off of Logan Emory before Pappa ran onto the ball, danced around Kocic and coolly threaded his effort between three defenders and into the far netting to bring the score to 1-1 in the 64th minute.
 
The Fire would gain a man advantage in the 79th minute. Rolfe would hold up a ball out of the back at midfield but was chopped down by Emory. Having already received a yellow card in the 40th minute, referee Michael Kennedy fashioned another caution, taking TFC down to 10 men for the remainder of the match.
 
It took the home side just five minutes to put Toronto to the sword when Pardo’s in-swinging free kick from the left found the head of Austin Berry who powerfully nodded his effort past Kocic to give the Fire a 2-1 edge.
 
The Fire almost earned a two-goal victory a minute later when Rolfe’s misfired shot deflected to MacDonald on the right but the Dutch striker’s effort cut across the goal and just missed at the back post, leaving the hosts with a 2-1 home victory.
 
CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB TO HOST MEXICAN CHAMPIONS CLUB SANTOS LAGUNA SEPTEMBER 8 AT TOYOTA PARK

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that the Fire will welcome four-time Mexican Primera División champions, Club Santos Laguna to Toyota Park for an international friendly on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
 
Advance tickets for the first meeting between the Chicago Fire and Santos Laguna go on sale Wednesday, July 25 at 10:00 a.m. CT and are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.chicago-fire.com. The international friendly will serve as Bonus Game 2 in the Fire Season Ticket and Ten Game packages.
 
Reigning Clausura Champions Santos Laguna have captured four titles in Mexico’s Primera División, most recently defeating Monterey 3-2 on aggregate to capture the 2012 tournament. Santos Laguna has experienced success in the CONCACAF region as well. The Albiverdes placed second in the 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League. Santos Laguna were also crowned champions of the inaugural 2004 InterLiga tournament, the tournament between Mexican clubs to determine qualifying spots for the Copa Libertadores.
 
For the second consecutive year, the Fire will welcome a Mexican opponent to Toyota Park. In 2011, the Fire took on Chivas de Guadalajara in front of a crowd of more than 18,000. A 61st minute goal by Jorge Mora would prove the difference as Chivas de Guadalajara escaped with a 1-0 victory.
 
Santos Laguna’s roster currently boasts star goalkeeper and Mexican international Oswaldo Sánchez, a three-time FIFA World Cup veteran. U.S. international forward Hercules Gomez tallied five goals in 12 appearances for the Torreon side. Gomez appeared in three games for the United States Men’s National Team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and spent six years plying his trade in MLS with the LA Galaxy, Colorado Rapids and Kansas City Wizards.
 
This is the second international friendly scheduled for the Fire this season. The Men in Red hosted English Premier League side Aston Villa in a match Presented by TrueCar at Toyota Park on Saturday, July 21.
 
MOLLY’S CUPCAKES TO FEATURE CHICAGO FIRE CUPCAKE
Lincoln Park bakery Molly’s Cupcakes (2536 N. Clark) has created a limited-edition Chicago Fire Velvet Swirl cupcake that will be available for the month of August. A twist on the classic red velvet cupcake, one dollar from every purchase will benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation. Check out this video of Fire defender Gonzalo Segares touring Molly’s - http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/08/02/sega-indulges-mollys-cupcakes.
 
FIRE IN THE NEWS
 
Fire's Johnson standing out in goal - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - August 3, 2012
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/ct-spt-0803-fire-chicago--20120803,0,5348552.story
 
Sherjill MacDonald: Fire's acclimation project - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - August 3, 2012
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/14219432-626/sherjill-macdonald-fires-acclimation-project.html
 
Berry's goal completes Fire comeback - Orrin Schwarz - Daily Herald - August 4, 2012
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120804/sports/708049741/
 
Depth could be key to helping Fire end 2-year playoff drought - Orrin Schwarz - Daily Herald - August 3, 2012
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120802/sports/708029627/
 
Johnson stops all comers but one in standout performance - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - July 31, 2012
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/07/31/johnson-stops-all-comers-one-standout-performance
 
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
 
Five Things You Should Know About Saturday’s Game vs. Toronto FC – August 4, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/08/five-things-you-should-know-about-saturdays-game-vs-toronto-fc
 
Sega Indulges at Molly’s Cupcakes – August 2, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/08/02/sega-indulges-mollys-cupcakes
 
Jeff’s Top 15 Players July 31, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/07/31/jeffs-top-15-players