Fire Welcome Minnesota United FC During Bye Week
FIRE HOST NASL’S MINNESOTA UNITED FC DURING BYE WEEK; FRIEDRICH RETURNS TO CHICAGO
The Chicago Fire (0-3-1, one point) will use a break in MLS play to welcome NASL side Minnesota United FC to Toyota Park on Friday, March 29 at 10:00 a.m. CT.
This is the third consecutive year that the Fire will take on the side from Minnesota. Goals from Dominic Oduro, Daniel Paladini and Orr Barouch led the Fire to a 3-1 victory over Minnesota in their final preseason match March 9, 2012.
The break in MLS play will give Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas, who was without five regular starters against Chivas USA Sunday evening, an opportunity to return his lineup to full strength. Sean Johnson (USA) and Joel Lindpere (Estonia), currently with their respective nations for FIFA World Cup Qualifying, will return to the Fire following the FIFA international date on Tuesday, March 26.
Currently working towards full fitness following injuries are Dilly Duka (hamstring), Arne Friedrich (hamstring), Steven Kinney (quadricep), Logan Pause (quadricep) and Michael Videira (concussion). Pause returned to full training March 12 and was named to the 18-man roster for Sunday’s match. Friedrich, who spent two weeks in Berlin receiving treatment for a hamstring strain, is scheduled to return to Toyota Park on Wednesday, March 27 and will be evaluated by the Chicago Fire athletic training staff.
The Fire return to MLS action on Sunday, April 7 when they host the New York Red Bulls (0-2-2, two points) at 4:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2/La Ley 107.9).
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: March 25 – April 1
Monday, March 25: Off
Tuesday, March 26: First Team Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^
MLS Reserve League Match – Chicago Fire at Columbus Crew – Crew Stadium – 9:00 a.m. CT
Wednesday, March 27: Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^
Thursday, March 28: Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^
Friday, March 29: Chicago Fire vs. Minnesota United FC – Toyota Park Practice Field – 10:00 a.m. CT
Saturday, March 30: Off
Sunday, March 31: Off
Monday, April 1: Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^
*Training will take place on the Toyota Park Practice Field unless otherwise noted
^Times are approximate and subject to change. Fire players and coaches will be made available following training. Please contact the Chicago Fire Communications Department for updated times and locations. Please contact Eunice Kim for media requests.
CHICAGO FIRE FALL 4-1 TO CHIVAS USA
The Chicago Fire dropped a 4-1 decision to Chivas USA Sunday evening at Toyota Park. Patrick Nyarko scored the equalizer after Chivas USA’s Edgar Mejia opened the scoring. Chivas found two unanswered goals two minutes apart from Joaquin Velazquez and Juan Agudelo before a Jalil Anibaba own goal resulted in a final score of 4-1.
In the 38th minute the Fire looked dangerous when midfielder Wells Thompson unleashed a driving shot 30-yards from goal that went just wide of the post.
Just one minute later, Chris Rolfe stole the ball and went racing towards goal. Rolfe got behind the Chivas USA defense and broke into the box but Chivas ‘keeper Dan Kennedy was able to knock it away.
Chivas USA broke the deadlock in the 57th minute. Agudelo, with his back towards goal, played a square ball to Mejia outside the penalty box. Mejia took a touch and unleashed a right-footed blast past an outstretched Tornaghi.
The Fire found the equalizer and the first goal of the season in the 64th minute. Maicon Santos received the ball on the right touchline and carried it to the top of the arc where he played a short past to MacDonald. MacDonald turned and laid the ball off into the path of an onrushing Nyarko, who with one touch slid the ball under Kennedy to bring the score level. Nyarko’s goal put an end to a record-setting 410 goalless drought for the Fire.
Chivas USA would go up 3-1 in the 75th minute. Kennedy unleashed a long throw to Jorge Villafana who dribbled into the Fire’s half and played a long, looping ball to Agudelo racing into the box. The U.S. international went shoulder-to-shoulder and bumped Larentowicz off the ball, took a touch and curled a right-footed shot around Tornaghi.
Chivas USA put the game away in the 89th minute when Jose Correa drove a ball in across the face of Tornaghi’s goal. Racing back to defend was Jalil Anibaba and the ball took an unfortunate deflection off his right foot into the goal as the game finished 4-1.
Sunday’s match marked Wells Thompson’s first start in a Fire shirt. This match also marked the first Fire appearance for forward Quincy Amarikwa, who entered the match in the 68th minute for Sherjill MacDonald.
SEAN JOHNSON AND JOEL LINDPERE CALLED UP FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and midfielder Joel Lindpere are currently with their respective nations for FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
Johnson was an unused substitute in the United States’ 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Friday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. The U.S. next faces Mexico at famed Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico on Tuesday, March 26 at 9:30 p.m. CT (ESPN/Univision).
Lindpere entered the match in the 77th minute of Estonia’s 3-0 loss to the Netherlands at Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands Friday evening. Lindpere and Estonia host Andorra March 26 at A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia.
CHICAGO FIRE SEASON AND INDIVIDUAL TICKETS ON SALE
Individual single game tickets for the club’s 16th MLS season at Toyota Park are now on sale via Ticketmaster.
One of the most affordable live events in the Chicagoland area, single game ticket prices start as low as $20 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.
Season Tickets are also available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE, via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
FIRE IN THE NEWS
Sean Johnson: The Survivor - Len Ziehm - CSNChicago.com - March 18, 2013
Fire searching for offense - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - March 21, 2013
Fire backup Paolo Tornaghi ready for start vs. Chivas USA - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - March 23, 2013
Not exactly soccer weather for Fire practice - Orrin Schwarz - Daily Herald - March 21, 2013
Recent struggles hard to shake, but Chicago Fire hope this is the week they start scoring - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - March 22, 2013
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
Gameday Q&A: Paolo Tornaghi in the spotlight ahead of Sunday’s game – March 23, 2013
Five things you should know about Sunday’s game vs. Chivas USA – March 23, 2013
All-In with Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan – March 20, 2013
Fire could see fourth different player slot in at right back Sunday vs. Chivas – March 20, 2013