Chicago Fire Duel With Real Salt Lake

A look at the week ahead for the Men In Red as they prepare to take on Real Salt Lake

FIRE HEAD TO SALT LAKE CITY FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE ROAD MATCH
The Chicago Fire (2-7-1, 7 points) head to Salt Lake City to take on 2009 MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake (6-5-2, 20 points) at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, May 25 at 8:00 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9).
 
This is the only MLS Regular Season match between the two squads this year. The Men in Red shutout RSL and battled to a 0-0 draw to earn a point at Toyota Park on May 9, 2012.
 
Currently in second place in the Western Conference, RSL enter the match after a Ned Grabavoy brace and goals from Joao Plata and Robbie Findley led to a 4-1 win over Chivas USA Sunday evening at the Home Depot Center.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: May 21 – May 27
 
Tuesday, May 21:          First Team Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^          
Wednesday, May 22:     Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^     
Thursday, May 23:         Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^       
Friday, May 24:             Travel to Salt Lake City
Saturday, May 25:         Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake – Rio Tinto Stadium – Sandy, Utah – 8:00 p.m. CT – My50/La Ley 107.9
Sunday, May 26:           Return to Chicago
Monday, May 27:          First Team 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 vs. Real Salt Lake

  • The Fire hold a 6-3-6 all-time regular season record against Real Salt Lake, including a 3-2-2 advantage in matches played in Salt Lake City.
  • On the road against RSL, the Men in Red have scored 11 goals while only conceding six.
  • Of the Fire’s 17 all-time regular season goals scored against RSL, seven have come in the final 15 minutes of the match.
  • The Fire are historically 4-9-2 all-time in the 11th regular season match of the season.
  • Real Salt Lake assistant coach CJ Brown was a member of the Fire for his entire 13-year MLS career. The first overall selection in the 1998 MLS Supplemental Draft, Brown quickly entrenched himself in the Fire starting XI during the club’s inaugural season, appearing in 37 of the team’s 41 competitive matches while helping the side to an unprecedented “Domestic Double”, winning the 1998 MLS and U.S. Open Cup championships. Through the preceding 12 seasons, Brown helped lead the team to four more domestic titles – the 2000, 2003 and 2006 U.S. Open Cups and 2003 MLS Supporters Shield – as well as four more finals – the 2000 and 2003 MLS Cup, 2004 U.S. Open Cup and 2009 SuperLiga. A member of the club’s Ring of Fire,  Brown retired following the conclusion of the 2010 season and joined the RSL technical staff prior to the 2011 season.
  • Current RSL defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe also began his MLS career with the Fire. Selected 26th overall in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Watson-Siriboe appeared in 10 matches during his rookie campaign, starting seven for a total of 681 minutes.
  • RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy is a product of the Chicago Fire PDL program. Born in Joliet, Ill., Grabavoy was named the 2000 Gatorade and NSCAA/adidas National High School Player of the Year during his senior season at Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox, Ill. and led Lincoln-Way Central to two-straight Illinois state championship games.
  • The Fire will be without the services of defender Wells Thompson against RSL. Thompson will be serving a one-game suspension for a red card that he was shown in the 63rd minute of the Fire’s match against the Philadelphia Union May 18 at PPL Park.

 
CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER SEAN JOHNSON TO THROW OUT FIRST PITCH AT CHICAGO WHITE SOX GAME MONDAY, MAY 20
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson will throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch at the Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox game on Monday, May 20 at U.S. Cellular Field (333 W. 35th Street) at 7:10 p.m. CT.
 
Now in his fourth year as a professional, Johnson has started nine of the Fire’s ten matches this season and earned his 17th career shutout in a 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew April 20. Johnson missed the Fire’s March 24 match against Chivas USA while with the national team.
 
SEAN JOHNSON AND VICTOR PINEDA CALLED UP FOR INTERNATIONAL DUTY
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and midfielder Victor Pineda have been called up to represent the United States in upcoming international action.
 
Johnson has been selected by U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming international friendly against Belgium at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2/UniMas).
 
A Lilburn, Ga. product, Johnson made his international debut Jan. 22, 2011 against Chile at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Johnson earned his first start for the U.S. Men’s National Team and earned the shutout in a 0-0 draw with Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas Jan. 29. The 23-year-old ‘keeper has been capped three times.
 
Johnson will miss the Fire’s opening match in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play on Tuesday, May 28 while on international duty.
 
Pineda has been selected by U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos for the 22-man roster to participate in the 2013 Toulon Tournament from May 28 – June 8 in Toulon, France.
 
The 41st edition of the Toulon Tournament features 10 countries placed in two five-team groups. The USA is in Group A with Colombia, Congo DR, South Korea and host France. Group B includes Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and Portugal.
 
The U.S. opens the tournament against France on Tuesday, May 28, at Stade Léo-Lagrange in Toulon. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. local (12:30 p.m. CT). The group stage features four games, after which the group winners face each other in the championship match and the group runners-up meet in the third-place game. Both matches take place on Saturday, June 8.
 
The United States are currently preparing for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The United States, drawn into Group A, face Spain in Istanbul on June 21, France in Istanbul on June 24 and Ghana in Kayseri on June 27.
 
Utilized as a forward for the U-20s, the Fire Academy product will depart for France on May 25 and will miss the Fire’s match against Real Salt Lake that night at Rio Tinto Stadium at 8:00 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9), the June 2 match against D.C. United at Toyota Park at 4:00 p.m. CT (UniMas/My50/La Ley 107.9) and the June 8 match against the Portland Timbers at Toyota Park at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9). Additionally, Pineda will miss the Fire’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round match on May 28 or 29 while on international duty.
 
CHICAGO FIRE ANNOUNCE POTENTIAL LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP SCHEDULING CHANGE
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Monday that the potential Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round matchup between the Chicago Fire and Charlotte Eagles (USL-PRO) match originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 28 has been moved to Wednesday, May 29 at 6:00 p.m. CT at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. The Charlotte Eagles host the Seattle Sounders U-23 (PDL) on Tuesday, May 21 in the second round of the Open Cup. Should the Sounders U-23 advance, the Fire will host the match at Toyota Park on Tuesday, May 28.
 
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.
 
Since 1998 the Fire have compiled an impressive 29-11-4 record in Open Cup play, reaching the semifinal round eight out of 15 times and the final six times. The Fire have previously hoisted the coveted Dewar Trophy four times in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. The 2006 title marked the ninth time a team from Chicago won the Open Cup and made the Fire one of six teams to capture the crown at least four times in the tournament's 99-year-long history.
 
The 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup features a field of 68 teams, the largest field in the modern era (1995-present). Another significant change for 2013 is the process for determining the site for the Open Cup tournament semifinals and final. In past years, the sites for the final three matches of the tournament had been determined through a sealed-bid process, but this year the hosts of those games will be determined by a coin flip. Home teams throughout the entire tournament will be determined by random selection.
 
WEEKLY RADIO SHOW JUEGA CON FIRE ON LA LEY 107.9 FM
La Ley 107.9 FM will broadcast the weekly show, “Juega Con Fire” this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. CT. Hosted by veteran Spanish language play-by-play broadcaster Oscar Guzman and long-time Chicago reporter and FutbolMLS.com correspondent Raquel Ortiz, the new weekly show will focus on the beautiful game in Chicago, MLS and abroad.
 
Fans can tune-in for a chance to win tickets and other prizes while listening to all things soccer.
 
TICKETS FOR THE CHICAGO FIRE VS. CLUB AMERICA MATCH PRESENTED BY TRUECAR NOW ON SALE

Tickets for the Chicago Fire vs. Club América match Presented by TrueCar at Toyota Park on Wednesday, July 10 are now on sale.   
 
Advance tickets for the match 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 Season Ticket and Ten Game packages. The first 5,000 fans in the gates will receive a TrueCar car magnet.
 
Las Águilas recently defeated Monterrey in the semifinals to advance to the Liga MX finals will face Cruz Azul at Estadio Azul in Mexico City May 23 and Estadio Azteca May 26, have captured ten titles in Mexico’s Primera División and have also experience success in the CONCACAF region as well, tied with Cruz Azul as the most successful club in the region with five titles to their credit. América were also crowned champions of the 2008 InterLiga tournament, a competition between Mexican clubs to determine qualifying spots for the Copa Libertadores.
 
Currently sitting atop the Liga MX table, América’s roster currently boasts Mexican international defender Efraín Juárez and Ecuadorian striker Christian Benitez. Juárez, a 25-year-old right back has been capped 39 times for El Tri, and started three matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. América also feature currently Liga MX goal scoring leader, Ecuadorian striker Christian Benitez.  
 
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.
 
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.