Chicago Fire Host Philadelphia Union For Saturday Afternoon Showdown

A look at the week ahead for the Fire as they prepare for back to back match-ups vs. the Union

Patrick Nyarko

Photo Credit: 
Brian Kersey Chicago Fire

CHICAGO FIRE WELCOME PHILADELPHIA UNION TO TOYOTA PARK FOR FIRST LEG OF HOME-AND-AWAY SERIES
The Chicago Fire (2-5-1, 7 points) return to MLS action after a bye week to host the Philadelphia Union (3-3-3, 12 points) at Toyota Park on Saturday, May 11 at 12:30 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network/La Ley 107.9 FM).
 
This is the first leg of a home-and-away series between the two squads and the first of three meetings between the two sides this season. Following the match on May 11, the Fire will head to Philadelphia for the second leg at PPL Park in Chester, Penn. on Saturday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9 FM). The Fire will return to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Union on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9 FM).
 
The Fire were 2-1-0 against the Union in 2012. Dominic Oduro’s 28th minute header helped lift the Fire over the Union for a 1-0 Toyota Park home opener victory March 24. The Fire conceded the first goal but a Chris Rolfe brace and Arne Friedrich’s first MLS strike defeated the Union 3-1 at PPL Park Aug. 12. Dominic Oduro’s 69th minute goal wasn’t enough as the Men in Red fell 3-1 to the Union at Toyota Park Oct. 3.
 
The Union enter the match after a Danny Cruz brace in the span of one minute helped the Union earn a point in a 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders at PPL Park on Saturday, May 4.
 
Both squads will be shorthanded as two players will be serving a red card suspension. Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz was ejected in the 63rd minute of the Fire’s 2-0 loss to the Montreal Impact April 27 at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Quebec and Union defender Sheanon Williams was ejected in the 85th minute of the Union’s 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders May 4 at PPL Park. Prior to the red cards, both players played every minute of the 2013 season for their respective teams.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: May 7 – May 12
 
Tuesday, May 7:            Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^          
Wednesday, May 8:       Training 10:00 a.m. CT^ - Toyota Park Stadium Field    
Thursday, May 9:           Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^       
Friday, May 10:             Training 10:00 a.m. CT*^  
Saturday, May 11:         Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union – Toyota Park – 12:30 p.m. CT – NBC Sports Network/107.9 La Ley  
Sunday, May 12:           Off
Monday, May 13:          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. Philadelphia Union

  • The Fire hold a 3-3-1 all-time regular season record against the Union, including a 2-1-1 record in matches played at Toyota Park.
     
  • Union assistant coach Jim Curtain was a member of the Fire for the first seven season of his professional career. Selected in the third round (29th overall) of the 2001 MLS SuperDraft, Curtin made 151 MLS Regular Season appearances for the Men in Red, winning the 2003 and 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships and was named a  2004 MLS All-Star during his time with the Fire.
     
  • 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.
     
  • With midfielder Jeff Larentowicz set to serve a one-game suspension, Fire head coach Frank Klopas will field his ninth different starting lineup in nine matches.

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 at 7:30 p.m. CT 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, who currently sit atop the Liga MX table, 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 TO HOST THIRD ANNUAL ART OF FUTBOL EVENT
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will showcase artwork from Chicagoland artists who submitted original pieces that celebrate the beautiful game of soccer at the Third Annual Art of Futbol event at the Society Art Gallery (2140 W. Fulton Street, Chicago, IL 60612) on Thursday, May 16 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. CT.
 
Hosted by the Chicago Fire Foundation, the club put out a call to Chicagoland artists looking for original works that celebrate the game of soccer and everything it represents. Soccer is a game that permeates all aspects of our city, encompassing varied views and opposing opinions. The Art of Futbol provides an opportunity for artists to share their vision with the local community.  
 
Tickets for the event, which start at $25 and benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation, can be purchased here.
 
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.