Chicago Fire Continue Quest for Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Against Orlando City SC

A look at the week ahead for the Fire as they prepare for an Open Cup clash with Orlando City

Dilly Duka

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images
CHICAGO FIRE HOST ORLANDO CITY S.C. IN LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP ACTION
The Chicago Fire (5-7-3, 18 points) shift their focus to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match against USL PRO side Orlando City SC at Toyota Park on Wednesday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. CT with the match streaming live on www.Chicago-Fire.com.
 
The Fire, who have never faced Orlando City in Open Cup play, are 20-0-1 all-time in Open Cup matches in the state of Illinois.
 
Since 1998 the Fire have racked up an impressive 32-10-4 all-time Open Cup record, which has helped the squad reach 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 100-year-long history.
 
Following Wednesday’s Open Cup match, the Fire Reserves will host USL PRO side Charlotte Eagles at Toyota Park on Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. CT. in interleague play as part of the agreement between MLS and USL PRO. Additional information on the agreement can be found here.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: June 25 – June 30
 
Tuesday, June 25          Training 10:00 a.m.*^
Wednesday, June 26     Chicago Fire vs. Orlando City SC – Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Toyota Park – 7:30 p.m. CT (live stream via www.Chicago-Fire.com)
Thursday, June 27         Off
Friday, June 28             Training 10:00 a.m.*^
Saturday, June 29         Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Chicago Fire Reserves vs. Charlotte Eagles – Toyota Park – 7:30 p.m. CT
Sunday, June 30           Off
 
*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. Orlando City SC
 
-       The Men in Red are currently unbeaten in seven matches across all competitions dating back to a 1-1 draw against Real Salt Lake on May 25
-       Fire head coach Frank Klopas is 23-12-14 all-time in regular season MLS matches played June through October. Klopas’ side is 7-11-5 in matches played from March through May
-       Dilly Duka’s goal in the 52nd minute of Saturday’s match was his first goal in a Fire shirt and third overall in his MLS career
-       Mike Magee’s game-winner in the 54th minute of Saturday’s match was his sixth goal in six consecutive competitive matches to start his Fire career
-       With 10 goals to his credit this season, Magee now sits in a three-way tie with Marco Di Vaio and Jack McInerney atop the MLS Golden Boot standings
-       Joel Lindpere’s two assists Saturday evening was his third multi-point game of his MLS career and his first since July 6, 2011 where the Estonian tallied one goal and added two assists
CHICAGO FIRE RESERVES vs. Charlotte Eagles
-       This is the third meeting across all competitions between the two sides this season.
-       The Fire defeated the Eagles 2-0 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round matchup May 29 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
-       Quincy Amarikwa’s 42nd minute header put the Fire Reserves ahead first before the Charlotte’s Christian Ramirez and Ben Newman gave the Eagles the 2-1 victory at Queens College in Charlotte, N.C. on June 14.
CHICAGO FIRE DEFENDER ARNE FRIEDRICH RETIRES FROM PROFESSIONAL SOCCER
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Sunday that defender Arne Friedrich has retired from professional soccer. The two-time German World Cup veteran brings an end to a 14-year professional career that saw him compete at the top levels in Germany before joining the Fire.
 
Friedrich joined the Fire March 7, 2012 and was instrumental in the Fire’s return to the playoffs. Friedrich made 23 appearances for the Men in Red, tallying one goal across 1,832 minutes. The two-time German World Cup veteran patrolled the Fire backline that held opponents to 41 goals in the 2012 regular season, tied for second best in the Eastern Conference. In recognition of his efforts, Friedrich was selected as the club’s 2012 Defender of the Year. The Men in Red went 14-5-4 in matches where Friedrich commanded the Fire’s central defense.  
 
Hailing from Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, Friedrich represented the German national team 82 times since his first appearance in 2002. During that time, the 6-1 defender compiled an impressive international resume, playing 13 of a possible 14 games while helping Die Mannschaft to matching third place finishes at the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. It was in the latter tournament that he scored, tallying in the 74th minute of Germany’s 4-0 quarterfinal victory over Argentina July 3, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa.
 
The renowned defender also represented Germany at the 2004 and 2008 UEFA European championships. In 2008, Friedrich appeared in four matches, helping his country to a runner-up finish. Capable of playing centrally or on the right side of the backline, Friedrich helped his national side to a third-place finish at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany.
 
Friedrich began his professional career with German Regionalliga side SC Verl, where he appeared in 31 matches from 1999-2000 before transferring to 2. Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefield the following season. Friedrich helped Die Blauen’s  promotion push to the Bundesliga during the first part of the 2001-02 season before transferring to Hertha Berlin that January.
 
It was in the German capital where Friedrich made his biggest mark, going on to tally 231 league appearances and 14 goals from 2002-10. Prior to the 2002-03 Bundesliga campaign, Friedrich helped the club to the preseason DFB Ligapokal. During the 2004-05 campaign, he was named club captain, a role he held throughout the remainder of his tenure with Die Alte Dame.
 
Following Hertha’s relegation after the 2009-10 season, Friedrich transferred to VfL Wolfsburg where he appeared in 15 matches from 2010-11.
 
Depending on his treatment, Friedrich is expected to return to Chicago later this summer and will be honored at an upcoming Fire home game.
 
TICKETS FOR THE CHICAGO FIRE VS. ORLANDO CITY SC LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP QUARTERFINAL MATCH NOW ON SALE
Tickets for the Chicago Fire vs. Orlando City SC Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal match at Toyota Park on Wednesday, June 26 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 Open Cup match will serve as Bonus Game 3 in the Fire Season Ticket and Ten Game packages.
 
The Fire advanced to the quarterfinals of the storied tournament with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew Thursday afternoon at Toyota Park. Goals from Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko led the Men in Red to their 32nd all-time victory in the 100-year-old tournament.
 
USL-PRO side Orlando City SC advanced after a 1-0 victory over defending champions Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday evening at Sporting Park.
 
SEVEN FIRE PLAYERS NAMED TO THE 2013 AT&T MLS ALL-STAR GAME BALLOT
Major League Soccer announced the seven Chicago Fire players that have been chosen for the fan ballot for the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star game against Serie A side AS Roma on July 31 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Fan voting is now open on www.MLSsoccer.com and via text message.
 
The Men in Red are represented on the fan ballot by goalkeeper Sean Johnson, defenders Jalil Anibaba and Austin Berry, midfielders Jeff Larentowicz, Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko, and forward Chris Rolfe.
 
Larentowicz is the only Fire player on this year’s ballot with previous All-Star game experience, having represented the Rapids in 2010 when the MLS All-Stars hosted Manchester United at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Larentowicz played the second half as the MLS All-Stars fell 5-2 in front of a record crowd of 70,728 fans.
 
A panel of media members nominated a total of 115 players to the fan ballot. Fans may vote online HERE. Fans can also vote by sending a player’s last name via text message to 22442.
 
Additional information on the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game can be found here.
 
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 have captured eleven 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.
 
Recently crowned the Liga MX Clasura champions, 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.