Chicago Fire Welcome San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City to Toyota Park

A look at the week ahead for the Fire as they prepare for San Jose and Kansas City

Patrick Nyarko

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images
CHICAGO FIRE WELCOME SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES AND SPORTING KANSAS CITY TO TOYOTA PARK
The Chicago Fire (5-7-3, 18 points) return to MLS action when they host the San Jose Earthquakes (5-7-6, 21 points) at Toyota Park on Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9). With the quick turnaround, the Fire welcome Sporting Kansas City in a match presented by Quaker on Sunday, July 7 (ESPN/La Ley 107.9).
 
Tickets for both matches are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.  
 
Wednesday’s match marks the only regular season meeting between the Fire and Earthquakes this season. Chris Rolfe’s 37th minute strike and Sean Johnson’s career-high ten saves helped the Men in Red earn a hard-fought road point at Buck Shaw Stadium on July 28, 2012.
Currently in eighth place in the Western Conference, the Earthquakes enter the match after two second-half injury time goals gave the Earthquakes the 3-2 win over the LA Galaxy Saturday evening.
 
Sunday’s match is the second of three matches between the Fire and Sporting KC this season. The Fire battled to a 0-0 draw earlier this season at Sporting Park on March 16. The Fire host the final leg under Friday night lights at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 (NBC Sports Network/La Ley 107.9).
 
Prior to Sunday’s match Sporting KC will play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, July 3.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: July 2 – July 8
 
Tuesday, July 2             Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Wednesday, July 3        Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes – Toyota Park – 7:30 p.m. CT – My50/La Ley 107.9
Thursday, July 4            Training 11:00 a.m.*^
Friday, July 5                Training 9:30 a.m.^ - Toyota Park Stadium Field
Saturday, July 6            Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Sunday, July 7              Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City – Toyota Park – 2:00 p.m. CT – ESPN/La Ley 107.9
Monday, July 8             First Team Training 9:00 a.m.*^
MLS Reserve League – Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls – Toyota Park Training Field – 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. San Jose Earthquakes
 
-       The Fire hold a 12-8-11 all-time regular season record against the San Jose Earthquakes, including a dominating 7-2-6 record in matches played at home.
-       Current Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch spent three seasons with the Fire from 2007-2009. In 63 regular season matches, Busch recorded 240 saves and 21 shutouts. Busch was named 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and in 2009 was the only Fire player to start and play 90 minutes in every MLS game.
-       Current Earthquakes defender Dan Gargan spend one and a half seasons with the Fire from 2011-2012. In 31 regular season matches, Gargan scored one goal and added one assist, helping the Fire return to the playoffs in 2012.
-       Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and Gargan were teammates at Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, Pa.
-       The Fire are currently in the midst of an eight game unbeaten run across all competitions
-       The Fire will be without the services of goalkeeper Sean Johnson who has been named to the U.S. roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
-       Fire head coach Frank Klopas holds a 23-12-13 all-time regular season record in matches played in the months of June through October. Klopas’ squads have tallied an overall record of 7-11-5 in the first three matches of the season.
 
CHICAGO FIRE vs. Sporting Kansas City
 
-       The Fire hold a 23-11-10 all-time regular season record against Sporting Kansas City, including 15-3-2 record in matches played at home.
-       Fire midfielder Daniel Paladini will face his brother-in-law on Sunday in Sporting defender Josh Gardner, who is married to the Fire midfielder’s sister Michelle.
-       When MLS launched in 1996, current Fire head coach Frank Klopas was allocated to the Kansas City Wiz going on to tally seven goals and 11 assists over 54 matches from 1996-97.
-       Kansas City boss Peter Vermes and Chicago manager Frank Klopas represented the United States National Team eight times together from 1988-1994. Team USA went 3-3-2 in those matches, with Klopas netting three goals, including a brace on in a 5-1 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying win over Jamaica on August 13, 1988 in Fenton, Missouri.
-       The Fire will be without the services of goalkeeper Sean Johnson who has been named to the U.S. roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
-       Fire head coach Frank Klopas holds a 23-12-13 all-time regular season record in matches played in the months of June through October. Klopas’ squads have tallied an overall record of 7-11-5 in the first three matches of the season.
 
TICKETS FOR THE CHICAGO FIRE VS. D.C. UNITED LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP SEMIFINAL MATCH NOW ON SALE
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that tickets for the Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal match at Toyota Park on Wednesday, Aug. 7 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 be included in the Second Star Club and Suite season ticket packages.
 
The Fire advanced to the semifinals of the storied tournament with a 5-1 victory over the Orlando City SC Wednesday evening at Toyota Park. A Chris Rolfe brace and goals from Patrick Nyarko, Mike Magee and Joel Lindpere led the Men in Red to their 33rd all-time victory of the 100-year old tournament.
 
D.C. United advanced after a 3-1 victory over the New England Revolution Wednesday evening at the SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.
 
CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER SEAN JOHNSON NAMED TO U.S. ROSTER FOR 2013 CONCACAF GOLD CUP
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that goalkeeper Sean Johnson has been selected by U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann as one of the 23 players that will represent the United States in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.
 
Johnson reported for international duty on July 1 in San Diego. The United States will face Guatemala on July 5 at Qualcomm Stadium at 10:00 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network/UniMas) as the only tune-up match prior to the tournament.
 
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 24-year-old ‘keeper has been capped three times.
 
Now in his fourth year as a professional, Johnson has started 14 of the Fire’s 15 matches this season and earned his 18th career shutout in a 2-0 win over D.C. United June 2.
 
In 2012, Johnson appeared in a career-high 31 regular season matches for the Men in Red and recorded five shutouts en route to a 1.24 goals against average that was the lowest in his professional career. Johnson made 108 saves in 2012, including a career-high ten saves against the San Jose Earthquakes July 28.
 
The U.S. has been drawn into Group C of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup along with Belize, Cuba and Costa Rica. The U.S. will open group play against Belize on July 9 at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore., before traveling to Sandy, Utah, to face Cuba at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 13 in their second group match. The United States finishes the group in East Hartford, Conn., against Costa Rica on July 16 at Rentschler Field.
 
The U.S. has previously competed in the tournament 11 times, and has four titles to their credit. The winner of the 2013 Gold Cup will compete in a playoff with the winner of the 2015 event for the right to represent CONCACAF at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
 
CHICAGO FIRE FOUNDATION TO HOLD COMMEMORATIVE JERSEY AUCTION JULY 3
During the Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes match at 7:30 p.m. CT on July 3, Fire supporters will have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind Chicago Fire jerseys from each member of the team, plus Fire mascot Sparky, and have the player whose jersey they won personally autograph the new piece of memorabilia. These unique jerseys will feature red, white and blue name plates and numbers.
 
Bidding is now open and will run to the end of halftime of the Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes match on July 3. To begin text AUCTION to 52182
 
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.