Chicago Fire Welcome Sporting Kansas City For Eastern Conference Battle Under Friday Night Lights

A look at the week ahead for the Men in Red as they prepare for Sporting Kansas City

Mike Magee

Photo Credit: 
Brian Kersey Chicago Fire
CHICAGO FIRE WELCOME SPORTING KANSAS CITY TO TOYOTA PARK
The Chicago Fire (9-10-4, 31 points) welcome Sporting Kansas City (11-8-6, 39 points) to Toyota Park on Friday, Aug. 23 in a match presented by TrueCar at 7:30 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network/La Ley 107.9). The first 5,000 fans in the stadium will receive a TrueCar car flag.
 
This is the third and final match between the two squads this season. The Fire held Sporting Kansas City to a 0-0 draw to earn a valuable road point at Sporting Park on March 16. The Fire fell 2-1 at Toyota Park on July 7.
 
Sporting Kansas City, currently sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference, enter the match after dropping a 1-0 road decision to the San Jose Earthquakes on Aug. 18.  
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: August 19 – August 26
 
Monday, Aug. 19           Off
Tuesday, Aug. 20          Training 9:30 a.m.^ - Toyota Park Stadium Field           
Wednesday, Aug. 21     Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Thursday, Aug. 22         Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Friday, Aug. 23             Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City presented by TrueCar – Toyota Park – 7:30 p.m. CT – NBC Sports Network
Saturday, Aug. 24         Practice in the Community presented by University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System – IIT Stuart Field (31st and South Federal) – 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. CT
Sunday, Aug. 25           Off
Monday, Aug. 26           Training 9:30 a.m.*^
 
*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. Sporting Kansas City
 
-       The Fire hold a 23-12-10 all-time regular season record against Sporting Kansas City, including a 15-4-2 record in matches played at home.
 
-       Fire midfielder Daniel Paladini will face his brother-in-law on Friday 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.
 
-       Fire forward Mike Magee returned to the starting lineup in the Fire’s Aug. 17 match against the New England Revolution. Magee was a late scratch in the Fire’s Aug. 10 match against the Montreal Impact due to right calf tightness. With a career-best 14 goals on the season, Magee currently sits tied with Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Camilo Sanvezzo atop the tightly-contested MLS Golden Boot race.
-       Newly-signed Uruguayan midfielder Arevalo Rios made his Fire debut on Aug. 17, starting and featuring the full 90 minutes.
-       Fire head coach Frank Klopas was ejected in the 83rd minute and assistant coach Leo Percovich was ejected at the conclusion of the Fire’s Aug. 17 match against the New England Revolution.
 
-       Fire center back Bakary Soumare was shown a red card in the 95th minute of the Fire’s match against the Revolution.
 
-       Klopas, Percovich and Soumare will miss the Fire’s match against Sporting Kansas City.
 
CHICAGO FIRE HONOR DEFENDER ARNE FRIEDRICH ON FRIDAY, AUG. 23
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will recognize defender Arne Friedrich at halftime of the Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City match on Friday, Aug. 23. The two-time German World Cup veteran announced his retirement from professional soccer on June 23.
 
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.  
 
CHICAGO FIRE HOLD THIRD ANNUAL PRACTICE IN THE COMMUNITY
For the third consecutive year the club will hold a Practice in the Community, presented by University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart Field (31st and South Federal) on Saturday, August 24 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. CT. Chicago Fire First Team training is scheduled to take place at 11:00 a.m. CT and is subject to change.
 
The Fire will venture away from their soccer-specific home of Toyota Park to the Practice in the Community event, bringing the entire Fire team to Chicago’s South Side for a full training session that is open to the general public. Following the practice, the Fire will interact with the fans and members of the local community by signing autographs and talking soccer.
 
Fans who attend Practice in the Community will also have the opportunity to win a VIP Gameday Experience for the Sept. 1 match against the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park. This package will include four field-side seats, the opportunity to watch warm ups from the field, access to a post-game autograph session in the Stadium Club and a Fire fan gift pack, including a team autographed Fire jersey.
 
The Practice in the Community event is presented by University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UIH), the leaders in the delivery of patient care, education and research. UIH has the vision to create, nurture and sustain long-term relationships with the communities they serve.
 
Additional information on the Practice in the Community can be found here.
 
CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB TO HOST HISPANIC HERITAGE DAY 2013
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club recognizes and celebrates the pride and passion for the world's most popular sport. Soccer is embedded in much of Hispanic heritage and throughout the United States in the Hispanic communities. On Sunday, Sept. 1 the Chicago Fire will present “Hispanic Heritage Day” when the Fire welcome the Houston Dynamo to Toyota Park.
 
As a special part of this day, the Fire will be honoring distinguished members of the Hispanic community who have made a positive impact on the Hispanic and Latino community in the Chicago area. Winners will be selected and honored during halftime of the Fire’s match against the Dynamo. Additional information on nominating a Hispanic Hero can be found here.
 
CHICAGO FIRE PARTNER WITH THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY TO HOLD FOOD DRIVE ON SUNDAY, SEPT. 1
The Chicago Fire will host a food drive during the Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo match on Sunday, Sept. 1. Fans attending the match are encouraged to bring shelf-stable food items to any gate to help feed their neighbors in need.
 
The Chicago Fire have partnered with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to support their efforts to help collect food and raise awareness for the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Cook County who struggle to find food every day. The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in the community. 
 
The Food Depository distributes donated and purchased food through a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to 678,000 adults and children in Cook County every year. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 64 million pounds of nonperishable food and fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 134,800 meals every day. 
 
Additional information on the Fire’s partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository can be found here.