Chicago Fire Welcome New York Red Bulls to Toyota Park for Home Opener

A look at the week ahead for the Men in Red as they prepare to take on New York

CHICAGO FIRE RETURN TO TOYOTA PARK FOR FIRST HOME MATCH OF 2014
The Chicago Fire (0-1-1, 1 point) host the New York Red Bulls (0-1-1, 1 point) for Opening Day at Toyota Park, presented by Giordano’s Chicago Pizza on Sunday, March 23, at 2:00 p.m. CT (My50/TWCSC Wisconsin/LA Ley).
 
This is the first of three meetings between the two sides this season. The Fire head to Red Bull Arena on May 10 before again hosting the Red Bulls at Toyota Park on Aug. 10.
 
The Red Bulls enter the match after playing the Colorado Rapids to a 1-1 draw Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. Thierry Henry opened scoring in the 42nd minute but Vincente Sanchez converted a penalty kick in the 72nd minute as the two sides took home a share of the points.

Tickets to Opening Day and to the Fire’s MLS Regular Season home matches and the the July 26 international friendly against Barclay’s Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur FC are now available via Ticketmaster and www.Chicago-Fire.com.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: March 17 – March 23
 
Monday, March 17         Return to Chicago
Tuesday, March 18        Off
Wednesday, March 19   Training 10:30 a.m. CT – Toyota Park*^
Thursday, March 20       Training 10:30 a.m. CT – Toyota Park*^
Friday, March 21           Training 10:30 a.m. CT – Toyota Park*^
Saturday, March 22       Training 10:30 a.m. CT – Toyota Park*^
Sunday, March 23         Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls – Toyota Park – 2:00 p.m. CT
 
*Training will take place on the Toyota Park Practice Field unless otherwise noted and will be open for the first 15 minutes of the session.
^Media availability will be held prior to the training session. Media members interested in attending training are asked to RSVP to Eunice Kim at ekim@chicago-fire.com the evening before each session with the names of the players they are requesting to speak with.  
 
CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB AND GIORDANO’S PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club have partnered with Giordano’s as the exclusive and official pizza of the club. The partnership will kick off at a pizza party for Chicago Fire Department firefighters, and through the announcement of a new promotion: Anyone who orders a pizza between March 19 and 22 will be entered to win a Giordano’s- and Chicago Fire-branded soccer ball, plus two tickets to the home opener on March 23.
 
The kickoff event will take place at the Chicago Fire Department, Engine 42 (55 W. Illinois, Chicago) on Wednesday, March 19 at 3:00 p.m. CT.
 
Scheduled to attend the event are Chicago Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman, Giordano’s President and CEO Yorgo Koutsogiorgas, Victory Park Capital CEO and Chief Investment Officer Richard Levy, Chicago Fire COO Atul Khosla, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop, reigning MLS MVP and Fire forward Mike Magee, U.S. International and Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz and Fire Homegrown Player Harry Shipp.
 
CHICAGO FIRE vs. NEW YORK RED BULLS
 
The Fire hold a 23-13-9 all-time MLS Regular Season record against the Red Bulls, including a 13-3-6 advantage in matches played at home.
 
In matches played at home against the Red Bulls, the Fire have scored 40 goals while only conceding 20.
 
The Fire are 9-4-3 on Opening Day at home dating back to 1998.
 
Fire assistant coach Clint Mathis was a member of the then-MetroStars for four seasons from 2000-2003. In 67 regular season matches, Mathis scored 33 goals and added 21 assists. A 2000 MLS All-Star, MLS Best XI honoree and finalist for the MLS MVP award, also added three goals and two assists in five playoff matches.  
 
In 2003, Mathis’ final season in New York, the MetroStars selected Mike Magee in the first round (fourth overall) in the MLS SuperDraft.
 
Magee made his professional debut and became the youngest player in New York history at the time at 18 years, 222 days on April 12, 2003 vs. the Columbus Crew. Over six seasons with the New York side, Magee made 130 regular season appearances and scored 23 goal and notched 13 assists.
 
A product of Montville, N.J., Fire midfielder Dilly Duka came up through the New York Red Bulls Academy system before matriculating to Rutgers University.
 
Red Bulls forward Andre Akpan spent time with the Chicago Fire PDL squad during his collegiate career. Red Bulls midfielder Ian Christianson was a three-year Fire Academy player prior to his collegiate career at Georgetown University.