The Chicago Fire Soccer Club embarks on the second leg of their 2010 preseason campaign when the club resumes training Monday in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Fire will challenge 11-time Mexican Primera Division champions Chivas de Guadalajara in a closed-door exhibition match on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 12:30 PM CT as the build-up to the Fire's 2010 MLS regular season continues.
The Fire kicked off the 2010 preseason with a productive two weeks in Phoenix, AZ. The trip to Phoenix yielded victories over the Vancouver Whitecaps, 4-1, and Arizona Sahuaros, 1-0, in their first exhibition matches of the 2010 preseason campaign.
After two weeks of training and two matches in Phoenix, Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos trimmed the preseason roster from 36 players to 28. De los Cobos will continue to evaluate talent in Mexico as he works toward finalizing the Fire's 24-man roster by the March 1 MLS compliance date.
Of the 28 players on the Fire's updated preseason roster, Corben Bone, Joao Baptista and Andrew Dykstra will all remain stateside while the rest of the squad settles back into two-a-days in Guadalajara. Bone, the Fire's number one pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, suffered a right knee contusion (bone bruise) during a collision early in the Fire's exhibition match against the Vancouver Whitecaps last Monday. He will remain in Chicago to receive physical therapy and his progress will be monitored day-to-day before he returns to the team. Dykstra has left rotator cuff tendinitis. The second-year goalkeeper out of Virginia Commonwealth University will remain in Chicago for physical training and is expected to return to training shortly. Cape Verdean midfielder Joao Baptista, who is on trial with the club, will remain in Boston due to visa issues and will meet the team in Jackson, MS for the third leg of the Fire's 2010 preseason tour.
While in Mexico, the "Men in Red" will utilize the facilities of Club Deportivo at the Universidad de Guadalajara from Feb. 21 to March 4. In addition to the friendly match with Mexican side Chivas de Guadalajara, the Fire will play a second exhibition while in Mexico on Wednesday, March 3 against an opponent to be named at a later date.
The closed-door exhibition against Chivas will give the Fire an opportunity to play one of Mexico's best teams. Chivas has won its first seven matches at the beginning of the Clausura season -- a club record. Following the Fire's two-week camp in Guadalajara the team will depart to Jackson, MS for a week of training in suburban Ridgeland, MS. The Fire will play their fourth exhibition match of the preseason when they face off against Brimstone Cup rival FC Dallas at M&F Bank Stadium on Sunday, March 7, at 3:00 PM CT.