Weekly update: Preseason starts

FIRE PREPARE TO TAKE ON VANCOUVER WHITECAPS IN FIRST MATCH OF 2010
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will play their first friendly of the 2010 preseason when they take on USSF Div 2's Vancouver Whitecaps on Feb. 15, at 2:00 PM MST at Arizona State Soccer Stadium. Fire manager Carlos de los Cobos will lead the "Men in Red" in his first match at the Fire helm.

The Fire first touched down in Phoenix for the first leg of their preseason tour on Thursday, Feb. 4. While in Phoenix the Fire will train twice daily from Feb. 5-14 and Feb. 16-17 at Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium each morning and Arizona State's Soccer Stadium in the afternoon.

After the Fire's initial preseason camp in Phoenix, the club returns to Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 18 before departing for Guadalajara, Mexico Feb. 21, for two weeks of training in the western-pacific region of Mexico. While in the Guadalajara, the Fire will train at Club Deportivo at the Universidad de Guadalajara from Feb. 22 - March 4.

FIRE CAMP OPENS IN PHOENIX
The Fire have taken the field for their first training session of the 2010 preseason. A total of 36 players are participating in daily fitness training, conditioning drills and small sided matches, focusing on getting into form for the upcoming 2010 MLS season. For an inside look into the Fire's preseason camp in Phoenix, AZ click here.

KRZYZSTOF KROL JOINS THE FIRE IN PHOENIX
Newly signed Polish defender Krzyzstof Krol joined the club in Phoenix last Friday to begin training with his new teammates and get accustomed to his new soccer home. The 23-year-old defender, who previously spent time with the Real Madrid reserve system and Jagiellonia Bialystok, is looking to follow in the footsteps of some prestigious Eastern Europeans who have played with the Fire. Click here to read more.

CALEN CARR RE-SIGNS WITH FIRE FOR FIFTH SEASON
Calen Carr has re-signed with the Chicago Fire for his fifth season with the club. In four seasons with the club, Carr has appeared in 68 games, starting 15, tallying six goals and three assists. The speedy forward has produced goals when it counted for the Fire, including three goals in the Fire's 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Championship campaign. The University of California product has appeared in five MLS Cup Playoff games, contributing two assists. Click here to read additional info on Carr.

BUSCH TO BE HONORED THURSDAY AT 22ND ANNUAL COMCAST SPORTSNET AWARDS
Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch has been selected as an honoree for the 22nd Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards. The event honors one member from the Chicago Fire, Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox, as well as a Lifetime Achievement recipient and an Inspirational Athlete-an individual who has overcome a physical disability by excelling athletically. The awards dinner benefits the March of Dimes and will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet live on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Since 1987, the event has raised more than $6 million to support the March of Dimes' mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Past honorees have included Ed Belfour, Bobby Hull, Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Scottie Pippen, Mark Prior, Mike Singletary, Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, and many more.

FIRE UNVEIL 2010 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
The Fire are slated to appear in a total of 16 nationally televised broadcasts throughout their 13th season of MLS play. For the third consecutive year, every Fire game will be televised, either through national or regional broadcasts, or on the MLS Direct Kick package. For the first time in League and Club history, the Fire will play each of the other 15 clubs once at home, once away for a balanced, 30-game season. Please click here for the Fire's full MLS schedule.

2010 CHICAGO FIRE SEASON KICKOFF LUNCHEON PRESENTED BY TICKETMASTER
The 2010 Chicago Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon presented by Ticketmaster will be held Wednesday, March 24 at the Swissotel Chicago. Don't miss the first opportunity of the season to meet the entire 2010 Chicago Fire team including our new head coach, Carlos de los Cobos. The event will include a reception, lunch and silent auction, which includes Fire and other sports memorabilia, gift certificates and much more! Proceeds benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation, the charitable arm of the Chicago Fire. Click here to download the order form or call the Foundation at 708-496-6740 for more information.

2010 MLS SUPERDRAFT SELECTIONS FIGHT FOR FIRST TEAM SPOTS
A number of players are looking to impress de los Cobos in the first week of preseason camp. Among those are the five players selected by the Chicago Fire in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. With the first round pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft the Fire selected Generation adidas midfielder Corben Bone out of Wake Forest University. In addition to Bone, the Fire added another midfield, two defenders and a goalkeeper. With their second round pick (26th overall) the Fire selected hulking central defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe out of the University of Connecticut. Attacking midfielder Drew Yates (29th overall) joins the club from the University of Maryland. Steven Kinney (45th overall), the first player to be drafted out of Elon University started in all 78 games he appeared in during his during his four-year college career. Rounding out the Fire's 2010 MLS SuperDraft class is Generation adidas goalkeeper Sean Johnson (51st overall). The Lilburn, GA. product was one of 20 players selected to the U.S. U-20 national team in 2009. Click here to read more on First Round Draft pick Corben Bone.

CHICAGO FIRE TO OPEN RED BULL ARENA
The Fire will open their 13th season in MLS with an Eastern Conference match against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 27 at 6:00 PM CT (ESPN). The First Kick game for both clubs will be the first MLS match at Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls state-of-the art soccer specific stadium in Harrison, NJ.

OPENING NIGHT AT TOYOTA PARK
The Fire will play host to the San Jose Earthquakes for Opening Night at TOYOTA PARK on Saturday, April 10 at 7:30 PM CT. In 2009 the Fire went 1-0-1 against the Earthquakes. In the fourth match of the season the Fire got goals from Marco Pappa, Brian McBride and Chris Rolfe to come back from an early deficit and escape Buck Shaw Stadium with a 3-3 draw. In the return fixture at TOYOTA PARK the Fire emerged victorious when Fire forward Patrick Nyarko tallied a 82nd minute goal to give the Fire a 1-0 advantage. In the 92nd minute Cuauhtémoc Blanco put the game out of reach with a stoppage time goal to give the Fire a 2-0 victory.

Full Season Ticket packages are currently available and partial season ticket packages will go on sale beginning Feb. 16. The Fire are currently taking deposits and are available now by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE or clicking on the TICKETS link. Single-game tickets for 2010 Fire matches at TOYOTA PARK will go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 1. For more information, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE.