The Chicago Fire (2-2-1, 7 points) look to build upon their 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo when they welcome Chivas USA (2-3-0, 6 points) to TOYOTA PARK this Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 PM CT. The Fire are in pursuit of their third win of the season and second consecutive win at home. With seven points, the Fire currently sit in a three-way tie with Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards for second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Fire hold a slight advantage in the 10 regular season meetings with Chivas USA, going 5-4-1 in all matches, including a 3-2-0 record over the LA-based side in matches played in Chicago. In the final game of the 2009 regular season the Fire defeated Chivas USA 1-0 on an own goal from Eduardo Lillingston to clinch a spot in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
CHICAGO FIRE WEEKLY TRAINING SCHEDULE – APRIL 27 – MAY 1
Chicago Fire players and coaches will be made available to media at the TOYOTA PARK practice field Tuesday-Friday, following training. Media will be able to begin conducting interviews after training, which runs approximately two to two and a-half hours.
Tuesday, April 27 – Training 9:00–11:00 AM CT – TOYOTA PARK – OPEN TO MEDIA*^
Wednesday, April 28 – Training 9:00–11:00 AM CT – TOYOTA PARK – OPEN TO MEDIA*^
Thursday, April 29 – Training 9:00–11:00 AM CT – TOYOTA PARK – OPEN TO MEDIA*^
Friday, April 30 – Training 9:00–11:00 AM CT – TOYOTA PARK – OPEN TO MEDIA*^
Saturday, May 1 – Chivas USA at Chicago Fire – TOYOTA PARK – 7:30 PM CT (TBA)
*Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training, which runs two to two and a-half hours.
^Training times are subject to change. Please contact Becky Carroll at 312.350.5260, Brendan Hannan at 708.496.6725 or Franco Sui Yuan at 708.496.6744 for media requests.
CHICAGO FIRE VS. Chivas USA
· Fire Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos and Chivas USA Head Coach Martin Vasquez are the first two Mexican-born coaches to go head-to-head in MLS history.
· Saturday’s match against Chivas USA will be Brian McBride’s 200th MLS regular season match. The three-time World Cup forward and MLS All-Time Best XI member was MLS’ first overall pick when he was selected by the Columbus Crew in the inaugural draft in 1996.
· Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton was the Fire’s starting goalkeeper when the Fire captured the 1998 MLS Cup. Thornton sits behind Kevin Hartman for second all-time in all-time goalkeeper wins with 127 career victories. 109 of Thornton’s 127 wins came while playing for the Men in Red from 1998-2006.
· CJ Brown appeared in his 275th career game for the Fire in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Houston. Thornton sits second behind Brown in games played with 215.
· In 2009, the Fire swept the season series with Chivas USA. Cuauhtémoc Blanco scored a penalty kick goal in stoppage time to give the Fire a 3-2 victory over the Goats at The Home Depot Center. In the home leg the Fire defeated Chivas 1-0 to clinch a playoff spot for the 11th time in 12 seasons. Eduardo Lillingston’s own goal was enough for the Fire to edge Chivas at TOYOTA PARK in the final regular season game of the season.
· With an all-time tally of 320 goals and 359 assists at home the Fire sit at 999 points all-time in matches played in Chicago. The Fire’s next goal will push the club over the thousand mark in points since the club’s inception in 1998.
· Chicago Fire First Assistant Coach Mike Matkovich spent the 2008 season as an assistant coach with Chivas USA.
CHICAGO FIRE ROLL TO 2-0 VICTORY OVER HOUSTON DYNAMO
Goals from Baggio Husidic and Peter Lowry and six saves from Andrew Dykstra gave the Chicago Fire a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo in rainy conditions this past Saturday at TOYOTA PARK. The Fire (2-2-1, 7 points) won their second consecutive game of the season and earned their first victory over the Dynamo at TOYOTA PARK.
Husidic, a University of Illinois at Chicago product, scored his first MLS goal in first half stoppage time. The second-year, Generation adidas midfielder beat two Dynamo defenders to head a deflected Tim Ward shot into the back of the net. Husidic opened his MLS account in his 15thappearance for the Men in Red.
Lowry added to the Fire’s lead in the 67th minute. Patrick Nyarko’s nifty footwork and a penetrating run into the Houston penalty area created the opportunity. As Nyarko dribbled toward the touchline, the Ghanaian sent a tight-angle cross to the near post that Lowry used his chest to direct past a diving Onstad and into the back of the net.
Dykstra collected his second consecutive clean sheet of the season, tallying six saves as the Fire earned their first home victory of the 2010 campaign.
CHICAGO FIRE CHALLENGE A.C. MILAN IN INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY AT TOYOTA PARK
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that it will play an international friendly against seven-time European Champions A.C. Milan at TOYOTA PARK on Sunday, May 30 at 7:30 PM CT. The two sides previously met in 2005 when the Rossoneri (Red-Blacks) edged the Fire 3-1 in a tightly contested match at Soldier Field.
Tickets for this match are included in the Season Ticket and Ten Game packages as Bonus Game 1. Groups of 15 or more are available for all price sections and include a savings off the regular price. Single game tickets for this match will go on-sale May 1 at 10:00 AM via Ticketmaster. To reserve your seats today please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473) or visit the club’s official website www.Chicago-Fire.com.
A.C. Milan will bring a number of high-profile players for its friendly against the Fire. Scheduled to represent the Milan side will be legendary midfielders Ronaldinho of Brazil and Holland’s Clarence Seedorf. Ronaldinho, the former FIFA World Player of the Year (2004, 2005), is recognized worldwide for leading FC Barcelona to two Spanish La Liga titles, two Spanish Super Cups and the Catalan club’s second UEFA Champions League victory in 2006. Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato is set to make his first trip to TOYOTA PARK. The 20-year-old forward has tallied 36 goals in 74 appearances since joining the San Siro outfit in 2007. Current World Cup champion Filippo Inzaghi, who has appeared in 184 matches for the Rossoneri and A.C. Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini will also participate in the match against the Fire. A.C. Milan is committed to fielding all of its star players at TOYOTA PARK who are not obligated to World Cup duties.
CHICAGO FIRE WELCOME LEGIA WARSAW, PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN AND RED STAR BELGRADE FOR FIRST-EVER CHICAGO SISTER CITIES INTERNATIONAL CUP AT TOYOTA PARK
The Fire and Chicago Sister Cities International have partnered to host the first-ever Chicago Sister Cities International Cup on Wednesday, May 19 and Saturday, May 22 at TOYOTA PARK. Joining the Fire for the two-day, four-team international tournament are Legia Warsaw of Warsaw, Poland, Paris Saint-Germain of Paris, France and Red Star Belgrade of Belgrade, Serbia.
The two-day tournament will feature premier clubs from three of Chicago’s sister cities. Chicago has proven itself to be one of the great cities in the world with one of the most fervent soccer markets in the United States and will make for an excellent backdrop to this international tournament featuring the Fire and three world-renowned clubs.
Fans can purchase tickets through the Club’s official website at www.chicago-fire.com or by calling the Chicago Fire at 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473). Tickets are also available via Ticketmaster.
CHICAGO FIRE, SECTION 8 INTRODUCE CHICAGO FIRE SUPPORTERS’ CHARTER
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters’ Association for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, jointly introduced the first-ever Chicago Fire Soccer Club Supporters’ Charter. The document serves to cement an ongoing, iterative dialogue between the Chicago Fire and its fans, and marks the first such organized effort in U.S. professional sports. Both parties signed the Charter just before the Club’s first home match on April 10, 2010.
The Charter, a year-long collaborative initiative spearheaded by Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman, was created and instituted to ensure the Fire’s core values—tradition, honor and passion—are respected and successfully carried out by all those associated with the Club, including its supporters, Fire staff, players and stadium personnel. It further establishes a covenant of respect and understanding between the Chicago Fire and its supporters, and a mutual commitment to open and honest communications. The Charter outlines the rights and expectations of all parties, as well as summarizes the club’s continued commitment and involvement within the broader Chicago community. The Charter is an independent agreement between the Club and its supporters, but it also serves to augment the MLS Pledge to Fans, MLS Fan Code of Conduct and the TOYOTA PARK Code of Conduct.
MEXICO READIES FOR 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP WITH MATCH IN CHICAGO
The Mexico Men’s national team begins preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup with an exhibition match at Soldier Field against Senegal on Monday, May 10 at 8:00 PM CT. Mexico boss Javier Aguirre called in 17 players for El Tri’s four exhibition matches in North America, meeting Ecuador on May 7 in New Jersey, Senegal on May 10 in Chicago and Angola three days later in Houston before playing Chile in a World Cup send-off match May 16 in Mexico City. Among those called in to camp by Aguirre is former Chicago Fire midfielder Cuauhtémoc Blanco. The play-making midfielder will return to Chicago for the first time since he departed for Second Division Mexican side Veracruz in the 2010 offseason.
FIRE IN THE NEWS
Fire 2, Dynamo 0: Alignment switch pays off again – Len Ziehm – Chicago Sun-Times – April 25, 2010
CLEAN SHEETS: Dykstra on second straight shutout – ChicagoLand Soccer News – April 24, 2010
John seizes MLS opportunity with Fire – Jack McCarthy – Chicago Tribune – April 22, 2010
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
Dykstra Confident: Keeper happy to get first win – April 22, 2010
Robinson, Krol Give Wing Options - April 21, 2010
Baggio’s Bite – April 20, 2010