FIRE DESCEND UPON SUNSHINE STATE; FIRST MATCH OF THE PRESEASON SET FOR THURSDAY
The Chicago Fire embark on the second leg of their 2011 preseason camp as the Men in Red descend upon Florida for two weeks of outdoor training in Ave Maria, Florida. The Fire will see their first on-field action of the preseason on Thursday when they face off against Florida Gulf Coast University at Ave Maria University at 6 PM CT.
The club released Nate Weiss, Graham Dugoni, Pedro Chicarelli, Leonardo, Matt Glaeser and Amadou Sanyang from camp as the club transitioned into phase two of preseason training. Joining the eight remaining trialists who participated in the Bridgeview sessions are Shane Clark, Gabriel Ferrari, Jordan Seabrook, Evan Schwarz, Joachim Bendu, Orr Barouch and two unnamed trialists. A total of 16 trialists, 20 signed players and three draft picks will spend the next 13 days working toward an Opening Day roster spot.
Coach Carlos de los Cobos’ side will meet their first MLS opponent of the preseason when the Fire take on the New York Red Bulls in a doubleheader on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL at 10 AM and noon CT. The Fire will play Seattle Sounders FC at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 2:00 PM ET and an additional exhibition match while in Florida, that opponent, date and time will be announced at a later date.
SINGLE GAME TICKETS GO ON-SALE MONDAY, FEB. 14
Chicago Fire single game tickets went on sale Monday, Feb. 14 at 10 AM CT and can be purchased by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473) or heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com or by clicking here.
To commemorate the Fire’s founding and mark the 140th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Men in Red will hold their 14th Anniversary Match at TOYOTA PARK on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 8:00 PM CT against MLS Cup runners-up FC Dallas. The anniversary match, annually held on Oct. 8, was pushed back four days due to FIFA fixed competition dates on Oct. 7-11.
Highlights for the 2011 campaign include when Carlos de los Cobos’ men welcome Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel and the LA Galaxy for the second match of the season at TOYOTA PARK on Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 PM CT (TeleFutura).
FIRE ENGAGE COMMUNITY, IMPACT PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM WHILE IN FLORIDA
During the Fire’s stay at Ave Maria University, the club will be assisted operationally by the Chicago Fire Juniors – Florida, an extension of the Fire’s player development system who operate just 17 miles west of Ave Maria University, where the team will call home for the next 13 days.
To help foster stronger relationships in the community and to show their appreciation for the hospitality, the Fire will host a soccer clinic presented by the Chicago Fire Juniors – Florida on Sunday, Feb. 20 at North Collier Park from 3-5 PM ET. The interactive clinic will engage local youth in an instructional soccer session with the entire Fire team. For information regarding registration, please visit www.ChicagoFireJuniorsFlorida.com.
FIRE PRESEASON GAME SCHEDULE
Feb. 17: Chicago Fire vs. Florida Gulf Coast University (6 PM CT) – Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL
Feb. 23: Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls (10 and noon) – Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Feb. 26: Chicago Fire vs. Seattle Sounders FC (1 PM) - IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL
March 5: Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC (4:00 PM) – Carolina Challenge Cup, Charleston, S
March 6: Chicago Fire vs. UNC-Greensboro – time and location TBD, Charleston, SC
March 9: Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United (4:00 PM) – Carolina Challenge Cup, Charleston, SC
March 12: Chicago Fire vs. Charleston Battery (6:15 PM) – Carolina Challenge Cup, Charleston, SC
(All times central)