The Chicago Fire begin their final preparations for the 2012 MLS campaign in Charleston, SC Saturday afternoon when they take on D.C. United in the opener of the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup. Read up on all you need to know for the match and catch it live beginning at 4pm CT on Chicago-Fire.com and via @ChiFireMatch on Twitter.
- This is the team’s second straight year of participation at the Carolina Challenge Cup.
- The Fire went 1-1-1 in the 2011 edition.
- The Fire won their 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup opener, using a sixth minute goal from striker Gaston Puerari to down Toronto FC 1-0 on March 5.
- The Chicago Fire played a man down in that match after captain Logan Pause received a 36th minute red card for a tackle on Toronto midfielder Oscar Cardon.
- Saturday’s opponents D.C. United are two-time defending champions of the tournament and have participated in six of the previous eight editions going 8-3-4 in that time.
- The Fire fell 1-0 to D.C. United in their second game of the 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup, falling victim to a 10th minute goal from Blake Bretschneider.
- Goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi and defender Amadou Sanyang are currently the only two trialists in Fire training camp.
- Second round MLS SuperDraft selection Lucky Mkosana arrived into camp Friday night after finishing up more exams towards his degree at Dartmouth College. He will be available for selection Saturday night.
- Due to international duty, goalkeeper Sean Johnson (U.S. U-23), midfielders Marco Pappa (Guatemala) and Victor Pineda (U.S. U-20) and forward Orr Barouch (Israel U-21) will be unavailable for selection Saturday vs. D.C. United and Wednesday vs. Columbus.
- Striker Dominic Oduro will also miss Wednesday’s game vs. Columbus as he departs Fire training camp following Saturday night’s match after receiving his first call-up to the Ghanaian national team for their friendly against Chile in Philadelphia that night.
- D.C. United will be without goalkeeper Bill Hamid and defender Perry Kitchen who have joined Johnson at U.S. U23 camp in Dallas, Texas.
- The Fire opened their 2012 preseason campaign against D.C. United, playing to a 0-0 draw on January 29 in Ft. Myers, Fla.
- The Fire enter Saturday night’s match with a 3-2-1 preseason record.
- FIRE RESULTS: San Jose Earthquakes 2, Chicago Fire 0 (February 18); Portland Timbers 2, Chicago Fire 0 (February 15); Chicago Fire 1, Chivas USA 0 (February 11); Chicago Fire 3, Real Espana 1 (February 4); Chicago Fire 3, Florida Gulf Coast University 0 (February 1); Chicago Fire 0, D.C. United 0 (January 29).
FIRE PRESEASON GOAL SCORERS: Dominic Oduro 3, Orr Barouch 2, Marco Pappa 1, Daniel Paladini 1
- D.C. United enters Saturday night’s game with a 0-1-3 preseason record.
- D.C. UNITED RESULTS: DC United 1, Real Salt Lake 1 (February 14); Sporting KC 2, DC United 1 (February 11); DC United 1, Malmo FF 1 (February 2); D.C. United 0, Chicago Fire 0 (January 29).
- The forecast for Saturday’s kickoff in Charleston is 55 degrees and partly sunny.
- D.C. United PRESEASON GOAL SCORERS: Lance Rozeboom 1, Jose Burciaga 1, Ryan Richter 1
- THE LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET… D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario converted a 90th minute penalty before stoppage time goals from Sebastian Grazzini and Diego Chaves (both assisted by Gonzalo Segares) led the Fire to a dramatic 2-1 victory, dubbed “The Capital Comeback” on October 15, 2011 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.