FIRE HOST CREW IN FIREHOUSE EAST REMATCH
The Chicago Fire (6-5-3; 21 points) welcome the Columbus Crew (5-4-4, 19 points) to Toyota Park on Saturday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. CT (NBC 5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes) for the second of three Eastern Conference duels between the two Midwestern sides.
The Fire head into the match with a 20-12-13 all-time MLS Regular Season record against the Crew, including an 11-5-7 record in games played at home.
In the first leg of the three-part series, the Men in Red traveled to Columbus May 23 and gave a hard fought performance in front of 600 traveling supporters, but Austin Berry’s 72nd minute goal was not enough to overcome goals from Eddie Gaven and Emilio Renteria giving the Columbus Crew a 2-1 victory at Crew Stadium.
Columbus enters the match after earning a point on the road in a 0-0 draw against the New England Revolution June 16. The two teams played to a scoreless draw at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: June 18 – June 25
Monday, June 18: Training 11:00 a.m.*^
Tuesday, June 19: Off
Wednesday, June 20: Training 9:30 a.m. – Toyota Park Stadium Field*^
Thursday, June 21: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Friday, June 22: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Saturday, June 23: Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew – Toyota Park – 7:30 p.m. CT – NBC 5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes
Sunday, June 24: Training 11:00 a.m.*^
Monday, June 25: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
*Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training.
^Training times are subject to change. Please contact Brendan Hannan at 720.937.8962 for media requests.
CHICAGO FIRE VS. Columbus Crew
· The Fire are 20-12-13 all-time against the Crew including an 11-5-7 record in matches played at home.
· This is the second matchup between the two sides this season. More than 600 traveling supporters saw Austin Berry find the back of the net as the Fire fell 2-1 at Crew Stadium.
· The Fire went 2-0-0 against Columbus during the 2011 MLS Regular Season. Cristian Nazarit’s 90th minute goal put to end an eleven game winless streak at Crew Stadium on June 12. Rookie Jalil Anibaba scored his first two career MLS goals and Diego Chaves found the back of the net in the 80th minute for the game winner as the Fire notched a 3-2 victory in the season finale at Toyota Park on October 22.
· Columbus Crew defenders Rich Balchan and Danny O’Rourke, midfielders Eric Gehrig and Kirk Urso, as well as forward Ethan Finlay all spent time with the Chicago Fire PDL team during their collegiate careers.
· Forward Chris Rolfe made his first appearance for the Fire at Toyota Park in Sunday’s 3-1 win over New York since re-signing with the club April 16. Rolfe’s last appearance at Toyota Park was in the 2009 Eastern Conference Final which the Fire lost 4-5 in penalty kicks against Real Salt Lake.
· Chris Rolfe opened his goal scoring account for the 2012 season with his goal in Sunday’s 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. Rolfe’s goal in the 81st minute was his first since re-joining the club in April. Rolfe sits second all-time on the club’s MLS goal scoring list with 37 career goals. The Dayton University product continued his scoring prowess against New York tallying his seventh goal in 14 matches against the Red Bulls on Sunday.
· With the win Sunday, the Fire moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the fifth place Columbus Crew.
ROLFE LOOKS TO CONTINUE STRONG FORM AGAINST CREW
With his goal in the 81st minute of Sunday’s match, Chris Rolfe opened his goal scoring account in his second stint with the Fire. Heading into this weekend’s matchup against the Columbus Crew, the Kettering, Ohio native faces off against a team that he has much success against in the past. In 15 regular season appearances against the Crew, Rolfe has notched six goals and tallied three assists.
When Rolfe is in the lineup for the Fire, the Men in Red hold a slight advantage over the Crew with a 4-3-8 record.
MEDIA CREDENTIAL APPLICATION NOW AVAILABLE FOR 2012 AT&T MLS ALL-STAR GAME
Media planning to cover the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game may now apply for credentials online by CLICKING HERE.
Without exception, credential applications must be received by Monday, July 9 at 4 p.m. CT. A limited number of parking passes are available on a first come, first served basis for media members who complete their applications early.
MLS All-Stadium credentials, team season credentials, and credentials from previous MLS events will not be recognized for any of the media events surrounding the MLS All-Star Game.
The 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will be held at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., on July 25 at 7:30 p.m. CT. The 2012 MLS All-Stars will take on current European champions, Chelsea FC in a rematch of the 2006 event when the MLS All-Star team, led by Peter Nowak, defeated Chelsea FC 1-0 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. MLS and Philadelphia Union will host five days of festivities, culminating in the kickoff of MLS’ best against the best team in Europe.
Questions about the application process may be submitted to the All-Star Game accreditation officer Sarah Lerner, Sarah.Lerner@MLSsoccer.com
FAN VOTING NOW OPEN FOR 2012 AT&T MLS ALL-STAR GAME
Voting for the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game against UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea Football Club on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Penn. has now begun. Voting is available at www.MLSsoccer.com and via text message.
The Men in Red are represented on the fan ballot by goalkeeper Sean Johnson, defender Gonzalo Segares, midfielders Sebastian Grazzini, Marco Pappa and Pavel Pardo, and forward Dominic Oduro.
Pappa is the only Fire player on this year’s ballot with previous All-Star game experience, having represented the Fire in 2010 when the MLS All-Stars hosted Manchester United at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Pappa started and played the entire first half as the MLS All-Stars fell 5-2 in front of a record crowd of 70,728 fans.
A panel of media members nominated a total of 114 players, the top six per team, to the fan ballot. Fans can vote by clicking here. Voting is also available via text message by sending a players first and last name to 22442. Twitter voting will occur later this month.
The players with the highest combined votes from these three voting methods will become the first 11 All-Stars – known as the All-Star First XI. The player who receives the most text votes by 4 p.m. CT on Monday, July 2 will automatically earn a spot among the All-Star First XI.
All-Star Head Coach Peter Nowak of the Philadelphia Union will choose the gameday roster and the starting lineup against Chelsea FC on July 25. The first marquee MLS event ever to be held at PPL Park in Chester, Penn., will be broadcast live on ESPN2, TeleFutura, and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 7:30 p.m. CT.
A total of 32 All-Stars are named each year, per the collective bargaining agreement. Media, fans, players, the All-Star coach and MLS Commissioner Don Garber all contribute in the All-Star selection process.
The 32 players named 2012 AT&T MLS All-Stars will be selected in four phases:
1) Ballot creation: A select media panel determined the field of players – six players per team – who are most deserving of consideration for this year’s All-Star Game. Those 114 players are eligible for fan voting.
2) Fan voting: Through July 2 at 4 p.m. CT, fans will select the “First XI” All-Stars. Fans can vote via any of three digital platforms:
a. At MLSsoccer.com: Vote for your starting lineup of 11 players, beginning June 8.
b. Via text message (SMS): Text an MLS player’s first and last name to 22442.
§ Each vote will count equally with those submitted online in determining the First XI.
§ The player who receives the most text votes will automatically earn a spot among the First XI.
§ Message and data rates may apply.
c. Twitter: Details of Twitter voting will be released in the near future.
The First XI will be announced on Sunday, July 8, on ESPN during halftime of the Chicago Fire-LA Galaxy game that begins at 2 p.m. CT.
3) Team selection: The MLS All-Star head coach will select the gameday roster from the pool of eligible players, consisting of the First XI as determined by the fans, MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s two selections and players who received votes from at least two players.
The Commissioner selections and gameday roster will be announced on Sunday, July 15 on ESPN during halftime of the New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC game that begins at 3 p.m. CT.
4) Player selections: MLS players will determine the remainder of the 32 All-Stars named annually per the CBA (known as the “inactive roster”).
The final list of 32 All-Stars (4 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 13 midfielders and 7 forwards) will be announced on MLSsoccer.com on July 25.
CHICAGO FIRE U-18 AND U-16 DEVELOPMENTAL ACADEMY SQUADS QUALIFY FOR PLAYOFFS
The Chicago Fire U-18 and U-16 squads advanced to the playoffs of the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy playoffs which begin Monday, June 25 in Dallas, Texas.
On Monday, the drawing for the Academy playoffs was held with the Fire U-18s grouped with Solar FC (Texas), Albertson SC (New York) and Concorde Fire (Georgia) while the U-16s were drawn against Seattle Sounders FC, Real Salt Lake AZ (Arizona) and Clearwater SC (Florida).
Both squads are highly ranked heading into the playoffs. The U-18s are currently the best top in the country and the U-16s are ranked fifth. The U-18s and the U-16s both finished atop the Great Lakes Division of the Central Conference, and are the highest ranked MLS Academy in each age group.
CHICAGO FIRE TO HOST ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE SIDE ASTON VILLA ON SATURDAY, JULY 21 AT TOYOTA PARK
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that the Fire will take on seven-time English League champions Aston Villa in an international friendly at Toyota Park on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Advance tickets for the Chicago Fire vs. Aston Villa are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com or Ticketmaster. The international friendly will serve as Bonus Game 1 in the Fire’s Season Ticket Package, and is also a part of the Ten Game Plan.
Aston Villa, one of the oldest and most successful clubs in English football history, will make their first trip to Chicago. Since its founding in 1874, Villa has amassed 19 major domestic honors, including seven English Premier League titles and seven FA Cups. The Villans also won the 1981-1982 European Cup. One of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, Aston Villa has competed in the top flight of English soccer ever since.
This is the second consecutive year the Fire will host an English Premier League team. In 2011, the Fire took on famed English club Manchester United in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 61,000 soccer supporters at Soldier Field, scoring first before falling 3-1 to the eventual Premier League Champions. The Fire currently hold a 2-1 record against English Premier League foes, defeating Everton FC by a score of 2-0 in 2008, and Derby County 1-0 in 1999.
Aston Villa features two former Chicago Fire PDL players, goalkeeper Brad Guzan, originally from Homer Glenn, Ill. and defender Eric Lichaj, a product of Downers Grove, Ill.
MLS LAUNCHES THIRD ANNUAL COMMUNITY MVP CONTEST
Major League Soccer has launched the 2012 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP contest. Fans throughout the League will be given the opportunity to nominate themselves of other individuals who have made a difference in their communities. Winners will be selected based on their work in one of the following areas: general community service; youth programming; environmental sustainability; health and wellness; education; military or civic service.
One (1) Community MVP will be chosen to represent each of the 19 MLS clubs and will receive a prize package including VIP tickets, local recognition and an autographed item. One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice and a trip to the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park on July 25. Chelsea FC, winner of this year’s UEFA Champions League, will return as the AT&T MLS All-Star Game opponent. The Grand Prize winner will receive roundtrip airfare, two nights’ accommodation, a crystal award from Tiffany & Co. and official MLS merchandise as part of the prize package.
The MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP contest will be open until June 21, 2012 at 6:59 p.m. CT. Nominations must be 500 words or less and can be submitted by visiting the Community MVP website. Following the announcement of the local winners, fans will have an opportunity to vote for one (1) Grand Prize winner by visiting the Community MVP website or the MLS W.O.R.K.S. tab on Facebook from July 2 – July 13. The Grand Prize winner will be announced during halftime of the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park.
A component of Unite. Volunteer. Serve., the Community MVP contest seeks to identify MLS fans who are passionate about making a difference in the lives they touch and are dedicated to improving their communities. Unite. Volunteer. Serve., the League’s community service program, is a collaborative effort to combine sport and service, promote goodwill within MLS markets and improve lives and communities at the grassroots level.
In 2011, Robert Kellum, a highly decorated 11-year veteran Chicago Police officer was honored as the Fire’s Community MVP. Six years ago, Kellum started K.I.C.K.S. , Keeping Inner City Kids Safe, which provides free soccer clinics for inner city children in conjunction with Community Policing events. Robert also started the Chicago Police Soccer team, which participates in charity matches and has raised over $10,000 for charity.
Information on the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP contest can be found at http://www.mlssoccer.com/mlsworks.
FIRE IN THE NEWS
Like for like among old soccer rivals - Matthew Futterman and Jonathan Clegg - The Wall Street Journal - June 13, 2012
Friedrich: MLS the right move - FIFA.com - June 15, 2012
Fire forward Chris Rolfe joins CTL - Comcast SportsNet Chicago - June 14, 2012
Brazilian midfielder ready to join Fire - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - June 13, 2012
Showbiz Smackdown: Sean Johnson Of The Chicago Fire - B96.com - June 14, 2012
Five Things You Should Know About Sunday’s Game vs. Red Bull – June 17, 2012
Win at home, draw on the road – June 13, 2012
The mystery is over with the arrival of Alex – June 12, 2012
All-In Podcast with Chris Rolfe – June 12, 2012