FIRE HEAD TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA FOR CLASH WITH LEAGUE LEADERS
The Chicago Fire (9-7-4; 31 points) head to northern California to take on the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes (13-5-4, 43 points) at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Saturday, July 28 at 9:30 p.m. CT (NBC 5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes).
The Fire return to action after falling 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls in a scorching, mid-day game at Red Bull Arena July 18. The Fire took a break in MLS action and played host to English Premier League side Aston Villa at Toyota Park July 21, falling 1-0.
Saturday’s game marks the first and only regular season meeting between the two squads this season. In 2011 the Fire went 0-1-1 in the series, drawing 2-2 on May 28 at Toyota Park and falling 2-0 on September 10 at Buck Shaw Stadium. The two squads also met in the second play-in round of the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup May 24 as the Fire emerged victorious. After overcoming a 2-0 halftime deficit, the Men in Red pushed the match into penalties where they won 5-4.
Currently atop the MLS standings, the Earthquakes enter the match after falling 2-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place July 22.
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: July 23 – July 30
Monday, July 23: Off
Tuesday, July 24: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Wednesday, July 25: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Thursday, July 26: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Friday, July 27: Depart for San Jose
Training in San Jose TBD
Saturday, July 28: Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes – Buck Shaw Stadium – 9:30 p.m. CT – NBC 5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes
Sunday, July 29: Return to Chicago
Monday, July 30: Off
*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 at San Jose Earthquakes
- The Fire hold a 12-8-10 all-time regular season advantage over the Earthquakes. The Fire are 5-6-4 in games played in the Bay Area.
- The Fire have only played at Buck Shaw Stadium three times; a 3-3 draw on April 11, 2009, a 3-0 win on September 29, 2010 and a 2-0 loss on September 10, 2011.
- The Fire went 0-1-1 against the Earthquakes in the 2011 MLS Regular Season series. Cory Gibbs’ diving header in the 80th minute earned the Men Red a point in a 2-2 draw on May 28 at Toyota Park. In the away leg the Fire fell 2-0 on September 10 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
- The Fire will be without the services of Guatemalan midfielder Marco Pappa, who will be serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. Pappa received his fifth yellow card of the season in the Fire’s July 18 match against the New York Red Bulls.
- Current Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch spent three seasons with the Fire from 2007-2009. In 63 regular season matches, Busch recorded 240 saves and 21 shutouts. Busch was named 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and in 2009 was the only Fire player to start and play 90 minutes in every MLS game.
- Earthquakes defender Tim Ward also spent time with the Fire from 2009-2010. Ward started each of the 25 games in which he appeared for the Men in Red.
- The Earthquakes feature two former Chicago Fire PDL players in defenders Justin Morrow (2009) and Jed Zayner (2003-05).
- Saturday’s match marks the return for Fire defender and Davis, Calif. native Jalil Anibaba. Anibaba spent the first three seasons of his collegiate career with the Santa Clara Broncos where he appeared in 61 matches and picked up a number of accolades, including 2007 WCC Freshman of the Year and All-WCC honors for three consecutive years.
- Fire defender Steven Kinney was an unused substitute in the Fire’s international friendly against English Premier League side Aston Villa July 21, suiting up for the Men in Red for the first time since an Achilles injury suffered in a 4-1 victory over Chivas USA on October 23, 2010.
CHICAGO FIRE U-16s TAKE FOURTH IN U.S.S.D.A. FINALS
The Chicago Fire U-16 team fell 6-5 in penalty kicks to Crew Soccer Academy Wolves Monday, July 23 to take place fourth in the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Finals.
The Fire and Crew looked to be headed into halftime tied 0-0 but seconds before the whistle Christian Henock-Berhanu was able to break free and put the Fire up 1-0. The Fire held on during the second half and looked to be headed towards a victory but two minutes before the final whistle the Crew’s Kosti Moni headed in the equalizer.
The match ended 1-1 after regulation and headed into penalty kicks. Marcus Epps, Jeffrey Farina, Luca Giovine, Grant Lillard and Collin Fernandez converted their penalty kicks for the Fire but Crew goalkeeper Robbie Beckwell saved attempts by Joseph Majchrowicz and Shannon Seymore as the Fire fell 6-5.
CHICAGO FIRE SUPER-20 TEAM CROWNED CHAMPIONS
The Chicago Fire Super-20 squad won 3-1 against the Columbus Crew at IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Fla. to win the Super-20 North American Finals.
Luis Medina, Felipe Cortez and Mark Prince all scored for the Fire, ending the Crew’s hopes of a third consecutive championship.
Cortez was named Tournament MVP and lead the Fire to a perfect 5-0-0 record on the weekend. The Fire outscored opponents 17-1 and were the only team to record shutouts in all of their matches.
CHICAGO FIRE FALL 1-0 TO ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE SIDE ASTON VILLA AT TOYOTA PARK
Taking a step away from league action, the Chicago Fire battled but were edged out by a 29th minute header from Gabriel Agbonlahor as the Fire fell 1-0 to English Premier League club Aston Villa Saturday night at Toyota Park.
The home side was put under pressure early but sustained well when Agbonlahor sprung free up the left in the 12th minute. The England international played a quick centering pass that picked out trailing midfielder Stephen Ireland but he put his first-time sliding effort just wide left of Jay Nolly’s goal.
The Fire responded in the 22nd minute as right back Dan Gargan hit a long ball, changing fields to put Marco Pappa in on goal but the Guatemalan international was adjudged to be just offside.
The Fire finally succumbed to the Villa pressure in the 29th when Chris Herd placed a perfect cross into the box, picking out Agbonlahor who headed his effort inside the near post to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The home side nearly responded off a corner two minutes later when Alex’s take fell for defender Hunter Jumper but his diving header trickled just wide left of Shay Given’s goal.
The Fire came close to equalizing with two chances inside the final 10 minutes. First, when substitute striker Dominic Oduro blazed up the left before cutting back and centering for Michael Videira. The veteran midfielder took a touch before blasting his shot just wide right of goal.
Into stoppage time, the hosts threw everything forward after Patrick Nyarko earned a late corner kick. Corben Bone’s service bounced around the box and eventually fell for Jalil Anibaba on the right before the second-year defender fired a quick blast but substitute goalkeeper did well to get behind it, earning his side the 1-0 victory.
CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL WHITE PARTY
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will host the Second Annual White Party presented by Swissôtel Chicago at the MCA Warehouse (1747 W. Hubbard) on Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. CT.
This unique, stylish event provides guests with an opportunity to sip cocktails while getting to know the Fire and the Chicago Fire Foundation off the pitch. The White Party will feature a premium open bar, live DJ, hors d’oeuvres and a gift bag for each guest to top off the night. Guests are strongly encouraged to don their most stylish white attire.
Proceeds from the White Party will benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation. In 2011, the White Party was attended by nearly 600 urban professionals and raised more than $20,000 for the Foundation.
Tickets to the event, which start at $50 for a general admission ticket and $75 for a VIP ticket that includes an upgraded gift bag and access to the VIP lounge, can be purchased here.
Who: Chicago Fire players, staff and ticketed guests
What: The Chicago Fire Soccer Club’s Second Annual White Party presented by Swissôtel Chicago.
Where: MCA Warehouse (1747 W. Hubbard, Chicago, IL, 60686)
When: Thursday, August 23, 7:30 – 11:30 PM
For additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit Chicago-Fire.com or click here: http://chicagofirewhiteparty.eventbrite.com/.
FIRE IN THE NEWS
Fire look to extend hot streak - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - July 18, 2012
Fire rookie Austin Berry has command of back line - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - July 17, 2012
Aston Villa at Toyota Park - John Dugan - Time Out Chicago - July 19, 2012
Fire-Aston Villa match to be streamed worldwide - JJ Stankevitz - Comcast SportsNet Chicago - July 18, 2012
Fire, Aston Villa prepared for competitive match - Len Ziehm - CSNChicago.com - July 20, 2012
Rolfe: Villa game a chance for players to test themselves - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - July 20, 2012
Chicago Fire Youth Development Building Up - Tweed Thornton - Hot Time in Old Town - July 17, 2012
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
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