The Chicago Fire (17-10-5; 56 points) return to MLS action after a weekend off when they face the New England Revolution (7-17-8; 29 points) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes). With two games remaining in the season, the Fire sit just three points behind Eastern Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City, over which the Fire hold the first tiebreaker which is goals scored. For all of the potential MLS Cup Playoff match click here.
Saturday’s match is the third and final game between the Fire and Revolution this season. In the first leg of the series, Gonzalo Segares and Dominic Oduro both hit the post but the Revolution found two second half goals as the Fire fell 2-0 at Gillette Stadium June 2. Chris Rolfe and Sherjill MacDonald found the back of the net as the Fire defeated the Revolution 2-1 Aug. 18 at Toyota Park.
The Revolution enter the match after dropping a 1-0 decision to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Oct. 6 at PPL Park in Chester, Penn. The Revolution will be without the services of Benny Feilhaber, who will be serving a one-game suspension for a red card he received in the match.
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: Oct. 15 – Oct. 22
Monday, Oct. 15: Training 9:30 a.m. CT*^
Tuesday, Oct. 16: Training 9:30 a.m. CT*^
Wednesday, Oct. 17: Training 9:30 a.m. CT*^
Thursday, Oct. 18: Training 9:30 a.m. CT*^
Friday, Oct. 19: Travel to Boston
Training in Boston TBA
Saturday, Oct. 20: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution – Gillette Stadium – 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes)
Sunday, Oct. 21: Return to Chicago
Monday, Oct. 22: 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 New England Revolution
- The Fire hold a 19-14-9 all-time regular season advantage over the Revolution, including a 8-10-3 record in matches played on the road.
- The Men in Red are 6-7-3 on the road this season.
- The Fire are 13-4-3 against the MLS Eastern Conference in 2012
- Head Coach Frank Klopas has led the Fire to a 17-10-5 record this season and second place in the Eastern Conference with 56 points, just 3 points behind conference-leading Sporting Kansas City.
- Three members of the Fire have previously spent time with the Revolution. In 2010 defender Cory Gibbs make 25 appearances, all starts, with the Revolution, and served as captain in eight games. Milford, Mass. native Michael Videira was selected in the second round (18th overall) in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft but elected to sign with Hamilton Academical of the Scottish Premier League. Videira returned to sign with the Revolution in 2009, making 12 appearances and notched a total of 973 minutes from 2009-10. Drafted by the Revolution in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, Wells Thompson went on to make 71 regular season appearances in three seasons for the Revolution. In his rookie season, Thompson made 27 appearances and started 11 matches, then started all four post-season games for the Revs, including the 2007 MLS Cup final. Prior to the 2010 season, Thompson was traded to the Colorado Rapids, a move that sent Gibbs from Colorado to New England.
- Under Frank Klopas, the Fire have never lost when scoring the first goal. The Men in Red are 17-0-4 under Klopas when finding the net first.
- With a victory on Saturday, the Fire will win the season series against the Revolution. This season, the Men in Red have won season series against Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo, Columbus Crew, Montreal Impact, Philadelphia Union, and Toronto FC.
- Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made one save against the Red Bulls Oct. 6 as the team earned its first shutout since a 1-0 win July 14 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
- When Austin Berry and Arne Friedrich are patrolling the central defense the Fire are 12-4-2 only allowing 21 goals in 18 games.
- The Fire will be without the services of Mexican International Guillermo Franco, who is currently serving the second of a two-game suspension for a tackle on the Philadelphia Union’s Brian Carroll Oct. 3.
- The Revolution will be without the services of Benny Feilhaber, who will be serving a one-game suspension for a red card he received Oct. 6 against the Philadelphia Union.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR THE 2012 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS
With the Fire making their return to the postseason, the club has announced that tickets are now on sale for the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Fire supporters can lock-in 2012 MLS Cup Playoff tickets by purchasing new, or renewing, Season Tickets for the 2013 season. Group tickets are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
2012 Chicago Fire Season Ticket Holders have until 5:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 to contact the club’s Season Ticket Services department at 708-496-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org to guarantee seats for every 2012 home playoff game at Toyota Park.
The Fire have participated in the playoffs 11 times in their history, reaching the MLS Cup Final in 1998, 2000 and 2003. The Fire made history as the first and only MLS expansion side to win the Domestic Double in 1998 with victories in both the MLS Cup Final and the U.S. Open Cup Final.
The Fire will host their first MLS Cup Playoff match at Toyota Park on a date that will be determined based on where the Fire finish in the final MLS Regular Season standings.
Individual tickets will be available at www.Ticketmaster.com beginning on Friday, Oct. 19.
FRANK’S TURNAROUND SEASON
Since having his interim tag removed last November, Fire head coach Frank Klopas has transformed the team into a squad that is within striking distance of the Eastern Conference crown.
In his first full season as head coach, Klopas has led the Fire to a 17-10-5 (56 points) record this season with a .609 winning percentage. This is the first time the Fire have had a 17-win season since 1998 (20 wins), 1999 (18 wins) and 2000 (17 wins).
With 56 points, the 2012 season already marks the third-highest point total in Fire history. The only two seasons in which the Men in Red accumulated more points were in 1998 (60 points) and 2000 (57 points), coincidentally both years where the Fire advanced to the MLS Cup Final.
Klopas has led the Men in Red in 55 matches. Through his first 50 games the second-year manager has been one of the most productive coaches in MLS history, ranking third on the list of All-time Top 5 Coaches through first 50 games in terms of points earned in the post-shootout era (2000 and Beyond).
- Ray Hudson (MIA 2000-01) 27-17-6 (87 pts.)
- Frank Yallop (SJ 2001-02) – 27-17-6 (87 pts.)
- Frank Klopas (CHI 2011-12) 22-13-15 (81 pts.)
- Tom Soehn (DCU 2007-08) 24-17-8 (80 points)
- Robert Warzycha (CLB 2005, 2009-10) 22-13-15 (81 pts.)
- Hans Backe (NY 2010-11) 21-13-16 (79 pts.)
ALVARO FERNANDEZ CALLED TO REPRESENT URUGUAY IN WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
Fire Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez was an unused substitute for Uruguay in a 3-0 loss to Argentina in FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying on Friday, Oct. 12 at Estadio Malvinas Argentina in Mendoza, Argentina. Fernandez and Uruguay take on Bolivia at Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz, Bolivia on Oct. 16. Uruguay currently sits in fourth place in CONMEBOL qualification. Fernandez will return to Chicago prior to the Fire’s match against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Fernandez, 26, made his first international appearance for Uruguay on April 1, 2009 in a World Cup Qualifying match against Chile and has since been capped 11 times. Fernandez appeared in four matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, helping Uruguay to a fourth place finish. Fernandez last appeared for Uruguay on November, 11, 2011 in a World Cup Qualifier against Chile.
Since joining the Fire on July 27 in a trade from Seattle Sounders FC, Fernandez has tallied two goals in 11 appearances for the Men in Red, helping the team to a 8-3-0 record since joining the club.
CHICAGO FIRE RESERVES FINISH SEASON AGAINST TEXAS DUO
The Chicago Fire Reserves ended the season with a 4-6-0 record after dropping matches to FC Dallas Oct. 10 and the Houston Dynamo Oct. 13 by identical 2-1 score lines.
In Dallas, Dominic Oduro found the equalizer in the 36th minute but Matias Jara scored the game winner just four minutes later as the Fire fell 2-1 at FC Dallas Sports Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
A 30-yard rocket from the Fire’s first Homegrown Player Victor Pineda was sandwiched by two Cam Weaver goals as the Fire fell 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo at Houston Dynamo Sports Park on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Oduro led the Fire with three goals in just three games for the Fire Reserves. Corben Bone, Hunter Jumper, Michael Videira and Tony Walls started in all ten matches for the Fire Reserves this season.
FIRE IN THE NEWS
Fire seeks spoils that go with two more victories - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - October 13, 2012
15-year-old Fire here to stay - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - October 8, 2012
Fire players warm up to fans - Orrin Schwarz - Daily Herald - October 10, 2012
Fire lock down playoff spot - Len Ziehm - CSNChicago.com - October 6, 2012
ProSoccerTalk Player of the Week: Chicago’s Sherjill MacDonald - Steve Davis - NBCsports.com - October 8, 2012
SBI MLS Rookie of the Month: Austin Berry - Soccer By Ives - October 9, 2012
Rookie Report: New hire Berry a huge addition for Fire - Mike Levitt - MLSsoccer.com - October 10, 2012
Fire Notebook: Friedrich has no hesitation going forward - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - October 10, 2012
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
An International Round Up – October 13, 2012
All-In with Ives Galarcep – October 10, 2012
A Wrap on an Amazing Night – October 9, 2012
Six Things to Takeaway from Saturday’s Win at New York – October 7, 2012