MARCH TO SOCCER – FIRE OPEN 16TH CAMPAIGN AGAINST MLS CUP CHAMPION LA GALAXY ON SUNDAY
The Chicago Fire open its 16th season on the road in just six days when they head west to take on two-time defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, March 3 at 4:00 p.m. CT (Univision). The following week, in just 12 days, the Fire will host the New England Revolution for Opening Night at Toyota Park on Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network).
The Men in Red are 5-3-5 in season openers away from Chicago and 5-4-6 in season openers overall.
This is the only meeting between the two squads this season. The Fire hold a 15-18-4 record against the Galaxy, including a 6-9-3 record in matches played in California.
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: Feb. 25 – March 4
Monday, Feb. 25: Off
Tuesday, Feb. 26: Training 10:00 a.m. CT^ – Bridgeview Sports Dome - 8900 S. 77th Avenue, Bridgeview, IL 60455
Wednesday, Feb. 27: Travel to Los Angeles
Training in Los Angeles TBA^
Thursday, Feb. 28: Training in Los Angeles TBA^
Friday, March 1: Training in Los Angeles TBA^
Saturday, March 2: Training in Los Angeles TBA^
Sunday, March 3: Chicago Fire vs. Los Angeles Galaxy – Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif. – 4:00 p.m. CT (Univision)
^Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training. Times are subject to change. Please contact Brendan Hannan or Eunice Kim for media requests.
CHICAGO FIRE vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
- The Fire are 15-18-4 against the Galaxy all-time and are 6-9-3 against the LA side in matches played in California.
- In their final match before the season opener, the Galaxy defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1 Feb. 22 at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif. With the win, the Galaxy ended preseason with 5-1-1 overall record.
- The two sides only squared off once during the 2012 season. Robbie Keane’s brace was the difference as the Fire fell 2-0 in front of a sellout crowd at Toyota Park July 8, 2012.
- Galaxy Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan was the second head coach in Fire history. Following the 2002 season, Sarachan was named head coach, a position that he held for four and a half years during which he compiled a 55-50-31 regular season record. During his tenure, he led the Fire to the 2003 Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup Final en route to MLS Coach of the Year honors. Under his tutelage, the Fire won the 2003 and 2006 U.S. Open Cup Championships.
- Fire midfielder and Van Nuys, Calif. product Daniel Paladini began his professional career with the Galaxy. A four-year standout at Cal State Northridge, Paladini was selected in the second round (24th overall) of the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft.
- Three Galaxy players Bryan Gaul (Naperville), Mike Magee (Chicago) and Michael Stephens (Naperville) claim Illinois as their home state.
2013 PRESEASON RECAP
After 32 days on the road, the Fire returned to Chicago after compiling a 5-1-3 overall record throughout its three phases of training camp that included stops in Ave Maria, Fla., Ventura Calif. and Charleston, S.C. The Fire went 2-1-2 against fellow MLS sides.
Below is a full roundup of the Fire’s preseason results:
Sunday, January 27 – Chicago Fire 2 – 0 Florida Gulf Coast University – North Park – Ave Maria, Fla.
Wednesday, January 30 – Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Columbus Crew – IMG Academy – Bradenton, Fla.
Tuesday, February 5 – Chicago Fire 1 – 1 Chivas USA – Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Saturday, February 9 – Chicago Fire 1 – 1 University of California Santa Barbara – Harder Stadium – Santa Barbara, Calif.
Saturday, February 9 – Chicago Fire 1 – 0 San Jose Earthquakes – Harder Stadium – Santa Barbara, Calif.
Saturday, February 16 – Chicago Fire 3 – 2 Houston Dynamo – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.
Sunday, February 17 – Chicago Fire 4 – 2 Coastal Carolina University – Charleston Southern University – Charleston, S.C.
Wednesday, February 20 – Chicago Fire 2 – 1 Charleston Battery – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.
Saturday, February 23 – Chicago Fire 1 – Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 – Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, S.C.
CHICAGO FIRE ROSTER
With one week to go until the Fire kickoff their 16th MLS season, Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas’ roster is nearly set. With 24 signed players, continuity is key with as the Fire return 19 players from the 2012 squad that finished 17-11-6, qualifying for the playoffs for the 12th time in 15 seasons.
Below is a brief breakdown of the current roster:
- The average age of Fire players is 25 years and 11 months
- Entering the 2013 season, Fire players have a combined 82 seasons of MLS experience. Leading the way are Logan Pause (10), Jeff Larentowicz (8) and Gonzalo Segares (8), and Chris Rolfe (6) and Wells Thompson (6).
- The current roster has scored 154 goals in regular season play, led by 2012 Fire MVP and Golden Boot winner Chris Rolfe who has 44 goals to his name. Three of the Fire’s offseason acquisitions boast double-digit career goal scoring figures: Jeff Larentowicz (23 goals), Maicon Santos (21 goals) and Joel Lindpere (15 goals).
- Eight countries are represented by the Fire: Brazil (Alex and Santos), Costa Rica (Segares), Estonia (Lindpere), Germany (Friedrich), Ghana (Nyarko), Italy (Tornaghi), Netherlands (MacDonald) and the United States (16 players).
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS NOW ON SALE
Individual single game tickets for the club’s 16th MLS season at Toyota Park are now on sale via Ticketmaster.
One of the most affordable live events in the Chicagoland area, single game ticket prices start as low as $20 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.
Chicago Fire Season Tickets and #cf97withdrawals Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Day while donning the four Fire hats and four pairs of Fire gloves included in the pack are now on sale. Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE, via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Chicago Fire Season Ticket Holder exchanges began Monday, Feb. 18. Information on the exchanges can be found here and by contacting Season Ticket Services at 708-496-6800 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPORT THE CHICAGO FIRE FOUNDATION AT THE 15TH ANNUAL SEASON KICKOFF LUNCHEON MONDAY, MARCH 5
Get your tickets for the 15th annual Chicago Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon which will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati will help kickoff the event by delivering the keynote address. This is the first chance of the season to meet your 2013 Chicago Fire Soccer team. The event includes a reception, lunch and silent auction featuring Chicago Fire and other sports memorabilia, gift certificates and more. The first 20 full paid tables of ten (10) at $850 will be seated with a Fire player or coach. Tickets are available here or by calling (708) 496-6751.
FIRE IN THE NEWS
Fire claims Carolina Cup in preseason finale - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - February 23, 2013
Fire defender Arne Friedrich finding success with new format - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - February 19, 2013
Mid week notes – Chimbonda, Amarikwa, roster cuts - Guillermo Rivera - Chicago Fire Confidential - February 19, 2013
Fire win again, Dynamo rally in Carolina Challenge Cup - Mike McCall - Soccer By Ives - February 21, 2013
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
Where’s the Third Kit? – February 24, 2013
Santos goal earns plenty redemption in Challenge Cup finale – February 23, 2013
This Day in Fire History… Frank Klopas Comes Home – February 20, 2013
Breaking Down Defense: Pause, Anibaba, Chimbonda, make right back spot interesting – February 19, 2013