The Chicago Fire (0-2-1, 1 point) return to the road for their third road match in four weeks as they head to the Nation’s capital to take on D.C. United on Saturday, April 17 at 6:30 PM CT, live on Comcast SportsNet. Following their Opening Night defeat, the Fire chase their first victory of the season against Eastern Conference rival United. The four-time MLS Cup Champions have gotten off to a rocky start, losing three straight games to open their 2010 MLS campaign. Last weekend, United was defeated 3-2 by expansion side Philadelphia Union. With five MLS Cup Championships and six U.S. Open Cups between them, the two storied MLS franchises will meet for the 38th time on Saturday, with the Fire slightly behind all-time 13-16-5.
CHICAGO FIRE WEEKLY TRAINING SCHEDULE – APRIL 13 – April 18
Chicago Fire players and coaches will be made available to media at the TOYOTA PARK practice field Tuesday-Friday, following training. Media will be able to begin conducting interviews after training, which runs approximately two to two and a-half hours.
Tuesday, April 13 – Training 9:00–11:00 AM CT – TOYOTA PARK – OPEN TO MEDIA*
Wednesday, April 14 – Training 9:00–11:00 AM CT – TOYOTA PARK – OPEN TO MEDIA*
Thursday, April 15 – Training 9:00–11:00 AM CT – TOYOTA PARK – OPEN TO MEDIA*
Friday, April 16 – Training 9:00–11:00 AM CT – TOYOTA PARK – OPEN TO MEDIA*
Saturday, April 17 – Chicago Fire at D.C. United – RFK Stadium – 6:30 PM CT (Comcast SportsNet)
*Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training, which runs two to two and a-half hours. Please contact Becky Carroll at 312.350.5260 or Brendan Hannan at 708.496.6725 for media requests.
CHICAGO FIRE VS. D.C. UNITED
- The Fire are 5-10-4 on the road at RFK Stadium and have struggled to find the net in D.C., scoring 23 goals in 19 games while conceding 32.
- The Men in Red’s last victory against United was May 8, 2008, when Justin Mapp and Cuauhtemoc Blanco tallied to give the Fire a 2-0 victory at RFK Stadium.
- Dating back to 2006, the Fire are 3-6-4 against D.C.
- The Fire defeated United 2-0 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA to win the 1998 MLS Cup. Jerzy Podbrozny and Diego Gutierrez tallied and Peter Nowak, with two assists was named the game’s MVP as the Fire won the MLS Cup in their inaugural season.
- The Fire have never lost to United in post season play, going 5-0-2 in post season meetings in ’98,’03,’05 and ’07.
- Fire midfielder Justin Mapp was drafted by United with the fourth pick overall in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft. The Project-40 player played only 28 minutes for D.C. in his first year as a pro before being acquired by to the Fire in a trade that sent Dema Kovalenko to D.C. before the 2003 season.
- Two of MLS’ All-Time Best XI forwards face-off as 36-year-old Jaime Moreno and 37-year-old Brian McBride. Moreno, who tallied in last week’s defeat to the Union, is the MLS All-Time scoring leader with 132 goals. McBride recently scored his 75th goal and is one assist away from his 50th career MLS assist.
- United currently rosters three players that spent time with in the Chicago Fire Player Development system: midfielders Brandon Barklage (2008) and Thabiso Khumalo (2003-04) and defender Barry Rice (2009). Additionally, Khumalo was selected 36th overall by the Fire in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft.
FIRE FALL IN FRONT OF 20,276 FANS AT OPENING NIGHT AT TOYOTA PARK
The Chicago Fire were defeated 2-1 by the San Jose Earthquakes in front of the largest Opening Night crowd in TOYOTA PARK history. Marco Pappa’s wonder-strike was not enough to elevate the Fire to victory, as Arturo Alvarez and Ike Opara tallied for the ‘Quakes in front of a sold-out crowd at TOYOTA PARK. The loss dropped the Fire to 0-2-1, with 1 point on the season. It was the club’s first Opening Night loss at TOYOTA PARK and only the team’s third loss at home to kickoff a season. The Fire are now 7-3-3 on Opening Night since 1998.
Pappa’s golazo from 25-yards out opened his 2010 account. The strike marks the second year in a row that the Guatemalan international has scored in a Fire home opener. Pappa recorded the lone goal in the Fire’s 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls on April 5, 2009, en route to tallying five goals and four assists during the campaign. To check out Pappa’s goal click here.
MEXICO READIES FOR 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP WITH MATCH IN CHICAGO
The Mexico Men’s national team begins preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup with an exhibition match at Soldier Field against Senegal on Monday, May 10 at 8:00 PM CT. Mexico boss Javier Aguirre called in 17 players for El Tri’s four exhibition matches in North America meeting Ecuador on May 7 in New Jersey, Senegal on May 10 in Chicago and Angola three days later in Houston before playing Chile in a World Cup send-off match May 16 in Mexico City. Among those called in to camp by Aguirre, is former Chicago Fire forward Cuauhtémoc Blanco. The play-making Blanco will return to Chicago for the first time since he departed for Second Division Mexican side Veracruz in the 2010 offseason.
FIRE CHOOSE 10 PARTICIPANTS TO TRAIN WITH ACADEMY AFTER SUENO MLS 2010 – BUILT BY THE HOME DEPOT, STOPS IN CHICAGO
With 400 teenagers participating in Sueño MLS 2010 – Built by The Home Depot, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club selected the 10 contestants who will train with the club’s academy throughout the week. Showing his continued interest in player development in the United States, Chicago Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos made an appearance on Sunday as he announced the 10 selected contenders and gave words of encouragement to the teenagers for their future soccer endeavors.
By the end of the week, the Chicago Fire scouts will narrow the number of selected participants to five that will be sent to Los Angeles for the “Final Event” to take place May 5-9. Having made its first stops in Houston and Chicago, the two-day event will descend on Los Angeles this weekend starting on Saturday, April 17 for the third and last stop before the “Final Event”. After picking the five winners from each city, league scouts and celebrity guests will be on hand to provide guidance and select the ultimate winner in front of a live national television audience on Sunday, May 9. “República Deportiva,” the highest-rated weekly sports magazine program on Spanish-language television in the United States which airs nationally every Sunday, will follow the action weekly in a unique “reality show within a show” format. For more information, visit www.SuenoMLS.com.
FIRE IN THE NEWS
Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman taking honorable soccer stand – Chicago Tribune – April 11, 2010
New look Fire a work in progress – Chicago Sun-Times – April 11, 2010
Fire drops home opener to San Jose 2-1 – Daily Herald – April 11, 2010
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
Watson-Siriboe on his first match – Jeff Crandall – Chicago-Fire.com – April 6, 2010
Fire Alumni Abroad Update – Jeff Crandall – Chicago-Fire.com – April 7, 2010
Krzysztof Krol Reflects on MLS Debut – Jeff Crandall – Chicago-Fire.com April 8, 2010
Rematch 2003: Mapp, Yallop Reflect on MLS Cup Final – April 9, 2010