Gibbs and Anibaba have developed a close relationship off the field

Weekly Notes

The Chicago Fire (2-5-12, 18 points) step out of MLS play for a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Quarterfinal match-up against the New York Red Bulls at TOYOTA PARK on Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. CT. The match will stream live on Chicago-Fire.com. Following the Fire’s Open Cup foray, the Men in Red will return to league action when they welcome the expansion Portland Timbers to TOYOTA PARK on Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. CT, with Dan Kelly and Evan Whitfield calling the action live on Comcast SportsNet. 

Cristian Nazarit’s second-half goal wasn’t enough as the Fire wound up on the wrong end of two David Beckham free kicks to fall to the LA Galaxy 2-1 over the weekend in Los Angeles. The loss was the first in eight games for the Men in Red and the first for the team since Frank Klopas took over as interim head coach at the end of May.

The Fire, playing in their 14th consecutive U.S. Open Cup, are unbeaten against New York at TOYOTA PARK in league play, going 5-0-3 all-time vs. Red Bull at the soccer-specific venue, including a 1-1 draw against Thierry Henry and company on Sunday, June 26. The last time the Fire met New York in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play the Men in Red prevailed 1-0 to win the 2003 U.S. Open Cup title in the Cup Final at Giants Stadium on Oct. 15, 2003.

The weekend fixture marks the first time the Timbers (5-9-3, 18 points) will have made the trip to Chicago. In the first-ever match-up between the two sides the Fire were defeated 4-2 in the MLS debut of JELD-WEN Field April 17. 

CHICAGO FIRE WEEKLY TRAINING SCHEDULE: July 11 - July 17

Chicago Fire players and coaches will be made available to media at TOYOTA PARK (7000 S. Harlem Ave. Bridgeview, IL 60455) following each training session this week. Media are able to begin conducting interviews after training, which runs approximately two hours. (All times central)

Monday, July 11:                Training 10 a.m. - TOYOTA PARK practice field*^

Tuesday, July 12:             Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls – TOYOTA PARK – 7:30 p.m. – Live stream on Chicago-Fire.com  

Wednesday, July 13:           OFF

Thursday, July 14:                 Training 10:00 a.m. – TOYOTA PARK practice field*^

Friday, July 15:                  Training 10:00 a.m. – TOYOTA PARK practice field*^

Saturday, July 16:               Chicago Fire vs. Portland Timbers – TOYOTA PARK – 7:30 p.m. – CSN

Sunday, July 17:                OFF

 *Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training, which runs approximately two hours.

^Training times are subject to change. Please contact Brendan Hannan at 708.496.6725 for media requests.

 CHICAGO FIRE vs. Portland Timbers

  • The match marks the Timbers first ever trip to the Windy City. The Fire are 4-0-4 all-time in their first meeting against an MLS expansion side at home.
  • The Timbers took the first-ever meeting between the two clubs earlier this season, winning 4-2 in the opening of JELD-WEN Field on April 14. The hosts ran out to a 3-0 lead behind a brace from Jorge Perlaza (29’, 47’) and Rodney Wallace (38’). The Fire pulled two goals back, first through an own goal from Timbers defender Eric Brunner (65’) and a strike through midfielder Marco Pappa (80’). Ultimately, Fire defender Dasan Robinson was credited with an own goal in the 84th minute, finishing the scoring at 4-2.
  • Fire striker Cristian Nazarit tallied his second goal in a Fire uniform against the Galaxy, nodding home a cross from Patrick Nyarko in the 62nd minute of the 2-1 loss.
  • Nyarko’s assist against the Galaxy moved the Fire winger into the club’s top 15 all-time assist leaders. The Ghanaian is currently tied with Honduran midfielder Ivan Guerrero on 16 all-time regular season assists.
  • With Saturday’s 2-1 loss, Frank Klopas’ unbeaten run since taking over the club’s head coaching duties ends at seven matches. The team is 1-1-6 since Klopas took the interim coaching job on May 30.

ROONEY, FERDINAND AND NANI HIGHLIGHT MANCHESTER UNITED’S ROSTER FOR GAMES IN THE U.S.

English Premier League champion Manchester United announced its provisional travel roster for their five-game tour of the United States this summer, which includes the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, their participation in the Herbalife World Football Challenge 2011 – including the Chicago Fire – Manchester United match at Soldier Field on Saturday, July 23 at 4:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2) - and an international match against the Seattle Sounders FC.

Advance tickets are still available via Ticketmaster and Chicago-Fire.com or by calling 888-MLS-FIRE. The Chicago Fire vs. Manchester United match is included in the Fire’s Full Season Ticket Holder plan as Bonus Game Two. Supporters can purchase a ticket for the Fire - Manchester United match by placing a deposit on Chicago Fire Season Tickets for the 2012 season.

Led by legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the list of international standouts includes English national team stars Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, speedy Portuguese winger Nani, Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, team captain Nemanja Vidic of Serbia, Korean international midfielder Ji-Sung Park, Brazilian twins Fabio and Rafael, and French international defender Patrice Evra.

A few players, including Mexican international Javier Hernandez, will join the club in the United States during the tour after their agreed leave time.

MANCHASTER UNITED TOUR ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS: Ben Amos (ENG), David de Gea (ESP)*, Sam Johnston (ENG), Andres Lindegaard (DEN)

DEFENDERS: Fabio Da Silva (BRA), Rafael Da Silva (BRA), Jonny Evans (NIR), Patrice Evra (FRA), Rio Ferdinand (ENG), Phil Jones (ENG)*, Chris Smalling (ENG)*, Nemanja Vidic (SRB)

MIDFIELDERS: Anderson (BRA), Michael Carrick (ENG), Tom Cleverley (ENG)*, Ryan Giggs (WAL), Nani (POR), Gabriel Obertan (FRA), Ji-Sung Park (KOR)

FORWARDS: Dimitar Berbatov (BUL), Mame Biram Diouf (SEN), Javier Hernandez (MEX)*, Federico Macheda (ITA), Michael Owen (ENG), Wayne Rooney (ENG), Danny Welbeck (ENG)*, Ashley Young (ENG)

MANAGER: Sir Alex Ferguson

* Indicates player will join tour in progress.