CHICAGO, IL (Dec. 16, 2011) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Friday the club will begin its preparations for the 2012 MLS campaign in Ave Maria, Fla., training for 15 days on the campus of Ave Maria University from Jan. 20 through Feb. 3. Additional plans for the team’s 2012 preseason will be released at a later date.
The Men in Red return to the university for the second straight year, having spent 12 days on campus in 2011. During the team’s stay, the club will be assisted operationally by the Chicago Fire Juniors – Florida, an extension of the Fire’s player development system who operate just 17 miles wast of the school.
“We’re happy to be returning to Ave Maria to begin our 2012 preseason preparations,” said Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “The town and university have outstanding facilities and served as excellent hosts during our stay last year. Our return also allows us the ability to visit and play in front of our Juniors club in Florida who have made great strides heading into the third year of our partnership.”
Game opponents, dates and times for the team’s stay in the Sunshine state will be announced at a later date.
The trip serves as the first phase of the club’s 2012 preseason. The team is set join D.C. United, Columbus Crew and hosts Charleston Battery (USL-Pro) in the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup from Feb. 25-March 4 in the third and final phase of the team’s preparation.