Arne Friedrich
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Fire travel to LA for Chivas USA clash


The Chicago Fire (2-2-2; eight points) head to California to challenge Chivas USA (3-5-0, nine points) at the Home Depot Center on Friday, May 4 at 10:00 p.m. CT (ESPN Deportes/97.5 ESPN Deportes FM).

This is the first meeting between the two squads this year. In 2011 the Fire tied Chivas USA 1-1 on July 2 at the Home Depot Center and won 3-2 in the home leg on September 17. The Fire head into this match with a slight advantage in the series, holding a 7-4-3 record overall in MLS regular season play.

Chivas USA enters the match after dropping a 4-0 decision to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, April 28 with all four goals coming in the second half.

The Fire will be without the services of head coach Frank Klopas who was dismissed following Saturday’s match against Seattle Sounders FC. Additionally, defender Jaill Anibaba received a red card for his challenge in the seventh minute of second half stoppage time and will miss Friday’s encounter with Chivas USA.

This game marks the return for four members of the Men in Red to their old Home Depot Center stomping grounds. The Fire’s young Israeli striker Orr Barouch got his start with the Chivas USA Academy in 2008 as a 16-year old. Barouch spent over a year with Chivas before he signing his first professional contract with Mexican club Tigres UANL. In 2008, Daniel Paladini played eight games for Chivas USA, notching his first professional goal on September 9, 2008 in the 31st minute of a 3-1 win at Toronto FC. Also in 2008, Fire assistant coaches Mike Matkovich and Leo Percovich together served as assistant coaches for the goats under Preki. Percovich went on to serve one more year on the Chivas USA coaching staff.


Monday, April 30: Off
Tuesday, May 1: Training 10:30 a.m.*^
Wednesday, May 2: Training 10:30 a.m.*^
Thursday, May 3: Depart for Los Angeles
Training 5:30 p.m. PT – The Home Depot Center*^
Friday, May 4: Chicago Fire vs. Chivas USA – Home Depot Center – 10:00 p.m. CT – TV: ESPN Deportes/Radio: 97.5 ESPN Deportes FM
Saturday, May 5: Return to Chicago
Sunday, May 6: Training 10:00 a.m.*^
Monday, May 7: Training 10:30 a.m. *^

*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 or Jeff Crandall at 734.751.4820 for media requests.


· The Fire hold a 7-4-3 all-time MLS record against Chivas USA, including a 3-2-2 record in matches played at The Home Depot Center.

· The Fire went 1-1-0 against Chivas USA during the 2011 MLS Regular Season. Dominic Oduro scored his fifth goal of the season to give the Fire an early lead before a late Chivas USA equalizer gave the two teams a 1-1 draw on July 2 at The Home Depot Center. Oduro also scored in the return leg when his 85th minute equalizer gave the Fire a 3-2 victory on September 17 at Toyota Park.

· The Fire are currently unbeaten in eight matches across all competitions against Chivas USA, beginning with a 1-0 win on August 2, 2008. This is the Fire’s longest current unbeaten streak against any MLS team.

· Marco Pappa opened his 2012 goal scoring account in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC. Trailing 2-0 in the 89th minute, the Guatemalan international hit a stunning “Olimpico”, scoring directly from a corner kick. The goal tied Pappa with Nate Jaqua for seventh all-time on the Fire’s MLS goal scoring list at 21 and was also his first since his hat trick against Real Salt Lake on September 28, 2011.  

· Jalil Anibaba’s red card in Saturday’s match was his first-ever booking in Major League Soccer. Anibaba avoided the book throughout 29 MLS matches during his rookie season in 2011 and received only one yellow card, coming in the U.S. Open Cup final loss on October 4 to Seattle.

· Sitting on 15 regular season goals scored in just over a year since joining the Fire, Dominic Oduro stands one strike away from tying Lubos Kubik and Cuauhtemoc Blanco, entering the club’s top 15 MLS goal-scoring list at 16.

· Chivas USA defender Rauwshaun McKenzie, who grew up in the Chicago Area, played one summer in the USL Premier Development League with the Chicago Fire Premier in 2007.

· Newly reacquired forward Chris Rolfe leads the all-time regular season series with 24 shots and 9 shots on goal.


With five regular season MLS matches and a U.S. Open Cup match, the Fire are on the verge of their busiest month of the year. The May schedule includes two trips out west, first on May 4 when the Fire take on Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center and May 20 when the Fire challenge the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.

The Fire will face a quick turnaround twice this month with two weeks featuring mid-week Wednesday matches followed by games the subsequent Saturdays. On Wednesday, May 9 the Fire will host Real Salt Lake and three days later will host Sporting Kansas City May 12. Just two weeks after the trip to Portland, the Fire host FC Dallas Wednesday, May 23 before heading to take on the Columbus Crew on Saturday, May 26.

In addition to the MLS Regular Season schedule, the Fire will play begin U.S. Open Cup play on May 29 when they enter in the third round of the tournament. This May marks the earliest the club has had seven games in a calendar month.


Following the 2011 invasion of Columbus in which over 500 Chicago Fire supporters saw the side earn a dramatic and late 1-0 victory over the Crew, the Fire are again teaming with the club’s Supporters Season Ticket holders to create rousing home support of the club when the team travels visits the Columbus Crew on Saturday, May 26.

All Fire fans are invited to “get on the bus” to Columbus:

Chicago Fire Fans:    $45 (bus ticket)
                                       $20 (match ticket & commemorative scarf) 

Fire supporters can choose one of two departure points on the morning of May 26, leaving from either Toyota Park or The Globe Pub (1934. W. Irving Park).

Bus Departure/(Estimated Arrival Times):

Toyota Park – 6:30 am CT (approximately 1:30pm ET)

(one bus will leave at this time. Signup for this bus is first-come, first served)

Toyota Park – 8:30 am CT (approximately 3:30pm ET)

The Globe Pub – 8:30 am CT (approximately 3:30pm ET)

RSVP for the Firehouse East Trip by Friday, May 11 by clicking here. For more information on Firehouse East, visit


Marco Pappa’s stunning goal in the 89th minute directly from a corner kick wasn’t enough to rally the Fire as the Men in Red fell 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC at Toyota Park Saturday evening.

The Fire attacked from the start and nearly drew first blood in the third minute when Gonzalo Segares crossed the ball in for Dominic Oduro at the top of the six-yard box but the Ghanaian striker could only get a piece of it before heading the ball over the goal. The Fire again came close 10 minutes later as Patrick Nyarko collected the ball and turned towards goal before playing a weighted through ball for Oduro who ran onto it into the box before his powerful effort forced a save out of Sounders FC ‘keeper Michael Gsuprning.

Just a minute later Nyarko centered a pass that Oduro back heeled for Paladini, who took a touch before firing an effort that Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso dove in front of to put out for a corner kick. Nine minutes later the Fire nearly went ahead again when a corner kick from Grazzini found Pavel Pardo at the near post. The former Mexican international got his head to it before Gspurning punched the ball for another corner kick.

Seattle was able to break through in the 39th minute. Osvaldo Alonso played the ball to Eddie Johnson where he collected the ball at the endline and cut back for David Estrada. Estrada’s low effort deflected off of Fire defender Arne Friedrich, caught Sean Johnson wrong-footed and was tucked inside the near post to take the Sounders into the half with a 1-0 lead. The attempt was credited as an own goal to the German international.

Having been in the match for just two minutes, substitute midfielder Marco Pappa looked to equalize in the 63rd. Grazzini took a free kick from 30 yards that was nodded out of the box before Pappa stepped up and fired a blistering effort that knuckled through traffic and under the diving arm of Gspurning. However, the goal was called back as Oduro was adjudged to have been interfering with the play in an offside position.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 66th minute when a free kick from Montero was saved with a diving effort from Sean Johnson but Jhon Kennedy Hurtado followed before Eddie Johnson tapped in the rebound.

Four minutes later Pappa would finally get the Fire on the board as he bent a swerving seeing-eye corner kick over Gspurning’s outstretched arms off the back post and over the line in the 89th minute.

Reeling off of the wonder-strike, the Fire found one last chance deep into stoppage time as Nyarko played a long ball over the top for Oduro. The Fire striker brought it down before laying off a pass for Jalil Anibaba whose rushed strike was hit straight at Gspurning, clinching a 2-1 Sounders FC victory.


On April 26 the Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that the team has signed Brazilian midfielder Alex Monteiro De Lima on a free transfer from Swiss side FC Wohlen. The 23-year-old will be added to the Fire roster upon the opening of the summer transfer window on June 27 and after receipt of his P1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, De Lima began his professional career with FC Gossau during the 2009-10 Swiss Challenge League campaign, scoring two goals in 18 matches for the St. Gallen-based club. Following his initial campaign, De Lima transferred to FC Wohlen where he tallied seven goals in 44 appearances the past two seasons for the north Swiss side.

Given a pass to join the Fire during phase one of the club’s 2012 preseason, De Lima appeared as a trialist in two matches for the Fire earlier this year, a 0-0 draw vs. D.C. United on January 29 in Ft. Myers, Fla., and a 3-1 victory over Honduran side Real C.D. España.


Media planning to cover the remaining three games of the  Mexican National Team’s 2012 U.S. Tour, including the Mexico vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina match on May 31 at Soldier Field can apply now for media credentials using the online form by clicking HERE.

As Mexico is preparing for World Cup Qualifiers, all players are expected to be available for the final three tour games.

Date Opponent Venue City TIME (CT)
May 27  Wales MetLife Stadium  East Rutherford, N.J. 2 p.m.
May 31 Bosnia-Herzegovina Soldier Field Chicago, Ill. 8 p.m.
June 3  Brazil Cowboys Stadium Arlington, Texas 2 p.m.

To apply for media accreditation for any of these games, please click HERE.

The deadline to submit a credential application for all three games is Monday, May 21 at 5 p.m. ET. No credential applications will be accepted after the deadline.

Please note the following when applying for credentials:

  • No credential applications will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Credentials per organization will be limited.
  • Field access is available for photographers and videographers only. No radio stations or TV talent will receive field access.
  • Photo agencies must be working on assignment from a specific news outlet.
  • All other approved media will have access to the press box and post-match media work areas, such as the news conference and mixed zone.
  • Media who are approved for credentials should not wear apparel supporting any of the competing countries.

For further media credential information, please contact Susan Marschall at SUM Communications, +1-212-450-1292 or


On April 27 the Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that the organization has named Cricket as the club’s official wireless partner. The multi-year agreement with Cricket, the leader in innovative, value-rich prepaid wireless services, will bring Fire supporters great mobile options to enjoy soccer and music together.

This partnership includes Cricket-branded Chicago TV and media assets, in-stadium, jumbotron and building signage, and FireFest game day activations, as well as a social media campaign and upcoming mobile app, exclusively from Cricket Wireless. Cricket will also be teaming with the Fire as a proud sponsor of local youth soccer, including the Fire Camps & Training Program and three prominent youth soccer tournaments in the Chicagoland area.

During home game warm-ups at Toyota Park, Fire supporters will enjoy listening to their favorite players’ “Muve Music Playlist” from Cricket’s Muve Music library. Muve Music allows users to download unlimited music straight to their phone as part of a talk, text, and data plus music package.


The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Arte y Vida Chicago will showcase work from Chicagoland artists who submitted original works that celebrate love and passion for soccer and community at the second annual Art of Futbol exhibition at the Society Art Gallery (2140 W. Fulton Street, Chicago, IL 60612) on Wednesday, May 16 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. CT.

Hosted by the Chicago Fire Foundation, the club has put out a call to Chicagoland artists looking for original works that celebrate the game of soccer and everything it represents. Each individual views soccer in a different perspective and artists are asked to submit original works displayed through various mediums including paint, pencil, photography, poetry and digital.

The exhibition will also feature an original modern art piece by Chicago Fire Defender Dan Gargan, who minored in studio art while attending Georgetown University.

Artists interested in creating and submitting original artwork can email Tickets to the event, which benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation, can be purchased here.


The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that the Fire will take on seven-time English League champions Aston Villa in an international friendly at Toyota Park on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Advance tickets for the Chicago Fire vs. Aston Villa are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting or via Ticketmaster. The international friendly will serve as Bonus Game 1 in the Fire’s Season Ticket Package, and is also a part of the Ten Game Plan.

Aston Villa, one of the oldest and most successful clubs in English football history, will make their first trip to Chicago. Since its founding in 1874, Villa has amassed 19 major domestic honors, including seven English Premier League titles and seven FA Cups. The Villans also won the 1981-1982 European Cup. One of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, Aston Villa has competed in the top flight of English soccer ever since.

This is the second consecutive year the Fire will host an English Premier League team. In 2011, the Fire took on famed English club Manchester United in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 61,000 soccer supporters at Soldier Field, scoring first before falling 3-1 to the eventual Premier League Champions. The Fire currently hold a 2-1 record against English Premier League foes, defeating Everton FC by a score of 2-0 in 2008, and Derby County 1-0 in 1999.

Aston Villa features two former Chicago Fire Premier players, goalkeeper Brad Guzan, originally from Homer Glenn, Ill. and defender Eric Lichaj, a product of Downers Grove, Ill. 


Fire-Sounders: Seattle Sounders beat Chicago Fire 2-1 - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - April 28, 2012,0,3115735.story

Fire owner enjoys give and take with fans - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - April 27, 2012,0,1477333.story

A look inside Chicago Fire's stadium - Leonor Vivanco - RedEye Chicago - April 27, 2012,0,370308.story

Fire’s Ghanaian odd couple finally at home in Windy City – Anthony Zilis – – April 24, 2012


Five Things You Should Know About Saturday’s Game vs. Seattle – April 28, 2012


By The Numbers – April 26, 2012


All-In Podcast with Dan Gargan and Tom Dunmore – April 25, 2012