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Fire Test Road-Weary Vancouver

The Chicago Fire (8-6-4; 28 points) welcome Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8-4-6, 30 points) to Toyota Park on Saturday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. CT (CSN Chicago/97.5 ESPN Deportes).
Saturday’s game marks the first and only regular season meeting between the two squads this season. In 2011 the Fire went 0-1-1 in the series, drawing 0-0 on May 7 at Toyota Park and falling 4-2 on August 7 at Empire Field.
Currently in fourth place in the Western Conference, Vancouver enters the match after 0-0 draw to Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center July 7. Prior to Saturday’s game, the Whitecaps will take on Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday, July 11 before coming to Chicago. This will mark the Whitecap’s final match of a five-game road swing.
Monday, July 9: Off
Tuesday, July 10: Off                
Wednesday, July 11: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Thursday, July 12: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Friday, July 13: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Saturday, July 14: Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – Toyota Park – 7:30 p.m. CT – CSN Chicago/97.5 ESPN Deportes
Sunday, July 15: Training 11:00 a.m.*^                 
Monday, July 16: Training 9:30 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 for media requests.
CHICAGO FIRE vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

  • The Fire hold a 0-1-1 all-time MLS Regular Season record against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Fire have only hosted the Whitecaps at home once in a 0-0 draw.
  • The Fire were unable to find a win against the Whitecaps in the 2011 series. The Fire dominated possession but played to a scoreless draw at Toyota Park on May 7. Dominic Oduro and Orr Barouch scored but Eric Hassli’s goal 33 seconds into the match sealed the Fire’s fate as the Whitecaps went on to win 4-2 at Empire Field August 8.
  • Fire goalkeeper Jay Nolly spent three seasons plying his trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Nolly joined the Whitecaps in 2008 and helped the then-USL First Division side to its first league championship while appearing in 83 matches between 2008-2010. When the Whitecaps joined MLS in 2011, Nolly appeared and started in 14 matches, starting in goal during the Whitecaps’ MLS debut March 19 and recorded the Whitecaps’ first-ever clean sheet in MLS following a 0-0 home draw with Chivas USA April 16.
  • Current Whitecaps midfielder John Thorrington spent six seasons with the Fire, joining the club in 2005 after eight years playing in Europe. In 59 regular season matches, Thorrington scored eight goals and added two assists, including one of the most memorable goals in Fire history, a 93rd minute game-winner against the LA Galaxy on October 21, 2007 on the final day of the MLS regular season.
  • Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit was a member of the inaugural 2001 Chicago Fire PDL squad. DeMerit led the then-named Fire Reserves to a first place finish in the Central Conference’s Great Lakes Division.
  •  Whitecaps Director of Soccer Operations and Chicago native Tom Soehn spent time with the Fire both as a player and a coach. Soehn joined the Men in Red in July 1998 and was a part of the memorable run as the Fire won both the MLS Cup and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles. Soehn was also a part of the squad that won the U.S. Open Cup in 2000. After retiring, Soehn served as an assistant coach for the Fire from 2001-2003.  
  •  Fire defender Arne Friedrich played the full 90 for the first time Sunday afternoon since returning from a right hamstring strain suffered May 12.
  • The Fire are 2-4-1 in matches played against Western Conference foes this season.

To celebrate the club’s 15th Anniversary on October 8, the Fire are counting down the 15 most memorable matches, goals and players in Fire history as part of the #Fire15 series.
Beginning with the most memorable games #13-15, videos will be unveiled each week on www.Chicago-Fire.com and will lead to the 15th Anniversary celebration to be held Wednesday, October 3 against the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park at 7:30 p.m. CT (NBC5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes).
The Chicago Fire had their chances but were undone twice by Robbie Keane as the LA Galaxy handed the Fire a 2-0 defeat Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park.
The Fire had the better of the play early on and came close in the 6th minute when Dominic Oduro knocked down a lobbed ball from Gonzalo Segares. Fire winger Patrick Nyarko settled before springing Oduro into the box but Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza came through with a saving tackle to keep things level in the sixth minute.
In the 14th minute Patrick Nyarko made a penetrating run towards the box out of midfield but was chopped down by Lopes 22 yards from goal. Referee Jair Marrufo showed the Galaxy defender a caution but the resulting free kick from Marco Pappa went well over the bar.
The Galaxy would take a step towards the victory in the 24th minute when Robbie Keane’s cross from the left hit the hand of Anibaba on the edge of the area. Marrufo pointed to the penalty spot and the Irish international sent Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson the wrong way with his low effort inside the right post, giving the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.
Halftime substitute Alex took little time to make his presence known, picking up a loose ball at midfield and striding towards goal before being chopped down by Sean Franklin 25 yards away. On the ensuing free kick, Pardo drove a powerful blast to the top left corner which forced Galaxy ‘keeper Josh Saunders to parry over the bar and out for a corner kick in the 49th minute.
Pushing numbers forward as they looked for the equalizer, the Galaxy would punish the Fire defense in the 78th minute when second half substitute Landon Donovan dispossessed Rolfe at midfield. With only two defenders back, the U.S. international and MLS All-Star slid the ball to an unmarked Keane who hit an easy effort inside the left post to send the visitors away victorious with a 2-0 score line.
Media planning to cover the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game may now apply for credentials online by CLICKING HERE.
Without exception, credential applications must be received by Monday, July 9 at 4 p.m. CT.  A limited number of parking passes are available on a first come, first served basis for media members who complete their applications early.
MLS All-Stadium credentials, team season credentials, and credentials from previous MLS events will not be recognized for any of the media events surrounding the MLS All-Star Game.
The 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will be held at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., on July 25 at 7:30 p.m. CT.  The 2012 MLS All-Stars will take on current European champions, Chelsea FC in a rematch of the 2006 event when the MLS All-Star team, led by Peter Nowak, defeated Chelsea FC 1-0 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. MLS and Philadelphia Union will host five days of festivities, culminating in the kickoff of MLS’ best against the best team in Europe.
Questions about the application process may be submitted to the All-Star Game accreditation officer Sarah Lerner, Sarah.Lerner@MLSsoccer.com.
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 www.Chicago-Fire.com or 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 former Chicago Fire PDL defender Eric Lichaj, a native of Downers Grove, Ill.
Sean Johnson moving past Olympic disappointment with strong play for Chicago Fire - Brian Straus - Sporting News - July 5, 2012
Fire on a roll, but challenges loom - Jack McCarthy - Chicago Tribune - July 3, 2012
Fire's defense coming together, with Arne Friedrich leading way - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - July 2, 2012
On Fire: New Brazilian playmaker Alex fitting in quickly - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - July 4, 2012
Alex can learn from MLS’ one-named greats – July 5, 2012
Five Things You Should Know About Tuesday’s Game at Houston – July 3, 2012
How to Celebrate a Quinceñera – July 2, 2012