The Chicago Fire take their first preseason bow against an MLS side Saturday night when they face D.C. United at IMG Academy Field in Bradenton Fla. Watch the match LIVE at 6:00pm CT at Chicago-Fire.com/live.
Here are some things you should know about tonight’s game:
The Fire have 27 signed players in camp plus nine un-signed guest players and draft picks available for selection in tonight’s match. See the list of eligible players below:
Goalkeepers (3): Sean Johnson, Alec Kann, Kyle Reynish
Defenders (8): Austin Berry, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Hunter Jumper, Steven Kinney, Lovel Palmer, Gonzalo Segares, Bakary Soumare
Midfielders (11): Yazid Atouba, Dilly Duka, Benji Joya, Brendan King, Jeff Larentowicz, Alex, Patrick Nyarko, Logan Pause, Victor Pineda, Chris Ritter, Harry Shipp
Forwards (5): Quincy Amarikwa, Juan Luis Anangono, Giuseppe Gentile, Kellen Gulley, Chris Rolfe
Un-Signed Draft Picks (2)
Bryan Ciesiulka (midfielder), Marco Franco (defender)
Guest Players (7)
Freddie Braun (midfielder), David Meves (goalkeeper), Parker Walsh (defender), Tim Ward (defender), Grant Ward (defender/midfielder), Andrae Campbell (defender), Daniel Jackson (forward)
Where’s Mike Magee?
After spending January with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Mike Magee arrived in Bradenton Wednesday and has trained the past three days. After the month-long training camp, Magee was allowed to head back to Chicago on Saturday morning to gain a bit of extra rest ahead of the Comcast SportsNet Awards set for Monday night.
The 2013 MLS Most Valuable Player will re-join the team for Phase 3 of training camp in Tucson, Ariz.
Who’s Grant Ward?
One new arrival in Fire camp this week is 19-year-old who arrives as a guest player in Bradenton from Barclay’s Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. Ward was spotted by Fire head coach Frank Yallop during his offseason trip to England and is described as a versatile defender who has developed into a highly attacking left back for Spurs.
He does bear a striking resemblance to former Fire midfielder Mike Banner...
What's D.C. United all about now?
After finishing bottom of the league in 2013, Ben Olsen and D.C. United have been one of Major League Soccer’s busiest teams this past offseason, having already welcomed 12 new players to the team so far. Those include U.S. Men’s National Team striker Eddie Johnson (from Seattle), well-known attacker Fabian Espindola (from New York) and standout defenders Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy), Bobby Boswell (Houston) and Jeff Parke (Philadelphia).
United also welcomed a new acquisition on Friday with the signing of long-time Spanish La Liga defender Christian Fernandez Salas. Suffice to say, Saturday’s friendly should be a good test.
Previous Preseason Results
Chicago Fire: 1-0 W vs. Florida Gulf Coast University (February 2)
D.C. United: 0-1 L vs. Toronto FC (February 5)
Tonight’s live stream comes courtesy of MLSsoccer.com and can be seen at www.chicago-fire.com/live beginning at 6pm CT. Former Fire defender Cory Gibbs will join Jonathan Yardley on the call.