Five Things You Should Know on Sunday's home opener vs. New York

Opening Day at Toyota Park is finally here! Catch today’s match vs. New York LIVE on My50/TWCSC/UniMas and La Lay 107.9 FM beginning at 1:30pm CT.

Here are Five Things You Should Know…


While it seems as if Mike Magee will finally make his 2014 debut, the Fire are dealing with a few injuries and suspensions heading into Sunday’s match vs. New York.

Both Patrick Nyarko and Lovel Palmer are suspended. Nyarko, of course picked up a red card (or two yellows) in last weekend’s match at Portland while Palmer receive a two-game ban this week courtesy of the MLS disciplinary committee for his hand being in the face of Timbers attacker Maximiliano Urruti.

The Jamaican defender received a yellow card after Urruti made a meal of the situation and didn’t think much of the infraction until receiving the notice on Wednesday. Hopes of the suspension being rolled back were dashed on Friday when the league stuck with the two-game break for Palmer, meaning the Fire will need a fill-in right back for today and next week’s match at D.C. United.

If there's any solace here, Red Bulls center back Armando has also been suspended for Sunday's game by the MLS Disciplinary committee 

Meanwhile, defender Gonzalo Segares was having trouble this week recovering from an ankle sprain, while left winger Dilly Duka is listed as questionable with a hip strain for a second straight week.

Harry Shipp and Benji Joya started (and did well) in place of Nyarko and Duka on the wings last week but Palmer and Segares’ absences at full back should give a further test of the depth Frank Yallop has built in this team since taking over.

500th Game Milestone

Today’s game is an historic milestone in that it’s the 500th regular season match in club history.

See how the team fared in the other ‘century’ milestones below:

Number Date Opponent/Score
100 May 28, 2001 1-0 W vs. Tampa Bay
200 July 28, 2004 0-2 L at Colorado
300 September 20, 2007 1-1 D vs. FC Dallas
400 April 17, 2011 1-2 L vs. LA Galaxy

Sean Johnson into the Top 15

Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson isn’t even 25 years old yet but as of today he’ll move into the Top 15 on the club’s all-time MLS regular season appearance list.

Johnson, who has been the Fire’s mainstay in goal since midway through his rookie season in 2010, will appear in his 103rd match, tying Evan Whitfield for the 15 spot.

See below 10-16 on the club's regular season appearance list:

Rank Player Games Played
10 Diego Gutierrez 157
11 Ante Razov 155
12 Jim Curtin 151
13 Peter Nowak 114
14 Marco Pappa 112
15 Evan Whitfield 103
16 Sean Johnson 102

Red Bull Can’t Win at Toyota Park

I’ll use this stat until I can’t anymore: The Chicago Fire have never lost to the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Park, going 7-0-3 in regular season play since the stadium’s Grand Opening match, a 2-0 Fire win back on June 25, 2006.

The Red Bull losing streak in Chicago actually dates back to when they were the MetroStars the year before, when they defeated the Fire 3-0 at Soldier Field on May 14, 2005. A young Mike Magee assisted on Eddie Gaven’s second goal in the 62nd minute that day.

Take Advantage of Chipotle BOGO

I’m headed to Toyota Park early this morning but if you’re making a later trip, be sure to stop by Chicago-area Chipotle’s wearing your Fire gear to take advantage of a buy one, get one deal one deals on burritos, tacos and bowls.

Can’t make it before the game? Deal is good all day. Hit up these participating locations: