Chicago Fire and Calamos Announces Third Annual Girls High School All-State All-Academic Team

The Chicago Fire today announced its Third Annual Girls High School Soccer All-State All-Academic Team, sponsored by Calamos Investments. This year's team of 22 student-athletes will be honored at the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association All-State Banquet on Thursday, June 10 at the Diplomat West in Elmhurst. The team, chosen from the largest pool of student-athletes to qualify in the award's three-year history, includes 22 student-athletes recognized as First-Team and Special Mention All-State Team selections, with another 16 players recognized as Honorable Mention choices.

The Chicago Fire and Calamos will recognize both the Girls 2004 and Boys 2003 All-State All-Academic Teams on the field at halftime of the Fire's MLS Cup rematch with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, June 19 at Soldier Field, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT. Each of the 22 recognized First-Team student-athletes will receive a complimentary ticket to the Fire-Earthquakes match and will have the chance to purchase additional tickets for family and friends at a discounted price. Special Mention and Honorable Mention members will also be recognized and will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for family and friends at the discounted price.

"The Chicago Fire is thrilled to join Calamos Investments and the IHSSCA in honoring these amazing student-athletes for their work both on and off the soccer field," said Fire Director of Community Relations Donald Ortale. "The popularity of making the All-State All-Academic Team has risen among the high school coaches and their athletes with each of the teams that have been named, and the Fire is excited to have the opportunity to reward these students for all the hard work during their high school careers."

The 2004 Girls All-State All-Academic Team marks the third time Calamos Investments has partnered with the Chicago Fire to recognize outstanding soccer players throughout the State of Illinois, with the partnership beginning last spring with the naming of the 2003 Girls squad. Located in Naperville, Illinois, Calamos provides professional money management services to corporations, public and private institutions, pension funds, insurance companies and individuals. Offering equity, convertible growth, convertible, high yield, global/international, and alternative investment strategies, the firm is also an investment advisor to a family of mutual funds.

"Calamos Investments is honored to join with the Fire in recognizing these outstanding talented individuals for their accomplishments both in the classroom and on the field," said John Calamos, CEO of the firm. "We are proud to once again sponsor the team to help recognize the impressive achievements of student athletes across the state of Illinois."

High School soccer coaches from throughout the state of Illinois were asked to nominate senior student athletes with at least a "B" grade point average that have contributed to their high school soccer program for at least three years and must be involved in at least two other school or community activities or sports. The 2004 teams represent exceptional female students from 41 high schools all across the State of Illinois.

For information on the 2004 IHSSCA Girls High School Soccer Honor Banquet, visit the IHSSCA website at www.ihssca.com/girlshonorbanquet.htm


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