Get first crack at USA vs. England tix

CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire today announced that the club will host a special presale event for Fire season ticket holders beginning on Monday, Mar. 28 at 10:00 a.m. for the international match featuring the U.S. Men's National Team taking on England on Saturday, May 28 at Soldier Field. Tickets to the event will go on sale to the general public on Mar. 31.

In the exclusive sales offer that starts Monday, Fire season ticket holders and group leaders will have a priority opportunity to purchase the best seats to this premier soccer event. Tickets range in price from $28-$95 and can be purchased by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE or by visiting the Fire offices at 980 N. Michigan (Suite 1998) in Chicago until Thursday, Mar. 31. Fire suite holders and season ticket holders will have access to suites through a three-day private sale to be held in April.

Tickets will be available to the general public on Mar. 31 and can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone via Ticketmaster at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland.

The Memorial Weekend match-up at Soldier Field kicks off at 2:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The meeting between the two quarterfinalists at the 2002 FIFA World Cup comes amidst the qualifying schedules for both nations as they aim for a spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

"England are one of the better teams in Europe and the match will serve as great preparation for our World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Panama," said U.S. manager Bruce Arena. The game will generate a lot of excitement and we look forward to a great atmosphere in Chicago."

By the time Memorial Day Weekend rolls around, the U.S. will have completed three of their 10 final round qualifying matches in the CONCACAF region. After a 2-1 victory over Trinidad in the opening game last month, the U.S. in preparing for its highly-anticipated match against Mexico this Saturday, Mar. 27 from Mexico City's Estadio Azteca (12:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2 & Telemundo).

The game will mark England's sixth visit to face the United States, with England posting a convincing 4-1-0 series lead state-side, including a 29-6 advantage in goal differential. England's victories included 6-3, 8-1, 10-0 and 5-0 decisions in 1953, 1959, 1964 and 1985, respectively. The U.S. finally turned the tables on June 9, 1993, in Foxboro, Mass., with their historic 2-0 win behind goals by Thomas Dooley and Alexi Lalas.

England will be the second European power to visit the U.S. in Chicago in the last year. The U.S. men played their first game in Chicago since 1993, hosting Poland on July 11, 2004, in the return leg of a two-game series. A boisterous crowd of 39,592 saw a late header from former Chicago Fire defender Carlos Bocanegra earn a 1-1 tie. This will be the fifth match the U.S. has played in Chicago since 1992, and the fifth different European power to come to the Windy City as an opponent. The U.S. has a 1-1-2 record in Chicago since 1992 versus the likes of Portugal, Italy and Germany in addition to the aforementioned Poland match-up in 2004.

In addition to the live ESPN broadcast of USA-England, fans can also follow the action online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips.


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