Weekly update: Action (in) Jackson

Action (in) Jackson! Fire to Take on UAB and Chivas USA This Week in Return to Mississippi

Beginning today, the Chicago Fire will round out its 2006 preseason schedule with a weeklong training camp in the friendly and familiar confines of the Jackson, MS area, marking the third consecutive year the squad will close out preparations for the MLS season in the "Magnolia State." In addition to a Wednesday afternoon scrimmage against the University of Alabama - Birmingham, the Fire has announced the final tune-up for its 2006 MLS campaign will take place this Saturday, Mar. 25 against Chivas USA at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland, MS. Kick-off for the match is set for 7:30 p.m. CT, which will be preceded by a contest between the women's teams from the University of Mississippi and Louisiana State University at 4:30 p.m. The match will be the Fire's last before the squad begins its ninth season in Major League Soccer against Brimstone Cup rival FC Dallas on Saturday, Apr. 1 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX (3:00 p.m. CT, live on ABC).

Tickets for the exhibition doubleheader at the revamped Freedom Ridge Park cost $15 in advance and $20 at the gate, with advance tickets available for purchase all this week at the Ridgeland City Hall. For more information, please contact the Ridgeland Tourism Commission at 1-800-468-6078.

2006 Chicago Fire Preseason Schedule/Results

Date(s) Event Location Result/Time Record
Feb. 7 Exhibition vs. U.S. U-17 national team IMG Academy W 4-0 1-0-0
Feb. 11 Exhibition vs. USASA Select Team IMG Academy W 2-0 2-0-0
Feb. 11 Exhibition vs. Central Florida University IMG Academy T 1-1 2-0-1
Feb. 13 Exhibition vs. Trinidad & Tobago U-21 national team IMG Academy W 1-0 3-0-1
Feb. 16 Exhibition vs. Columbus Crew IMG Academy W 3-1 4-0-1
Feb. 23 CD Guadalajara Verde Valle Training Center - Zapopan, Mexico L 0-4 4-1-1
Feb. 25 Guadalajara All-Stars Universidad de Guadalajara - Guadalajara, Mexico T 0-0 4-1-2
Feb. 28 Exhibition vs. Tecos Sayula, Mexico T 0-0 4-1-3
Mar. 2 Exhibition vs. Atlas Atlas Colomos - Guadalajara, Mexico T 2-2 4-1-4
Mar. 8 Exhibition vs. MetroStars The Home Depot Center W 3-0 5-1-4
Mar. 11: Exhibition vs. Chivas USA The Home Depot Center L 3-0 5-2-4
Mar. 16: Exhibition vs. Real Salt Lake The Home Depot Center W 2-1 6-2-4
Mar. 22: Exhibition vs. UAB Ridgeland, MS 1 p.m. CT
Mar. 25: Exhibition vs. Chivas USA Ridgeland, MS 7:30 p.m. CT

Tickets for Mar. 29 Mexico-Paraguay at Soldier Field, Including Special Fire Two-Pack, Still Available

Tickets are still available for the upcoming Mexico vs. Paraguay international friendly that will take place next Wednesday, Mar. 29 at 8:00 p.m. CT at Solider Field. Tickets for the match between the two 2006 FIFA World Cup contenders can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 312-559-1212 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased by visiting the Fire offices at 980 N. Michigan, Suite 1998 in Chicago, Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com. Tickets for the friendly are available for $25, $35, $50 and $60. In an effort to celebrate the pre-World Cup match between the two Latin American countries, the Fire has introduced a special two-game package that includes tickets to the Mar. 29 friendly as well as a regular season Fire game during the club's inaugural season in Bridgeview. For information on the Fire's two-game package, available now, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE.

FireWorks for Kids Foundation 2006 Season Kickoff Luncheon Only Eight Days Away

Only eight days remain for Chicago Fire and soccer fans to purchase their seats to the 2006 edition of the FireWorks for Kids Foundation Season Kickoff Luncheon, which takes place next Tuesday, Mar. 28 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, located at 540 N. Michigan Ave. FOX Chicago News anchor Robin Robinson will emcee the popular event, which will begin with a reception at 11:00 a.m. CT and be followed by the luncheon and formal program at 12:00 p.m. Tickets for this year's Season Kickoff Luncheon are $65 per individual or $500 for a table of ten, with all proceeds benefiting the FireWorks for Kids Foundation, which since 1998 has helped the Chicago Fire contribute its service and commitment to the community through grants and charitable contributions.

With the Fire embarking on a nine-game road trip to begin its 2006 MLS campaign, this year's Season Kickoff Luncheon will serve as the only chance for fans to see the entire Fire roster up-close and in-person prior to June. In addition to the chance to meet all the "Men in Red," the Season Kickoff Luncheon will include the always-popular silent auction, featuring Fire and sports memorabilia, gift certificates and more. For more information regarding the 2006 FWFK Season Kickoff Luncheon, including how to purchase your ticket, please contact the Fire Community Relations Department by phone at 312-705-7218 or by fax at 312-705-7393, or visit the "In The Community" page of www.Chicago-Fire.com and click on the Foundation Events link.

Comcast SportsNet to Air 10 Fire Games in 2006

The Chicago Fire and Comcast SportsNet have announced that the regional sports network will telecast 10 Fire matches during the club's upcoming 2006 MLS season. The Comcast SportsNet telecasts bring the number of televised Fire matches for this season to 17, making more than half of the Fire's games available to audiences in Chicago and beyond. Among the highlights of CSN's 10-game package will be the network's first of six telecasts from Bridgeview Stadium during the Fire's Grand Opening match on Sunday, June 25 against the New York Red Bulls at 6:00 p.m. CT. The Fire has also announced that play-by-play man Kenn Tomasch, color analyst Kenny Stern and sideline reporter Chris Doran will once again bring all the action to fans of the "Men in Red" as the three-man broadcast crew for all regional telecasts.

Jetix Kids Cup Regional Tournament Coming to Chicagoland on Saturday, Apr. 8

Major League Soccer today unveiled the details of the 2006 Jetix Kids Cup, an annual action-packed, five-a-side international soccer event. The tournament celebrates the values of sportsmanship, fair play, cultural exchange and the pure exhilarating fun of athleticism. Teams of boys and girls youth players ages 8-12 will compete in one of three Regional Tournaments, the first of which will be held on Saturday, Apr. 8 at the Betty Mattera Sports Complex in Worth, IL. Chicago Fire Soccer will be involved in the event through player appearances and youth clinics that will enhance the tournament experience (players in attendance will be announced in the upcoming weeks).

Now in its second year, the Jetix Kids Cup is firmly established as one of the biggest events of its kind in the world. Organized by Major League Soccer, the Jetix Kids Cup grants the two winning U.S. Under-12 teams - a boys' squad and a girls' squad - from each Regional Tournament a trip to Frisco, TX in May to compete in the Jetix Kids Cup National Finals. The boys and girls National Champions will then travel to Germany in July to represent the U.S. in the Jetix Kids Cup International Finals. This showcase event will be held in conjunction with the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and will feature five-a-side teams from around the world. Highlights of and promotions for each stage of the tournament will be airing throughout the spring and summer on ABC Kids, ABC Family and ToonDisney, in addition to regional coverage through Comcast networks. For more information on the 2006 Jetix Kids Cup, please visit www.JetixKidsCup.com or call toll free, 1-866-696-KICK.

What's Your Priority (Number)? Buy a Fire Full- or Half-Season Ticket Plan Now to Make Our List

The seat selection process for all sections at Bridgeview Stadium for current Fire Full Season and Half Season ticket holders is now underway. Fans can stake their spot on the Fire's growing seat priority list by acquiring a season ticket package for the team's first season at Bridgeview Stadium. Season ticket packages are available now and can be purchased by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE or by visiting . Fans can scout out which seats they would like by checking out the Bridgeview seating chart in the Ticket section at www.Chicago-Fire.com.

Etc.

  • Chicago Fire Soccer would like to congratulate one of its own, Fire Community Relations Director and FireWorks for Kids Foundation CEO Donald Ortale, for being named one of four 2006 recipients of the "Don of Sports" Award at the "Don of Sports" Awards and National Fitness Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony last night in Addison, IL. Ortale received the honor for his tireless work in promoting the benefits and rewards of living a healthy lifestyle through his work with the Fire and the FWFK Foundation.

  • Another week means another batch of brand new photos from Bridgeview Stadium, which this week includes shots of the stadium's signature archway entrance facing Harlem Avenue and pictures charting the considerable progress being made in seat installation on the venue's west side. New photos are being added to the site weekly, so to keep track of all the exciting changes and new views from 71st & Harlem keep visiting the "Bridgeview Stadium" section of www.Chicago-Fire.com.

  • Also new to www.Chicago-Fire this week is the return of Chris Costello's "By the Numbers" column. Coz's latest thoughts, ramblings and analysis on all things Fire will hit the site on Tuesday.

  • On April 8 and 9, the Illinois State Soccer Association will once again sponsor their annual Referee Clinic (entry level and recertification) in Spanish. This year's event will be held at the Mexican Consulate Office, 204 N. Ashland in Chicago from 9:00 AM to 5:00 p.m. This is an all-inclusive clinic open to all referees regardless of their current or past affiliation. Referees must register online at www.illinoissoccer.org/referees.htm. For more information, please contact the ISSA office at 773 283-2800.


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