Weekly update: Coming home

Fire Hosts Bob Bradley's MetroStars Saturday at Soldier Field
Reiter, Sanneh and Thorrington All Make Debuts Over Weekend at New England
Fire's Sister Team Monarcas Morelia Captures COMEX Clausura Regular Season Crown

Fire Leaves the Road Behind, Welcomes MetroStars to Soldier Field on Saturday

After opening up its 2005 schedule with five of seven games on the road, the Chicago Fire (3-3-1, 10 pts.) will enjoy its first homestand of the season over the next two weekends, beginning with a tilt against former Head Coach Bob Bradley and his MetroStars side this Saturday, May 14. Kick-off for the match at Soldier Field is set for 7:30 p.m. CT, and the contest can be seen live nationwide on high-definition channel HDNet. Fans who can't make it to the lakefront can follow the action via Chicagoland radio stations WRTO-AM 1200 (Spanish) and WNVR-AM 1030 (Polish) and the Fire's official website, www.Chicago-Fire.com (English), where links for the Spanish and Polish language radio broadcasts can also be found.

The Fire has dominated the series against the MetroStars by posting a 13-5-3 mark in regular season play against its Eastern Conference rival, which includes a 6-2-2 record and five-match undefeated streak (3-0-2) at home. Chicago's .690 winning percentage over the MetroStars is the second highest against active MLS clubs, ranking only behind its .750 winning clip against the Kansas City Wizards. The "Men in Red" have not been kind to their former boss Bradley, as Chicago has posted a 5-1-3 record against the Metros since Bradley left the "Men in Red" after the 2002 season. The Fire and Metros contested the first of their four matches this season at Giants Stadium on Apr. 22, when the Fire took home its first win in MLS play in nearly a year courtesy of a 1-0 victory that came on the strength of a Nate Jaqua tally in the 29th minute.

Chicago Fire AthletiCo Injury Report

Caballero, Samuel - L quadriceps strain - Questionable

Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out

Gray, Kelly - R ankle sprain - Questionable

John, Will - R knee inflammation - Questionable

Pickens, Matt - R groin injury - Out

Reiter, Sanneh and Thorrington Make Anticipated Debuts Over Weekend

Three of the club's newest faces played their first official minutes in a Fire uniform over the weekend at New England, as forward Lubos Reiter and D/M Tony Sanneh joined the first team in its 2-0 loss against the Revolution on Saturday night while midfielder John Thorrington saw action against for the Chicago Fire Reserves in their 1-0 defeat to their counterparts from New England on Sunday morning. Reiter and Sanneh were both inserted into the starting eleven by Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan, with Reiter putting in the full 90 minutes and Sanneh contributing 81 minutes before being replaced by Nate Jaqua. Thorrington also started for the Fire Reserves and put in a full 90-minute effort in his first action for Chicago since the preseason.

Fire to Host First-Ever Student Media Night as Part of High School Night Saturday at Soldier Field

The Chicago Fire will conduct its first annual High School Night this Saturday, May 14 when it hosts the MetroStars at Soldier Field. Chicago area high school students will have the special opportunity to attend the Eastern Conference clash at a reduced group rate. In conjunction with High School Night, the Fire will host its first-ever Student Media Night, allowing local high school students the chance to get an up close and personal view of how the Fire organization and members of Chicagoland media outlets function by making them credentialed media members for that night's contest. The student media members chosen to participate in Student Media Night will not only get the chance to cover a professional sporting event, but will also be given the opportunity to learn more about the Fire, Soldier Field and the journalism profession through an exclusive tour of the Lakefront venue and a special pre-game presentation.

As part of the Student Media Night, the Fire has teamed up with The Soccer Source magazine to conduct the Junior Journalist Contest, which offers aspiring sports writers the opportunity to interview and write a feature about their favorite Fire player. The winner of the Jr. Journalism contest will receive an MLS 10th Season T-Shirt, a free Soccer Source magazine subscription and two VIP tickets to a future Fire match at Soldier Field. In addition to the prize package, the winning entry will be published in an upcoming issue of The Soccer Source magazine and The Soccer Source on-line.

If you are aware of a school that has not yet been contacted for participation in the 2005 Student Media Night or would like to request more information on High School Night at Soldier Field, please contact Michael Signoracci at 312-705-7280 for ticket information and John Koluder at 312-705-7271 for student media information.

Monarcas Morelia Captures 2005 COMEX Clausura Regular Season Title

The Chicago Fire would like to congratulate its Mexican League sister team, Monarcas Morelia, who achieved the first of its goals for 2005 last Sunday by securing the 2005 COMEX Clausura regular season championship via a 2-1 victory over Atlante at Morelos Stadium in Morelia. When it was all said and done, Monarcas finished the campaign at 11-4-2, with its 35 points putting them four points clear of second place finisher Cruz Azul (9-4-4, 31 pts.). Morelia will have little time to celebrate, as the top-seeded "Monarchs" will take part in the quarterfinals of the Clausura's postseason tournament this week against Tigres (6-5-6, 24 pts.). Morelia will travel to University Stadium in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo Leon, Mexico for the quarterfinal's first leg this Wednesday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. CT (live on Galavision) before coming back to Morelos Stadium for Saturday's return leg in Morelia, which is also set to kick off at 7:00 p.m. CT.

Fire Reserves Lose to Revs 1-0 and Lose Goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the Process

The Chicago Fire Reserves (1-2-2, 5 pts.) dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 result to the New England Revolution Reserves (1-1-0, 3 pts.) Sunday morning at the Lower Practice Field at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. The ejection of Fire Reserves defender Gonzalo Segares in the 71st minute after his second caution stymied a revived Chicago attack in the second half, while a defensive miscue allowed Revs forward Khano Smith the opportunity to beat Fire goalkeeper Matt Pickens on a one-on-one break in the 74th minute for the game's lone goal. The news got worse for the Fire, as Pickens suffered an injury to his right groin on a free kick with just three minutes remaining in the match. Team doctors will evaluate Pickens today, with a timetable for his return to be set soon afterwards.

The Fire Reserves will take to the field for the sixth consecutive weekend this Sunday, May 15 when they welcome their counterparts from the MetroStars (1-0-2, 5 pts.) to Flames Field on the campus of the University of Illinois - Chicago for a 10:00 a.m. CT kick-off. The match will be the last for the Fire Reserves until a home date against the Kansas City Wizards Reserves on June 18.

2005 Summer Sizzler Ticket Packages Now Available

The Fire invites fans to heat up Soldier Field this summer by purchasing a 2005 Summer Sizzler ticket package. The Summer Sizzler will allow fans of soccer in Chicagoland to cheer on their hometown Fire while also giving them the chance to see Major League Soccer's two newest clubs - Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake - in addition to the League's brightest stars, including Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan. The Summer Sizzler includes 10 vouchers that can be used at any regular season Fire home game and placement on the Priority List for the Fire's new Bridgeview Stadium in 2006 - all while saving $20-$30 off the regular ticket price. The packages range from $130 (Firehouse) to $270 (Premier) and are available for a limited time only. To find out more on the Summer Sizzler package or for further Fire ticket information, call the Chicago Fire at 888-MLS-FIRE or log on to www.Chicago-Fire.com.

Chicago's United Soccer League Franchises to Kick Off Play This Weekend

Chicagoland's two United Soccer League clubs - the Premier Development League's Chicago Fire Premier and W-League's Chicago Gaels - will begins their respective 2005 campaigns with a home contest this weekend. The Gaels will play their inaugural match this Saturday, May 14 against the Detroit Jaguars at 3:00 p.m. CT at the Marist High School varsity field, located at 4200 W. 115th Street in Chicago. The Fire Premier will begin their fifth season of play this Sunday, May 15 at 6:00 p.m. CT, when they take on the Indiana Invaders at St. Rita High School, located at 7800 S. Western Avenue in Chicago. The match will also serve as the first of four qualifying matches for the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the Fire Premier, who will try attempt to qualify for the tournament for the second straight year. For more information on the Fire Premiere's 2005 season, including the club's finalized PDL schedule, visit www.chicagofirepremier.com.


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