Weekly update: Earthquakes ahead

• Fire Looks to Shake Things Up During Wednesday Visit to MLS Leading San Jose Earthquakes

• Chicago's Lone 2005 Match at Spartan Stadium to Be Broadcast Live on Comcast Cable Systems

• Chicago Fire Juniors to Host Tryouts for High School Aged Boys Teams on Oct. 16 in Wheaton

Fire Looks for Third Straight Win in League Play Wednesday at San Jose

Following a scrappy 2-1 win at the Columbus Crew last Saturday, the Chicago Fire (14-10-3, 45 pts.) will look for its third consecutive victory - and its third straight road win - in MLS play this Wednesday, Sept. 21 when the "Men in Red" make their lone visit to the Bay Area to take on the League's top overall team, the San Jose Earthquakes (15-4-8, 53 pts.). Kick-off at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, CA will take place at 9:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday night, and the match can be viewed live in most areas of Chicagoland on Comcast Cable Systems. Check your local listings for the channel in your area. The match can also be followed on Chicago 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 radio broadcasts can also be found.

Series History vs. San Jose

The Fire and Earthquakes will meet for the second and final time during the 2005 regular season on Wednesday night, which will mark the lone game this season between the 2003 MLS Cup finalists at the intimate confines of Spartan Stadium, where Chicago has amassed a respectable 3-4-3 record. The "Men in Red" handed San Jose one of only four losses on the season all the way back on Apr. 16 by defeating the 'Quakes 2-1 in Chicago's 2005 home opener at Soldier Field, a result that moved the Fire's all-time regular season record against the Earthquakes to 9-5-7. San Jose was poised to take a share of the points back west after knotting the match at 1-1 on an Alejandro Moreno goal in the 82nd minute, but Fire playmaker Thiago came through in added time by scoring his first goal of the campaign in the 91+ minute to give Chicago its first win of the season. The Fire is 3-0-4 in its last seven regular season meetings against the Earthquakes (1-0-2 in San Jose), an undefeated streak that began with a scoreless draw on May 10, 2003 at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville.

AthletiCo Injury Report

Buete, Scott - R 5th metatarsal fracture - Out

Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out

Griffin, Leonard - R knee surgery- Out

Jaqua, Nate - L ankle bone bruise - Probable

Pickens, Matt - L ankle sprain - Out

Rolfe, Chris - L groin strain - Out

Sanneh, Tony - R ankle sprain - Probable

For the Record:

"It was great to do so well because I had a lot of friends and family here tonight. I don't know how many people were here, but I gave away a lot of tickets tonight, that's all I'll say."

– Rookie forward Chris Rolfe on his two-goal effort at the Columbus Crew last Saturday night at Crew Stadium, less than an hour away from his hometown of Kettering, OH

"This is a great three points for the team. I think this win will prove its value down the stretch. When you see what happened in the conference tonight, I think these will turn out to be three big points."

– Fire captain Chris Armas on the importance of last Saturday's 2-1 win at Columbus

Rolfe's Double Pushes Rookie Into Team Scoring Lead

Chicago Fire forward Chris Rolfe's successful homecoming to central Ohio on Saturday not only helped the Fire to a crucial 2-1 win at Crew Stadium, but it also gave the Kettering, OH native the outright lead in the chase for the 2005 Fire/Budweiser Golden Boot. Rolfe's 5th minute goal in the victory tied him with fellow forward Nate Jaqua on seven goals for the season, while his second goal of the match six minutes from time broke a 1-1 tie and gave Rolfe his team-high eighth marker of the 2005 campaign. With Saturday's brace, Rolfe became the only rookie in club history to lead the Fire in goals following the All-Star Break. Unfortunately, a nagging left groin strain will keep Rolfe sidelined for this Wednesday's match at the San Jose Earthquakes, giving the now-healthy Jaqua a chance to reclaim the team's top goal-scoring role in what could be his first contest since late June.

Fire's Magic Number for Postseason Goes to 11 (Points)

A shootout in the Meadowlands, a comeback in K.C. and Chicago's clutch performance in Columbus highlighted a wild Saturday in the Eastern Conference that brought the New England Revolution back towards the pack and the MetroStars within grasp of the postseason. The Fire (14-10-3, 45 pts.) entered the weekend in a tie for third place alongside the Kansas City Wizards, but Chicago's 2-1 win at Columbus coupled with a 2-2 come-from-behind draw for the Wizards (11-7-10, 43 pts.) against the Los Angeles Galaxy moved the Fire into sole possession of third place and dropped Kansas City to the fourth spot. That position is no longer comfortable, as the MetroStars 5-4 home win over New England pushed the Metros (10-7-10, 40 pts.) to within three points of the Wizards for the conference's fourth and final playoff spot. Meanwhile, New England's lead in the conference dwindled to just four points over D.C. United (14-9-5, 47 pts.), who registered a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids at RFK Stadium over the weekend, and six points over Chicago, who will finish the campaign in Foxboro on Oct. 15 in a match that could determine the conference's number one seed in the postseason. The Fire's magic number to secure a spot in the 2005 Eastern Conference Playoffs is 11, meaning any combination of 11 points gained by the Fire or lost by the fifth-place MetroStars will mark Chicago's return to the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Chicago Fire Juniors to Hold High School Boys Tryouts on Oct. 16 in Wheaton

The Chicago Fire Juniors has announced that the club will hold tryouts for its High School Boys teams on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Seven Gables Park in Wheaton, IL from 4:00-6:00 p.m. CT. The tryouts will take place on Fields A, B, C & D at Seven Gables Park, which is located on the east side of Naperville Road, ¼ mile north of Butterfield Rd./Route 56. All players interested in trying out for the CFJ's need to attend unless they have an unavoidable conflict. If unable to attend, players must contact Scott Meineke at 312-388-9010 to schedule for the Supplemental Tryout, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Seven Gables Park (Fields A & B) from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Should the Oct. 16 tryouts be rained out, the make-up date for the trials will be Saturday, Oct. 23 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Seven Gables Park. For more information on the Chicago Fire Juniors and the High School Boys teams tryouts, including maps to the tryout location, please visit www.chicagofirejuniors.com.

Fire to Host Wednesday's Official Watch Party at The Globe Pub

Though the Fire continue to take to the road, that's no excuse to miss your chance to watch the "Men in Red" take on the San Jose Earthquakes this Wednesday night around your fellow Fire fans! The Chicago Fire will be hosting its official viewing party for Wednesday's match against San Jose at The Globe Pub, located at 1934 W. Irving Park Rd. in Chicago, beginning at 9:30 p.m. CT. In addition to food and drink specials, fans will have a chance to win door prizes simply for showing up and cheering the Fire on to victory. For more information on the Fire's away match viewing parties, visit the "Fans" section of www.Chicago-Fire.com.

Etc.

• The Fire family would like to congratulate Senior Account Manager Maria Uribe, who was honored at the Illinois State Soccer Association's third annual Illinois Women in Soccer Benefit last Saturday evening at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, IL. Uribe was one of 11 recipients this year to receive the Illinois Women in Soccer award, bestowed to women who excel on and off the field of play and help further promote the sport of soccer across the state of Illinois.

• The Fire made two personnel moves prior to last Thursday's MLS roster freeze date, signing midfielder Andy Rosenband to its developmental roster and trading the rights to midfielder Alexandre Boucicaut to the Colorado Rapids. Rosenband, a native of Hammond, IN, was claimed in a waiver draft and will be on loan to the Fire from the MISL's California Cougars for the remainder of the 2005 MLS season. In return for the Haitian international Boucicaut, who made five appearances for the Fire during the 2004 season, Chicago received from the Rapids a Fourth Round selection in the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft, a pick that originally belonged to FC Dallas.

• The Fire's Mexican League sister club, Monarcas Morelia, dropped below the .500 mark for the 2005 Apertura campaign after suffering a tough 1-0 loss at Jaguares last Saturday. The "Monarchs" will approach the middle match of the Apertura season with a 3-4-1 record and 10 points, putting the squad in a third-place tie alongside Tecos (U.A.G.) (3-4-1, 10 pts.) in the Group 1 standings. Both Monarcas and Tecos sit well behind undefeated group leader Club America (6-0-2, 20 pts.) and five points behind second-place Necaxa (4-1-3, 15 pts.). Morelia will return home for the weekend by playing host to Pumas (UNAM) (2-3-3, 9 pts.) at Morelos Stadium this Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7:00 p.m. CT.


To report a comment, mouseover or touch the comment and then click/touch the flag icon (Flag).