Weekly update: Fire bound for the road
Fire Takes Winning Streak on the Road Tomorrow at MetroStars
There's no holiday this week for the Chicago Fire (5-4-1, 16 pts.), who will attempt to build on its second two-game winning streak of the season on Tuesday when it closes the month out with its third meeting of the campaign against the MetroStars (3-3-3, 12 pts.). The rare Tuesday match will kick-off at 5:30 p.m. CT from Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, and will be the second contest in a MLS-International doubleheader, with the national teams of England and Colombia opening up the twin bill at 3:00 p.m. CT. The Fire-Metros contest can be seen live in Chicagoland on most Comcast Cable Systems (check local listings for channel in your area). Fans can also 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 radio broadcasts can also be found.
Chicago has dominated the series against the MetroStars by posting a 13-6-3 mark in regular season play against its Eastern Conference rival, including a 7-3-1 (.682) record in New Jersey that stands as the fourth-best road record against any club in MLS history. The Fire and Metros have split their first two contests of 2005, with each team taking a match on the opposition's home field. The Fire began the series with a 1-0 victory in a Friday night match-up on Apr. 22 in East Rutherford, while the MetroStars returned the favor by blanking the Fire 3-0 at Soldier Field on May 14.
Chicago Fire at MetroStars
Tuesday, May 31 @ 5:30 p.m. CT: Giants Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ
TV: Comcast Cable Systems
Satellite: VYVX Conf #1846257
Audio: WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish), WNVR 1030 AM (Polish), www.Chicago-Fire.com (English)
Fire's Expansion Project Continues Against Chivas USA Saturday at Soldier Field
After defeating Real Salt Lake 3-0 last Saturday, the Fire will turn its attention to the League's other expansion club, Chivas USA, when it welcomes the Western Conference side to Soldier Field for the first-ever meeting between the two teams this Saturday, June 4 at 3:00 p.m. CT. The Fire-Chivas USA match-up will be featured as the "MLS Soccer Saturday" national broadcast on ESPN2. Fans can also listen in to the action on WRTO-AM 1200 (Spanish), WNVR-AM 1030 (Polish) and the Fire's official website, www.Chicago-Fire.com (English). Tickets to the game can be purchased through TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 312-559-1212. Discount tickets are available for groups of 15 or more through the Chicago Fire offices at 980 N. Michigan, Suite 1998 in Chicago. For more information please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE.
Fire Fiesta at Guadalajara Restaurant Precedes 2005 Budweiser Hispanic Heritage Night at Soldier Field
The Chicago Fire will be hosting a private reception for its 2005 Hispanic Heroes this Friday, June 3 at Guadalajara Restaurant, located at 3735 S. Harlem Avenue (corner of Harlem and Ogden) in Berwyn, IL. The event will serve as a prelude for the team's 2005 edition of Budweiser Hispanic Heritage Night, to be celebrated the following day on Saturday, June 4 during the Fire's first ever meeting with MLS expansion club Chivas USA at Soldier Field at 3:00 p.m. CT. The Fire and USG will recognize more than 50 individuals who have made significant contributions to Chicago's Hispanic community during a halftime ceremony on the field.
The Fire's rendering of Budweiser Hispanic Heritage Night promises to showcase Latin America's rich musical and soccer heritage. The day's events will begin at 1:30 p.m. with the popular Hispanic Festival, featuring musical and dance acts representing various Latin American cultures. A live Mariachi band and the Brazilian group Chicago Samba are also scheduled to perform.
Chicago Fire AthletiCo Injury Report
Brown, C.J. - R hamstring strain - Out
Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out
Griffin, Leonard - R knee ligament strain - Out
Herron, Andy - R hamstring strain - Out
Pickens, Matt - R groin strain - Out
Thorrington, John - L hamstring strain - Out
Reiter Rides Back to Europe For World Cup Qualifiers
Fire forward Lubos Reiter departed the club on Sunday to join the Slovakian National Team in advance of a pair of important World Cup Qualifying matches over the next 10 days. Reiter, who has notched one assist in his four starts since joining Chicago earlier in the month, will help Slovakia in road contests at Portugal this Saturday, June 4 and in Luxembourg on Wednesday, June 8. Reiter has been an integral part of the Slovakian side during the final round of UEFA region qualifying, scoring two goals in their six Group 3 contests and helping the club to a first-place tie in the group on 14 points with traditional powers Portugal. Reiter has tallied eight times for Slovakia in 25 career appearances for the squad.
Johnson Joins Canada in Advance of World Youth Championships
Fire forward Will Johnson has left the Fire camp to join the Canadian Under-20 Men's National Team as its prepares for the upcoming FIFA World Youth Championships in Holland. Johnson, who has tallied two goals and two assists in four games for the Chicago Fire Reserves this season, has been a starter for the Canadian squad that qualified for its third consecutive World Youth Championship in January. Johnson has scored three goals in nine caps for the Canada U-20s and has tallied in each of the squad's last two matches - a 1-1 draw against Honduras on May 13 in New Orleans and a 2-1 loss to the United States in Blaine, MN on May 18. Canada will travel to Lievin, France to train from May 31 - June 6, with Head Coach Dale Mitchell announcing his final squad for the competition on June 3. The Maple Leafs will play a friendly against Morocco on June 3 and an exhibition against a Belgian Select team on June 6 in their final preparation contests. Canada will compete in Group E against Colombia, Italy, and Syria, opening play on June 12 against Syria before playing Colombia on June 15. Canada's final match in the group stage is against Italy on June 18.
Fan Voting For 2005 MLS All-Star Game Now Live on MLSNet.com
Fans can now cast their votes for the MLS All-Stars who will take the field against English Premier League club Fulham FC in the 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game. On July 30, "MLS All-Stars Take on the World" as Major League Soccer's best take on Fulham FC at Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH in a game televised nationally on ABC Sports (2:30 p.m. CT). Fans can vote for the starting XI by filling out the online ballot on the League's official website www.MLSnet.com until Friday, July 8, 2005. Fans can vote for 11 starting players from a pool of 144 total candidates via the online ballot - one goalkeeper, three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards. A maximum of 10 ballots may be submitted per person per day and there are no limits on how many days fans can vote. The online fan balloting will comprise 25 percent of the total, with MLS coaches and GMs (25 percent), media (25 percent) and players (25 percent) accounting for the remainder.