Weekly update: Fire finish with Revs
Kick-Off For Fire-D.C. Game 1 Semifinal Contest at Soldier Field Set for 8:00 p.m. CT on Oct. 21
Midfielder Justin Mapp Called Up to U.S. National Team for Wednesday Tilt Against Panama
Chicago Fire Juniors to Hold High School Boys Teams Tryouts This Saturday in Wheaton
Fire Rounds Out 2005 Regular Season Saturday at New England Revolution in Possible Playoff Preview
After suffering a 2-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew last Saturday in its Soldier Field regular season finale, the Chicago Fire (15-12-4, 49 pts.) will finish up its 2005 regular season slate as it did last season, with a road contest at the New England Revolution (16-7-8, 56 pts.) this Saturday, Oct. 15 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. Kick-off in the commonwealth of Massachusetts is set for 6:30 p.m. CT for a match that will be aired live on Comcast SportsNet and nationwide via the MLS Direct Kick Package. Fans can also follow the match live 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.
Fire to Host D.C. United in Game One of Semifinal Series on Oct. 21 at 8:00 p.m. CT; Tickets on Sale Now
An exciting weekend of action in the Eastern Conference settled the ranking of its top three sides, with the Fire forced to settle for the third seed after a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. Meanwhile, D.C. United's 2-1 loss at home to the MetroStars on Saturday meant that former Fire captain Peter Nowak's squad was forced to settle for the second seed, setting up a battle with the Fire in the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series for the second time in three years. The home-and-home series between the Fire and United will begin with Chicago hosting D.C. in Leg One at Soldier Field on Friday, Oct. 21 at 8:00 p.m. CT. The two squads will then travel to the Nation's Capital for Leg Two on Sunday, Oct. 30 in a match that will be aired nationally on ESPN2.
Tickets for both Leg One of the Fire-United Eastern Conference Semifinal Series and a possible home contest in the Eastern Conference Championship are now on sale, with every seat at Soldier Field during the 2005 MLS Cup Playoffs costing only $25. Group prices for 10 or more seats are available for $20. The Fire has also introduced its Special RED ALERT Playoff 4-Pack, which includes four playoff tickets and four RED ALERT playoff T-shirts for a cost of $96. Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 312-559-1212 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
RED ALERT! FIRE PLAYOFF FACT: The Fire's .607 winning percentage in the MLS Cup Playoffs is second only to D.C. United's .793. In fairness to the "Men in Red," 10 of D.C.'s 23 postseason victories came prior to Chicago's entrance to the League in 1998.
Only One Week Until Public On-Sale for Fire's Inaugural Season at Bridgeview Stadium
The Fire will kick-off its public on-sale for Bridgeview Stadium on Monday, Oct. 17 beginning at 10:00 a.m. CT. The event will offer fans the opportunity to choose their seats for the club's inaugural season at the new, world-class facility, located on the corner of 71st Street and Harlem in Bridgeview. Fans can pick out their seats by checking out the Bridgeview seating chart in the Ticket section at www.Chicago-Fire.com. For more information on the public on-sale, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE.
Series History vs. New England
Unlike last year's "do-or-die" season finale between the Fire and the Revolution, there's nothing at stake but pride on Saturday as both teams have wrapped up their postseason positions with one match remaining. The Fire will be looking to even the MLS season series, which New England currently leads with a record of 2-1-0. However, that task will be a daunting one for Chicago, as the "Men in Red" are just 3-7-1 in Foxboro during regular season play and 3-10-1 overall. Gillette Stadium in particular has been a house of horrors for the Fire, who has dropped its last seven contests (including the 2002 MLS Cup Playoffs) there by a combined score of 19-3. The latest game in that streak came on May 7 when the Revs notched a 2-0 win, which brought the Fire's overall losing streak against New England to three, including their first meeting of the 2005 season, a 3-0 drubbing for the Revolution at Soldier Field on Apr. 27. The Fire snapped the streak on July 9 when Gonzalo Segares scored his second straight game-winner, lifting the Fire to a 1-0 home win. Chicago also registered a win over the Revs in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 on Aug. 3, defeating the Revs 3-2 in overtime in Ludlow, MA.
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 sprain - Doubtful
Pickens, Matt - L ankle sprain - Doubtful
Thornton, Zach - L calf strain - Questionable
Mapp Called Up to U.S. National Team for Wednesday's Qualifier vs. Panama
Fire midfielder Justin Mapp has beat the rest of his Fire squad to New England, as he arrived in Foxboro, MA yesterday after being named to the United States' 18-man roster that will prepare to face Panama in the teams' closing match of CONCACAF region World Cup qualifying this Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Gillette Stadium (7:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2, tape-delayed on Telemundo at 10:30 p.m. CT). This is the second time in five weeks that U.S. Manager Bruce Arena has taken a look at the 21-year-old flanker, as Mapp was called into the U.S. camp prior to its matches against Mexico and Guatemala in early September. However, Mapp was not included on the roster for either contest and, while he was a stalwart for the U.S. at the U-17 and U-20 levels, is still looking for his first career appearance with the senior side. Mapp will stay in Foxboro following Wednesday's match and will be available for the Fire in its regular season finale against the New England Revolution this Saturday, Oct. 15.
Reiter Sees Time in Slovakia's Weekend Win, Prepares for Showdown With Russia on Wednesday
Fire forward Lubos Reiter reprised his usual role off the substitutes bench for Slovakia last Saturday, playing 19 minutes in Slovakia's important 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Estonia in Bratislava, Slovakia. The win for Slovakia (6-1-4, 22 pts.) kept them even with Russia (6-1-4, 22 pts.), with both teams sharing second-place in the Group Three standings leading into a head-to-head showdown in their UEFA region World Cup qualifying finale this Wednesday, Oct. 12 in Bratislava (1:30 p.m. CT, 8:30 p.m. local time). A win or a tie for Slovakia would place the country into a playoff for one of the region's few remaining spots for a place in Germany 2006. Reiter, who has served as his country's "super-sub" during much of the qualifying process, has scored nine goals in 28 career appearances for his native Slovakia. Reiter is expected to join his Fire teammates in the Boston area later this week and should be available for selection by Head Coach Dave Sarachan for the squad's regular season finale at New England this Saturday.
Chicago Fire Juniors to Hold High School Boys Tryouts This Saturday, Oct. 16 in Wheaton
The Chicago Fire Juniors have announced that the club will hold tryouts for its High School Boys teams this 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 next 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 Last Viewing Party of the Season This Saturday at Kitty O'Shea's
The Chicago Fire invites its fans to gather this Saturday, Oct. 15 at Kitty O'Shea's, located at 720 S. Michigan Ave., for the last official Fire Watch Party of the 2005 season. Fans are invited to take advantage of drink and food specials and enjoy the chance to win Fire prizes and merchandise at the downtown Chicago hangout while seeing their "Men in Red" try to take down the New England Revolution in the 2005 regular season finale. As a thanks to the 21,097 fans that attended the club's regular season finale at Soldier Field against the Columbus Crew, fans that bring a ticket stub from the Fire-Crew match to Kitty O'Shea's will receive a free appetizer! Kickoff for this Saturday's Watch Party starts when the match does, at 6:30 p.m. CT.
D/M Ivan Guerrero Captures Pair of Season-Ending Awards
The Fire announced three of its four season-ending award winners prior to last Saturday's match against Columbus at Soldier Field, and this year's class of award-winners was led by defender/midfielder Ivan Guerrero, who took home both the Fire Honda MVP and Fire Defender of the Year awards. Guerrero impressed from the onset of the season, solidifying his spot on the left side of the field thanks to his smart and tactical defensive play, steadiness on the ball and penchant for seamlessly joining the team's offensive attack. The hard-working Honduran international was named as the Fire's lone MLS All-Star in July and is currently third on the squad with five assists, while also ranking second in games started (25) and minutes played (2,239). The Fire Saturday also named midfielder Jesse Marsch as the Fire/USSF Humanitarian of the Year for the second year in a row. Marsch has served as a Board Member for the FireWorks for Kids Foundation since the 2003 season and has donated his time and efforts to a number of other Chicagoland charities, including the Christopher House Foundation, the American Lung Association, the Gurnee branch of the PADS homeless shelter, and Thresholds. Media voting determined the victors of the MVP and Defender of the Year awards, while the Chicago Fire Community Relations Department was responsible for selecting the Fire/USSF Humanitarian of the Year honor. The winner of the Fire's other traditional end of the year award, the Chicago Fire/Budweiser Golden Boot, will be named at the conclusion of the regular season and will be honored during the Fire's Eastern Conference Semifinal Series contest on Oct. 21 at Soldier Field.
Fire Reserves Fall 2-1 to Crew Reserves in Reserve Division Finale
A goal from midfielder Andy Rosenband was not enough for the Chicago Fire Reserves, who saw their campaign end in disappointing fashion yesterday after suffering a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew Reserves at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, IL. The Fire Reserves went up nine minutes in thanks to Rosenband's second goal in Reserve play this season, but Crew forward John Wolyniec did double damage against his former club, scoring a pair of first half goals to give Columbus a lead it wouldn't relinquish. With the result, the Fire Reserves end the inaugural MLS Reserve Division season at 5-4-3, good for 18 points but not good enough to keep the squad in contention for the division's title. Forward Chad Barrett ended the season as the Fire Reserves' scoring leader with eight goals, which also puts him in a tie alongside Real Salt Lake's Dante Washington for the MLS Reserve Division lead. Forward Will Johnson lead the Fire Reserves with five assists and defenders Jack Stewart, Jared Montz and Kenneth Robinson tied for the most appearances by playing in 11 of the team's 12 games, Montz leading all players with 990 minutes logged on the season.