Weekly update: First Real visit

Fire Faces Real Challenge at Home Sunday Against Salt Lake

After gaining a point last Saturday in a 1-1 draw with the Kansas City Wizards, the Chicago Fire (7-6-2, 23 pts.) will continue its three-match homestand at Soldier Field this Sunday, June 26 when the squad hosts Real Salt Lake (3-8-2, 11 pts.) for the Utah-based side's first-ever visit to the Windy City. Kick-off at Soldier Field is set for 6:00 p.m. CT on Sunday night, when the first 10,000 fans through the gates will receive a free 2005 Chicago Fire poster, courtesy of the Neurologic and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago. Fans that can't make it to the Lakefront can follow the contest on 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.

Series History vs. Real Salt Lake

The Fire and Real Salt Lake met for the first time ever nearly a month ago on May 28 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, where the "Men in Red" used the first goals of the year from Chris Armas, Samuel Caballero and Chad Barrett to register a dominating 3-0 victory. Sunday's meeting at Soldier Field will mark the first visit to Chicago for the visitors from Utah, a squad that features former Fire players D.J. Countess, Dipsy Selolwane and Andy Williams.

Chicago Fire AthletiCo Injury Report

Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out

Herron, Andy - R hamstring strain - Questionable

Pickens, Matt - R groin strain - Out

Fire Announces Kick-Off Time, Ticket Information for World Series of Football Contest Against A.C. Milan

The Chicago Fire has announced that a kick-off time of 8:00 p.m. CT has been set for its July 27 exhibition contest against UEFA Champions League runners-up A.C. Milan at Soldier Field, a match that is part of the four-game World Series of Football tour featuring the Italian superclub and English Premiership Champions Chelsea FC. The Fire has also announced that tickets for the contest, which range in price from $30-$75, will go on sale to the public beginning this Friday, June 24 at 10:00 a.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased through TicketMaster by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or calling 312-559-1212. Fans can also secure group tickets through the Fire office by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE or by visiting the Fire office, located at 980 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1998, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday. Fire Season Ticket holders can use their "Bonus Game A" tickets to gain access to the friendly, but Flex Plan vouchers will not be available for redemption for the contest. For more information on the historic Fire-A.C. Milan contest, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE or visit www.Chicago-Fire.com.

Chad Barrett and Will John Help U.S. U-20s Win "Group of Death," Advance in FIFA World Youth Championship

The Unites States Under-20 Men's National Team registered a 1-0 victory over Egypt last Saturday at Arke Stadium in Enschede, Holland in its final Group D match, a result that would help the U.S. win the "Group of Death" with a 2-0-1 record and seven points when combined with Argentina's 1-0 victory over Germany on the same day. Fire midfielder/forward Will John saw his first playing time in the competition, starting the match and playing 71 minutes until he was replaced by his fellow Fire teammate Chad Barrett, who started the Americans' contests earlier in the tournament against Argentina and Germany. By winning its group, the U.S. earned a berth into the tournament's Round of 16, where they will face off against their counterparts from Italy in Enschede on Tuesday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m. CT (5:30 p.m. local time), a contest that can be seen live on Fox Soccer Channel. Should the U.S. defeat the Italians, the Red, White & Blue will square off against the victor of the Morocco-Japan match this Friday, June 24 at Galgenwaard Stadium in Utrecht, Holland at 10:30 a.m. CT.

Will Johnson, Canadian U-20s Bounced From FIFA World Youth Championship

Fire forward Will Johnson logged the full 90 minutes for the Canadian Under-20 Men's National Team in its final Group E contest in the FIFA World Youth Championships, a 4-1 loss to Italy last Saturday in Kerkrade, Holland that ended the Maple Leafs' run in the tournament. Johnson started all three contests for Canada in the competition and was one of only five Canadians to log all 270 minutes for the team in Holland. With his three appearances in the tournament, Johnson has now earned 12 caps with the Canadian U-20s, during which he has notched three goals against international competition. The 18-year-old Johnson is expected to join his Fire teammates for training back in Chicago later this week.

Three of Fire's Central American Contingent Named to Preliminary CONCACAF Gold Cup Rosters

Three members of the "Men in Red" - defender Samuel Caballero, D/M Ivan Guerrero and forward Andy Herron - have been named to their countries' preliminary rosters for the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will be held at seven venues across the United States from July 6-24. Guerrero (55 caps, 2 goals) and Caballero (45 caps, 16 goals) were named to Honduras' list of 29 players, while Herron (17 caps, 4 goals) has been named to Costa Rica's list of 29 perspective players for the competition. The final 23-man rosters for each club must be determined 15 days before each team's first match in the competition, which means the Fire will learn which of those three players will be out of action for up to three contests (7-9 vs. NE, 7-16 vs. CLB & 7-23 @ COL) within the week.

Fire Welcomes Two New Vice Presidents to Front Office

The Chicago Fire has announced the hiring of Mark Washo and Eric Smith to a pair of Vice President posts within the organization's front office. Washo joins the Fire as the club's new Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, while Smith will hold the title of Vice President of Corporate Development. Both Washo and Smith begin their new duties with the Fire this week.

Washo comes to the Fire after spending more than four years in the MetroStars front office, where he most recently held the position of Senior Vice President. Washo helped lead the MetroStars sales staff to Major League Soccer's Ticket Sales Team award in 2003, an honor he also earned in 1999 and 2000 with D.C. United during a five-year tenure in the Nation's Capital. Washo, who also gained experience in the sports industry during stints with teams in the NBA and AAA Minor League Baseball, is a native of Rochester, NY and earned his degree in marketing at SUNY-Fredonia in 1991.

Smith joins the Fire front office after spending more than five seasons at D.C. United, where he oversaw the club's sponsorship and ticket sales efforts as the Director of Business Development since 2004. Smith was also involved with United's community outreach efforts, serving on the Board of Directors of United for D.C., the club's official charitable arm. Prior to joining United, Smith worked for five years in the sports marketing and sponsorship sales industry, primarily with Host Communications. Smith earned his degree in Commerce (Marketing/Finance) from the University of Virginia in 1995.

Fox Soccer Channel to Air Fire-Revolution Match on July 9

The Fire has announced that its home contest against the New England Revolution on Saturday, July 9 has been picked up by Fox Soccer Channel. FSC will air the game nationwide beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT. The match marks the third of four appearances for the "Men in Red" on Fox Soccer Channel in 2005.

Fire Academy Camps Head to Lisle and Des Plaines Next Week

The Chicago Fire Youth Development Program will continue its summer series of Fire Academy Soccer Camps next week with evening camps in Lisle and Des Plaines from Monday, June 27 through Friday, July 1. The Fire Academy Camps offer specialized training for individual players or teams, with the weeklong programs designed to accommodate players from ages 8 to 18. The Fire Academy will run its specialized High School level camp in Lisle at Benedictine College from 5:00-8:00 p.m. CT, while the Academy will conduct its Advanced level camp for players ages U-10 and up in Des Plaines at Prairie Lakes Park, located at 515 Thacker Street, at the same times. For more information on the Chicago Fire Academy Soccer Camps this summer, including registration information, please contact the Fire Youth Development Program at 312-705-7250.

Fire Reserves Blank Wizards Reserves 2-0

The Chicago Fire Reserves (3-2-2, 11 pts.) showed no rust after a month-long layoff, as penalty kick tallies from forward Andy Herron and defender Samuel Caballero pushed the Fire Reserves to a 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards Reserves (0-3-3, 3 pts.) in an MLS Reserve Division contest at the Lemont H.S. Soccer Complex in Lemont, IL last Saturday evening. Herron, who returned to a Fire line-up for the first time since suffering a hamstring strain on May 28 at Real Salt Lake, punched home his spot kick in the 13th minute, moments after forward Hemir Niebles was taken down while dribbling through the top of the penalty area. Niebles would also set up the Fire's second kick from the penalty spot, which Caballero converted in the 69th minute to double the advantage. With the result, the Fire Reserves moved into a third-place tie alongside San Jose in the MLS Reserve Division standings, just two points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy (4-0-1, 13 pts.) and a single point behind D.C. United (4-2-0, 12 pts.). The Fire Reserves will next return to action on Sunday, July 10 when they host the New England Revolution Reserves.

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.

Etc...

  • Fire defender Jim Curtin gave himself an early birthday present last Saturday by breaking a 75-game goalless streak in the Fire's 1-1 draw with Kansas City. The Fire's "Iron Curtin" will turn 26 years old this Thursday, June 23.

  • Despite playing a man down for the last 75 minutes, the Chicago Fire Premier made the "Chicago Derby" in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup a no contest, as the USL Premier Development League (PDL) side used goals from Drew Degurian (9'), Jeff Rowland (29'), David Leung (43') and Brandon Moss (84') to register a commanding 4-1 victory over the AAC Eagles of the United States Amateur Soccer Association in a first round contest last Wednesday in Algonquin, IL. The Fire Premier will continue play in the tournament against the USL First Division's Minnesota Thunder in a second round match-up on Wednesday, June 29 at James Griffin Stadium in St. Paul, MN.

  • The Chicago Fire Premier continued its undefeated streak in PDL play over the weekend with a pair of wins over the Thunder Bay Chill. The Fire Premier (7-0-1, 22 pts.) had a tough time grabbing a 2-1 victory over the Chill (3-3-0, 9 pts.) Saturday evening at the Lemont H.S. Soccer Complex in Lemont, but the going was a little easier for the Premier the following day in a 4-0 shutout of Thunder Bay at Moraine Valley CC in Palos Hills. The Fire Premier will close out a four-game homestand this Wednesday, June 22 when it plays host to the West Michigan Edge (3-4-1, 10 pts.) at 7:00 p.m. CT at Lemont H.S. - located at 131st Street and Bell Road in southwest suburban Lemont, IL. For more information on the Chicago Fire Premier, including ticket information and directions to all home game sites, please visit www.chicagofirepremier.com.

  • After a week off, the Chicago Gaels FC (0-5-1, 1 pt.) will return to action this Wednesday, June 22 when the club plays host to the Fort Wayne Fever Woman (2-6-0, 6 pts.) at 5:00 p.m. CT. The match will be the first game in a doubleheader with the PDL's Chicago Fire Premier that will take place at the Lemont H.S. Soccer Complex, located at 131st Street and Bell Road in Lemont, IL. For more information on Chicago's newest soccer team, visit www.chicagogaelsfc.com.


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