Weekly update: The Galaxy await
Fire Returns From Break By Traveling (to) the Galaxy
Penalty Kick Win at Rochester Sends Fire to U.S. Open Cup Semifinals at FC Dallas
Fire Gets Back to League Play Sunday at Galaxy
The Chicago Fire will end a 16-day break between MLS contests when it heads to the West Coast this Sunday, Sept. 4 for a Labor Day weekend clash against the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. Kick-off for the contest, which can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet, is set for 7:00 p.m. CT. The match can also be followed 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. Los Angeles
Sunday's contest out west will wrap up the brief, two-game season series between the Fire and Galaxy, which kicked off on Aug. 13 when Chicago captured a 2-1 victory at Soldier Field. In that match, Jesse Marsch's third goal from the penalty kick spot on the season and John Thorrington's first goal in a Fire uniform were enough to counter Galaxy captain Peter Vagenas's second half tally, giving the "Men in Red" a result that broke their two-game slide at Soldier Field. The victory moved Chicago one step closer to the .500 mark in its all-time regular season series against the Western Conference foe, which the Fire currently trails 9-12-2. While the Fire has posted only a 3-6-2 mark in road contests against L.A., Chicago has been able to garner some favorable results at The Home Depot Center, where the "Men in Red" are 1-1-1 against the Galaxy since the soccer-specific stadium opened its doors for the 2003 season.
Fire's Road to the Open Cup Next Goes Through FC Dallas
It took some extra time and some extra nerve, but the Fire was able to survive and advance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup last Wednesday by notching a 5-4 win in penalty kicks over the Rochester Raging Rhinos in their quarterfinal round match at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY. The Fire was able to convert all five of its penalty kicks, with captain Chris Armas burying the clincher, after the squad dueled to a 1-1 draw with the United Soccer Leagues First Division side during 120 minutes of regulation and overtime soccer. The Fire, who moved its all-time Open Cup record to an incredible 20-4-2, now advances to the tournament's semifinal round where it will square off against longtime rival FC Dallas on Sept. 14 at the brand new Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX. The match, the fourth road contest in as many games in this year's tournament for Chicago, will mark the Fire's sixth semifinal contest in eight tournament appearances as the "Men in Red" look to advance to their fifth final in the domestic championship. Chicago is one of only seven teams in tournament history to win three championships, and is the last to do so since the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms won their third Dewar Trophy in 1983.
For the Record:
"We asked [Armas] what position he wanted to go in and he said, 'Five.' I told him, 'It's yours.'"
- Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan on his approach with captain Chris Armas during last Wednesday's penalty kicks against Rochester in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal play
AthletiCo Injury Report
Buete, Scott - R 5th metatarsal fracture - Out
Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out
Griffin, Leonard - abdominal strain - Out
Herron, Andy - R toe sprain - Out
Jaqua, Nate - L ankle bone bruise - Out
Pickens, Matt - L ankle sprain - Out
Another week, another set of photos showing the progress being made at the Fire's Bridgeview Stadium project in the Chicago Southland. Go to the "Bridgeview Images" link in the "Stadium" section of www.Chicago-Fire.com to see the latest photos, taken over the course of the last five days, that include shots of both the east and west sides of the stadium and the future home of "Section 8."
The Fire's 56-day road journey continues this Sunday when the team faces the Los Angeles Galaxy in Carson, CA. The Fire's road trip was extended to seven games with the addition of a U.S. Open Cup semifinal contest at FC Dallas on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Two members of the "Men in Red" celebrated birthdays over the past week. Third-year defender/midfielder Logan Pause turned 24 years old last Monday, while captain Chris Armas celebrated birthday number 33 on Saturday.
The Fire's Mexican League sister team, Monarcas Morelia, suffered another setback over the weekend, falling 2-1 on the road to Tecos (U.A.G.) on Saturday. The result put Morelia (2-3-1, 7 pts.) in a third-place tie alongside Tecos in the Group 1 standings a third of the way through the 2005 Apertura season, with both clubs sitting two points behind second-place Necaxa and a full nine points behind group leader Club America. With the Apertura season on hiatus during the upcoming two weeks to give way to the FIFA international dates, Morelia will travel to the United States to play a pair of exhibition games against fellow Mexican League clubs this week. The "Monarchs" will first take on Cruz Azul on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before heading to south Florida, where the squad will square off against Atlante at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, Sept. 4.