Weekly update: Lights out on 2004

  • Fire's fall at New England leaves team out of playoffs for first time
  • FireWorks for Kids Foundation to host premiere of "Christmas With the Kranks" on Nov. 23

    Fire left out of MLS Cup Playoffs for first time in team history

    While most Fire fans figured their "Men in Red" would be preparing for the Eastern Conference Semifinals this week, the postseason will not come to Chicago, as the Fire dropped a 2-1 result at the New England Revolution last Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. in a game the Fire needed to win or tie in order to make the 2004 MLS Cup Playoffs. While both Chicago and New England ended the season with similar 8-13-9 records and 33 points, it was the Revolution that captured the fourth and final playoff spot in the East after finishing with a 2-1-1 record against the Fire during their four-game regular season series. The disappointing end to the season is one the Fire are not used to, as this season marks the first time in team history that the "Men in Red" have not advanced to the postseason in their seven years of existence. Entering this year, the Fire and Los Angeles Galaxy were the only two squads in MLS to continue on to the playoffs in every year of play.

    For the record


    "It was a tough end to a tough season. We never got this thing going, but this is a group that never made excuses and always continued to work hard. At the end of the day we fell short."

    - Fire head coach Dave Sarachan on the season coming to a close at New England last Saturday.

    "I'm embarrassed because it's the first time we don't make the playoffs. The fans deserve better. We deserve better. We've had a lot of support from everyone and we let people down but we'll move on and put together a better effort next year. Again, it wasn't for a lack of effort. I think everyone can count on a better team in 2005."

    - Fire captain Chris Armas on a disappointing 2004 season.

    Save the date: FireWorks for Kids Foundation to host Chicagoland premiere of "Christmas with the Kranks" Nov. 23

    After its successful event surrounding the film "Mona Lisa Smile" last November, the FireWorks for Kids Foundation - the charitable arm of the Chicago Fire - will be hosting another Chicagoland movie premiere during the holidays, this time for the new Revolution Films movie "Christmas with the Kranks." The special event will take place on Nov. 23 at the Regal Cinemas in Lincolnshire, Ill., and all proceeds from the movie premiere will go towards the FireWorks for Kids Foundation. The film, a new holiday-themed comedy based on John Grisham's novel Skipping Christmas, stars Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Akroyd and is scheduled for a nationwide release on Nov. 24. To receive more information on the event, please call the FireWorks for Kids Foundation office at 312-705-7260 or 312-705-7218, or visit the Community section of www.Chicago-Fire.com in the upcoming weeks for more details.

    Chicago Fire Juniors to hold tryouts for Boys U-15 through U-19 teams on Oct. 31 in Wheaton, Ill.

    The Chicago Fire Juniors, the official youth soccer club of the Chicago Fire, will conduct tryouts for the club's U-15 through U-19 Boys teams on Oct. 31 at Seven Gables Park in Wheaton, Ill., from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT. The tryouts will be held on fields A, B, C and D at Seven Gables Park, which is located between Roosevelt Rd. and Butterfield Rd. in Wheaton. In addition, a supplemental tryout will be held on Nov. 7 at Seven Gables Park from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT. This date will also serve as a make-up date should weather cancel the primary tryouts on Oct. 31. For more information on the Boys senior teams tryouts, please call the Chicago Fire Juniors at 630-882-8428 or visit www.chicagofirejuniors.com.

    Etc.

  • The Fire would like to congratulate coach Scott Meineke and his Chicago Fire Juniors Girls Under-17 Red squad on their championship in the Superclubs Regional Tournament in Rockford, Ill., over the weekend. The Girls U-17 Reds outscored their opponents 8-1 on their way to an undefeated record of 4-0-0, including a 1-0 victory over FC Barrington in the final.
  • The Fire family would like to wish Justin Mapp a happy birthday. The talented, young midfielder from Brandon, Miss., celebrates his 20th birthday today Oct. 18.
  • Monarcas Morelia pushed their undefeated streak to six games in surprising fashion this weekend by rolling into Cuauhtémoc Stadium and defeating the Mexican league's second-best side, Puebla F.C., 3-0 on Sunday afternoon. Morelia (3-4-3, pts.), who have not lost in over a month, moved into a third place tie alongside U.N.A.M. (4-6-0, 12 pts.) in a crowded Group 1 race in which leaders U.A.G. (4-4-2, 14 pts.) and second place Atlante (4-5-1, 13 pts.) are within one game of the "Monarchs" just past the halfway point of the 2004 COMEX Apertura season. Morelia will look to continue its red-hot form in a pair of matches this week. First, the Monarchs will host Jaguares (3-3-4, 13 pts.) this Oct. 20 at Morelos Stadium at 8:30 p.m. CT before returning to the road to face Monterrey (5-3-2, 17 pts.) at Tecnologico Stadium in Monterrey at 5 p.m. CT.

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