Weekly update: Rapids flow into town
Fire Seeking to Shoot the Rapids Saturday at Soldier Field
After suffering a disappointing 3-0 loss at home to the MetroStars last Saturday, the Chicago Fire (3-4-1, 10 pts.) will look to rebound this Saturday, May 21, when the squad welcomes the Colorado Rapids (2-4-1, 7 pts.) to Soldier Field at 7:30 p.m. CT for their lone visit to the Windy City in 2005. Saturday's contest can be seen live nationwide on high-definition channel HDNet, and 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 language radio broadcasts can also be found.
The Fire holds an 11-8-3 advantage over the Rapids in their 22 MLS regular season meetings. The Fire has dominated the series in Chicagoland, where the "Men in Red" have racked up a 9-3-0 mark against Colorado, including a 7-3-0 record at Soldier Field. The Fire lost the season series against the Rapids for only the second time last season, when Colorado collected a 2-1-0 record against Chicago. The Fire won the first match-up of 2004 on May 29 at Soldier Field by a slim 1-0 margin, but Colorado returned the favor with a 2-0 shutout win at INVESCO Field in Denver on July 28. The Rapids would take the rubber match of the series on Aug. 14 by rolling over the "Men in Red" 3-0 at Soldier Field.
Chicago Fire AthletiCo Injury Report
Brown, C.J. - L hamstring strain - Questionable
Buete, Scott - L ankle sprain - Questionable
Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out
Griffin, Leonard - R knee ligament strain - Out
Mapp, Justin - R Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) injury - Probable
Pickens, Matt - R groin strain - Out
Thornton To Join Red, White & Blue for U.S.-England Friendly at Soldier Field
U.S. Soccer has announced that Fire goalkeeper Zach Thornton has been named to U.S. Manager Bruce Arena's 19-man roster that will take on England in an international friendly at Chicago's Soldier Field on Saturday, May 28. Thornton was the only member of the "Men in Red" selected to the U.S. squad, which also includes former Fire defender Carlos Bocanegra and Arlington Heights native Brian McBride. Thornton, who was one of eight players from the ranks of Major League Soccer called in by Arena for the contest, has made eight career appearances with the U.S. National Team since making his debut for the Red, White & Blue in 1998, with his last "cap" coming against Korea on Dec. 9, 2001. Thornton's last call-up to the U.S. squad came in July of 2004, when Arena named the then Benfica 'keeper to the U.S.'s roster for its friendly contest against Poland, which also took place at Soldier Field. The Edgewood, MD native made his first appearance for the full U.S. side on Nov. 6, 1998 in a scoreless draw against Australia in San Jose, CA.
Fire's Will Johnson Helps Canadian U-20s to 1-1 Draw Against Honduras ...
Fire forward Will Johnson converted a first half penalty kick to help the Canadian Under-20 National Team register a 1-1 draw against their counterparts from Honduras in a friendly contest last Friday in New Orleans, LA. After the Maple Leafs fell behind 1-0 in the 19th minute, Johnson would nail his chance from the penalty spot in the 36th minute to equalize the match. The goal was Johnson's second in eight contests with Canada's U-20s since debuting with the squad in December of 2004. Johnson left the Fire camp last week to join the Canadian side for a two-week training camp in preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland from June 10-July 2.
... Next Up are Chad Barrett, Will John and U.S. U-20s Wednesday Night
Canada's preparations are not yet finished, as Will Johnson and the Maple Leafs will face off against the U.S. Under-20 National Team - which includes Johnson's Fire teammates Chad Barrett and Will John - in a friendly match this Wednesday, May 18 at the National Training Center in Blaine, MN. Kick-off for the match is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. CT, and fans can follow the contest live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Phillips Electronics. John and Barrett left the Fire's camp on Sunday after helping the Fire Reserves to a 4-3 victory over the MetroStars. The duo is expected to be back in Chicago by Friday's training session and will be available for selection this Saturday for the Fire's match against the Colorado Rapids.
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.
Fire Juniors to Conduct Men's and Women's Senior Development Team Tryouts Sunday in Wheaton
The Chicago Fire Juniors has announced that the club will conduct tryouts for its 2005 Men's and Women's Senior Development Teams this Sunday, May 22 at the Hubble Middle School Alumni Field, located at the corners of Roosevelt Road and Main Street in Wheaton, IL. The Women's squad tryouts will be held from 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT, with the Men's team trials to follow from 7:30-9:00 p.m. The 2005 Senior Development Teams, which are the continuation of the CFJ's U-23 College Development Program that was successfully introduced in 2004, will be open to collegiate and amateur talent in the Chicagoland area. For more information on the CFJ's Senior Development tryouts, including directions to the tryout site, visit www.ChicagoFireJuniors.com or call the CFJ office at 312-705-7250.
Monarcas Morelia Advances to COMEX Clausura Tournament Semifinals
The Fire's Mexican League sister team, Monarcas Morelia, continued its incredible spring last week by advancing past Tigres for a berth in the 2005 COMEX Clausura Tournament's semifinal round. After falling 3-2 to Tigres on the road in the opening leg of their quarterfinal series last Wednesday, the "Monarchs" came back to register a 2-1 victory on Saturday night at Morelos Stadium in Morelia - a result that tied the series at four goals apiece but allowed Monarcas to advance, courtesy of their number one seeding in the tournament. Morelia, the 2005 Clausura regular season champion, will next face Tecos (U.A.G.) in a home-and-home semifinal series that begins this Wednesday, May 18 at Guadalajara's 3 de Marzo Stadium at 8:30 p.m. CT. The two squads will then head to Morelos Stadium this Saturday, May 21 for the return leg in Morelia, which is set for a 7:00 p.m. CT kick-off.
Fire Reserves Take Wild 4-3 Result Over MetroStars
The Chicago Fire Reserves (2-2-2, 8 pts.) scored three goals in a 17-minute span in the second half to complete a 4-3 comeback victory over the MetroStars Reserves (1-1-2, 5 pts.) yesterday at Flames Field on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Will John registered his first two goals for the Fire Reserves in the contest, including the eventual game-winner in the 75th minute. After falling behind 3-1 in the 54th minute, Fire midfielder Thiago scored his first tally with the Reserves to begin the second half comeback in the 58th minute, while John's fellow U.S. Under-20 teammate, forward Chad Barrett, scored his team-high third goal of the season from the penalty spot to level the match in the 61st minute. After six straight weeks of Reserve Division play, the Fire Reserves will have a month off before their next contest, a Soldier Field date against the Kansas City Wizards Reserves on June 18 that will follow the Eastern Conference rivals' first-team showdown that afternoon.