Weekly update: Off to Washington

Fire Looks to Rebound at D.C. United This Saturday

After opening its 2005 MLS campaign with a hard-fought loss at FC Dallas, the Chicago Fire (0-1-0, 0 pts.) will again take to the road this Saturday, Apr. 9, when it travels to the nation's capital to take on defending MLS Cup Champion D.C. United (1-0-0, 3 pts.). The Eastern Conference rivals will kick-off the first of four match-ups in 2005 from RFK Stadium at 6:30 p.m. CT in a contest that can be seen live nationwide on HDNet. Fire can also listen to the match live over the airwaves via radio stations WRTO-AM 1200 (Spanish) and WNVR-AM 1030. In addition, Fire fans the world over can listen to both the Spanish and Polish audio feeds as well as an English language call of the match by directing their web browsers to the club's official website, www.Chicago-Fire.com. The Fire took the upper hand in the series with United last year thanks to a 3-1-0 mark in the 2004 regular season series, which gave Chicago a 9-8-3 advantage in regular season meetings. The "Men in Red" have compiled a 3-6-1 record at RFK Stadium in regular season play, including last year's lone victory away from Soldier Field, a 1-0 result on Apr. 24, 2004.

Fire to Face UIC in Scrimmage Tuesday at Flames Field in Chicago

The Chicago Fire has announced that the squad will shift its training session for Tuesday, Apr. 5 from its Lake Forest College training facility to Flames Field on the campus of the University of Illinois - Chicago, where it will also take on the UIC Flames squad in a scrimmage contest. The Fire will conduct a brief training session at Flames Field - located at 901 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Chicago - beginning at 10:00 a.m., with the scrimmage set to kick off a half-hour later at 10:30 a.m. CT. Fire players and coaches will be available to the media following the scrimmage against UIC, who is under the direction of new head coach John Trask, a former MLS assistant coach for D.C. United, FC Dallas and the Miami Fusion.

Chicago Fire Injury Report

Caballero, Samuel - R hamstring strain - Questionable

Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out

Sanneh, Tony - R hip and hamstring strain - Out

Thorrington, John - L hamstring strain - Doubtful

Comcast SportsNet Inks Three-Year Deal to Become Fire's Regional Broadcast Partner

The Chicago Fire has announced that it has partnered with Comcast SportsNet to broadcast a minimum of nine matches during the 2005 MLS regular season. When combined with Chicago's 10 appearances on national television - including six appearances on HDNet - the additional regional broadcasts bring the number of televised Fire matches for this season to 19. The Fire made its debut on Comcast SportsNet last Saturday against at FC Dallas, marking the first match in a broadcast schedule that features all road contests for the 2005 season. The broadcast trio of Kenn Tomasch (play-by-play), Kenny Stern (color analyst) and Chris Doran (sideline reporter) will anchor Comcast SportsNet's coverage of the "Men in Red" in 2005. The remainder of the Fire's broadcast schedule will be made available in the near future. For the most up-to-date 2005 Fire schedule, including broadcast information, please visit www.Chicago-Fire.com.

Herron Helps Costa Rica to Scoreless Draw Against Trinidad & Tobago in International Return

Fire forward Andy Herron made his return to international play last Wednesday, Mar. 30, when he appeared as a substitute in Costa Rica's scoreless draw at Trinidad & Tobago in a CONCACAF Final Round Qualifying match for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Herron played 25 minutes for the "Ticos" off the bench in his first time for the squad since suffering a knee injury in a Jan. 12 friendly contest against Haiti. Herron rejoined his Fire teammates for the squad's MLS opener at FC Dallas on Saturday, when he started and played 66 minutes in Chicago's 2-1 defeat at the Cotton Bowl.

Dozen Days Remain Until Fire's Soldier Field Opener vs. San Jose on Apr. 16

With the Chicago Fire's final opening day at Soldier Field less than two weeks away, fans of the "Men in Red" can now secure their seats for the Saturday, Apr. 16 contest against the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match can be purchased through TicketMaster by calling 312-559-1212 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Chicago Fire Offices, located at 980 N. Michigan, Suite 1998 in Chicago. To order season tickets or for group discount information, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE. The Fire's 2005 season will be its last at Soldier Field before the club moves to its 20,000-seat stadium in the Village of Bridgeview in the Spring of 2006.

April 27 Doubleheader to Feature Mexico vs. Poland

The Chicago Fire, in conjunction with Soccer United Marketing (SUM) and Tamayo Entertainment, Inc., has announced that it will host a prestigious doubleheader featuring the national teams of Mexico and Poland and the Fire versus the New England Revolution in an Eastern Conference showdown on Wednesday, Apr. 27 at Soldier Field. The first game will feature the two MLS sides squaring off at 6:00 p.m. CT, followed by the international game. To accommodate what is expected to be one of the biggest soccer events Chicago has ever hosted, the Fire's game against the Revolution was moved up from May 25.

Tickets to the doubleheader, which will range in price from $30 to $75, can be purchased via Ticketmaster by calling 312-559-1212 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Executive Suites are also available and can be purchased by calling the Fire's Premium Seating Department at 312-705-7239. The doubleheader is included in the Fire's full season ticket package, but is not included in the seven-game package. Fire flex plan holders can redeem two vouchers for every 10 purchased until Friday, Apr. 15, which is the cut-off date for the acceptance of vouchers for the event.

FireWorks For Kids Foundation Season Kickoff Luncheon Another Record Breaking Success

The FireWorks for Kids Foundation and the Chicago Fire would like to thank the more than 600 people who attended last Tuesday's 2005 Season Kickoff Luncheon, sponsored by AthletiCo, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The 2005 edition of the Luncheon broke an attendance record for the third consecutive year, helping the FWFK Foundation raise $20,000 for the children's charities it helps support.

Etc...

• Monarcas Morelia, the Fire's Mexican League sister team, started yet another winning streak last weekend, as the "Monarchs" picked up a crucial three points on the road courtesy of a 2-0 win over Jaguares at Victor Manuel Reyna Stadium in Chiapas, Mexico. With the victory, Morelia (7-2-2, 23 pts.) maintained its spot atop Group One of the COMEX Clausura season, and second in the overall table in the 18-team league behind only Cruz Azul (8-1-2, 26 pts.) with just seven games remaining. Morelia will return to the friendly confines of Morelos Stadium this Saturday, Apr. 9 when it hosts Group Three co-leader Monterrey (5-3-3, 18 pts.) at 7:00 p.m. CT.

• The Fire's training table will include plenty of birthday cake this week, as three members of the "Men in Red" will be turning a year older. Second-year goalkeeper Matt Pickens will turn 23 years old on Tuesday, Apr. 5, while D/M Kelly Gray and midfielder Thiago will celebrate their 24th and 23rd birthdays, respectively, on Thursday, Apr. 7.


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