CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire today announced that its home contest against defending MLS Cup Champion D.C. United, originally scheduled for Saturday, Sep. 24,will now take place on Wednesday, June 29. Kick-off at Chicago's Soldier Field for the midweek match-up will take place at 7:30 p.m. CT. The original September date became unavailable for the Fire after the National Football League schedule, released last month, revealed a conflict with the Chicago Bears' home contest at Soldier Field on Sunday, Sep. 25.
"The Fire is disappointed that the club must move this match, but the scheduling conflicts at Soldier Field are something we expect to deal with," said Fire President and CEO John Guppy. "Between the return of Peter Nowak to Chicago and the rivalry these two sides have created, the Fire believes this will be a great night of soccer despite losing an important weekend date on the schedule."
The match will mark the third contest between the two Eastern Conference combatants in 2005, but will be the first visit for D.C. United to the "Windy City" this season. Former Fire captain and current United Head Coach Peter Nowak will lead his squad, which includes teenage phenomenon Freddy Adu and MLS Cup 2005 MVP Alecko Eskandarian, into Chicago against the Fire, who leads the all-time series against D.C. by a 10-8-3 margin. The match will cap off a three-game homestand for the Fire that also includes an ESPN2 "MLS Soccer Saturday" showdown against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday, June 18 and Real Salt Lake's first-ever trip to Chicago on Sunday, June 26.