Fire looks for third straight home win Saturday vs. Earthquakes
Depleted Chicago lineup minus five regulars due to World Cup qualifying
Accurate Fire forward Ante Razov on verge of breaking career MLS shots on goal record
The Chicago Fire will look to build upon their two-game home winning streak this Saturday when they hosts the San Jose Earthquakes at Soldier Field at 7:30 p.m. CT in this season's second rematch between the 2003 MLS Cup combatants. The Eastern Conference leading Fire and Earthquakes fought to a 0-0 stalemate in their first match-up in California on Apr. 10. Tomorrow's match will air live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports en Espanol, and fans can listen to the match live via Chicagoland radio stations WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish) and WNVR 1030 AM (Polish) and worldwide on the Internet at the team's official website, www.Chicago-Fire.com (English). The first 5,000 fans in attendance at Soldier Field will receive a Fire pennant courtesy of Federal Life insurance and the Chicago Fire.
Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Saturday, June 19 - 7:30 p.m. CT
Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.
TV: Fox Sports World/Fox Sports en Espanol
Satellite: VYVX Conf # 944332
Radio: WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish), WNVR 1030 AM (Polish), www.Chicago-Fire.com (English)
Chicago Fire ACE/Tru-Fit Injury Report
Jaqua, Nate - R foot contusion - questionable
Marsch, Jesse - R ankle cartilage damage - out
Razov, Ante - R knee bruise - probable
Fire history vs. San Jose
The Fire holds a 7-5-6 advantage in the all-time regular season series with the Earthquakes, an advantage that remained at two games after the squads met for the first time in 2004 and fought to a 0-0 stalemate at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, CA on Apr. 10. While the Fire had the better of the 2003 regular season series, winning the slate by a 1-0-2 advantage, the Earthquakes would have the final say last season by registering their lone win of the campaign against the Fire in the game that mattered most - a 4-2 victory over Chicago in MLS Cup 2003 that kept the Fire from achieving the first domestic "Treble" in American soccer history. The Fire holds a 4-1-3 lead over the Earthquakes at home. The last meeting in Chicagoland between the Fire and San Jose yielded a 0-0 draw on May 10, 2003 in Naperville, Ill.
Five Fire players leave squad for World Cup qualifying this weekend
A handful of regulars for the Fire will be absent from Soldier Field this weekend while they represent three national teams working their way towards a berth in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Midfielders Chris Armas and DaMarcus Beasley will look to help the U.S. national team finish its job against Grenada this Sunday at the National Cricket Ground in St. George's, Grenada (3 p.m. CT, live on ESPN2/Telemundo) in the second leg of their home-and-home series. The U.S. used a pair of Beasley goals to take a 3-0 advantage in the aggregate series in last Sunday's opening leg in Columbus, Ohio. Midfielder Andy Williams and forward Damani Ralph are in a more difficult struggle, as their Jamaican national team enters its second leg match in CONCACAF qualifying against Haiti tied at 1-1. However, the Reggae Boyz will have the advantage of hosting the return leg, which takes place Sunday at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica at 6 p.m. CT. Also gone from the Fire line-up will be forward Dipsy Selolwane, who returned to his native Botswana this week to help its national team continue group 5 pool play in the African Zone Qualifying semifinal round. The "Zebras" of Botswana will host Malawi Saturday in the Botswanan capital of Gabarone at 3 p.m. local time (8 a.m. CT) in both teams' second match in group play.
Razov moving up MLS career charts
With his four points last Saturday, Fire forward Ante Razov moved to within two points of becoming the fifth highest scorer in MLS history. The Fire's all-time leading scorer currently sits in seventh place on the all-time League scoring chart with 191 points, just one behind Los Angeles Galaxy M/F Cobi Jones and two behind retired striker Raul Diaz Arce. Earlier this season, Razov became only the fifth player in League history to reach the 75-goal plateau, and his two goals last weekend moved him into a fourth-place tie alongside Kansas City midfielder Preki on the career goals list with 77 tallies. Should Razov equal his four shots on goal from last Saturday, he will also tie Preki in another category - career shots on goal. The ageless Wizards playmaker currently holds the all-time lead with 318 shots on goal in his 224 MLS games, while Razov has registered his 314 shots on frame in only 158 career contests. Razov also moved his MLS career-best total of multiple-goal games to 16 with his two tallies last Saturday.
Quick kicks vs. Earthquakes