Chicago Fire Soccer announced Thursday that the club will begin its 13th season of play in Major League Soccer on Saturday, March 27, 2010 against the New York Red Bulls in the first-ever MLS match at the new Red Bull Arena. The game will be broadcast live nationally on ESPN2/Deportes with kickoff set for 6 p.m. CT. After the Fire travel to Colorado in MLS Week Two for a match against the Rapids on April 3 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (time TBD), the Fire will host the San Jose Earthquakes for Opening Night at TOYOTA PARK on Saturday, April 10. Kickoff for the Fire's first home game of the season will be at 7:30 p.m. CT. The full schedule for the 2010 MLS regular season, including the Fire's remaining 28 games and broadcast schedule, will be announced early next year.
The Fire will announce individual game ticket information in the coming months, but fans can secure their seats for Opening Night at TOYOTA PARK against the Earthquakes by purchasing a 2010 Full Season Ticket Package, starting at just $179. For more information or to purchase 2010 Season Tickets, call 888-MLS-FIRE.
The 2010 MLS Regular Season will again see each team play a 30-game regular season, followed by playoffs among eight qualifying teams. The 2010 season will begin with a single game on March 25 and will conclude on Oct. 24. The MLS Cup Playoffs will culminate in the championship match, MLS Cup 2010, on Nov. 21.
For the first time in its history, MLS will not play League games during the group phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The group phase includes the first 48 games of the 64-game tournament that begins on June 11, 2010 in South Africa. The last MLS game prior to the World Cup will be played on June 10 and MLS will not schedule any additional League games until after the group phase concludes on June 25. MLS does not plan to schedule games on the days of either World Cup Semifinal nor the World Cup Final.
Chicago is 5-3-4 all-time in season openers and 7-2-3 all-time in home openers, with the club having played just two season openers at home (2003, 2007).
ABOUT CHICAGO FIRE SOCCERChicago Fire Soccer was founded on October 8, 1997 as a Major League Soccer expansion team. The Fire won the MLS Cup in its inaugural season in 1998 and was crowned the champion of U.S. Soccer's national tournament, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. In June 2006, the Fire moved into its world-class home of TOYOTA PARK, located in Bridgeview, IL.