Fire go for fourth Open Cup crown Wednesday at Kansas City

CHICAGO - For the fourth time in the team's seven-year history, the Chicago Fire (7-11-8, 29 pts. in MLS play) will take part in the Final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, this time against the Kansas City Wizards (12-9-7, 41 pts.) on Wednesday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., with kick-off slated for 7:30 p.m. CT. GolTV, America's first soccer-only channel, will televise the match live beginning with a pre-game show at 7 p.m. CT, and fans can also follow the action via an audio broadcast on the team's official website, (English).

The Fire will be looking to take home their fourth title in the nation's oldest soccer competition to go along with the 1998, 2000 and 2003 tournament crowns. Wednesday's match will be the seventh domestic Cup Final (MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup) appearance for the "Men in Red," giving Chicago more championship experience than any MLS side. A fourth U.S. Open Cup crown would give the Fire a fifth domestic championship and break its deadlock with D.C. United at the top of that category.

Chicago Fire @ Kansas City Wizards

2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
Arrowhead Stadium - Kansas City, Mo.
Wednesday, September 22 @ 7:30 p.m. CT; Pregame Coverage at 7 p.m.
Audio: (English)
Game Notes
Satellite Information: AMC-1 @ 103 Degrees W
Transponder # 5/ Horizontal
Virtual Channel 100
VCT = 00189
D/L Frequency 3800 MHz
L Band Frequency 1350 MHz
FEC 7/8
Symbol Rate 29.270 Ms

Chicago Fire AthletiCo Sports Medicine injury report
Armas, Chris - R knee arthroscopic surgery - questionable
Mapp, Justin - R knee Grade II LCL sprain - out
Razov, Ante - R ankle arthroscopic surgery - out

The Globe Pub to host watch party for Wednesday's Open Cup Final
For Fire fans that can't make it to Kansas City, Chicago's newest home for soccer fans, The Globe Pub, will be hosting a watch party for Wednesday night's U.S. Open Cup Final between the Fire and Kansas City Wizards. Fire fans are encouraged to gather at The Globe Pub, located at 1934 W. Irving Park Rd. (just east of Damen Ave.), to watch the "Men in Red" shoot for their fifth domestic Cup title. For more information on the party, call 773-871-3757 or visit

Fire and Wizards again meet with eyes on the prize
Wednesday will mark the second time the Fire and Wizards have met in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play, with the first coming back on July 11, 2001 when Chicago defeated the Wizards 1-0 in a third round match at the Blue Valley Activity Complex in Overland Park, Kan. A goal by Hristo Stoitchkov in the 90+ minute would see the Fire through as it sought to repeat as champions in the tournament. This Wednesday will not be the first time that Chicago and Kansas City have met in a Cup Final, as the Wizards defeated the Fire by a similar 1-0 score to win MLS Cup 2000. In that match, played at Washington D.C.'s RFK Stadium, the Fire would dominate the run of play all afternoon, but a Miklos Molnar goal in the 11th minute would stand firm thanks to KC goalkeeper and MLS 2000 MVP Tony Meola's 10 saves on the day.

Fire U.S. Open Cup quick hits

  • The Fire have dominated in Open Cup play over the last seven years, compiling an 18-3-1 record while outscoring opponents by a 44-18 margin.
  • As they have throughout the 2004 U.S. Open Cup, the Fire will be donning its third kit for Wednesday night's final. The Fire have gone undefeated (3-0-1) in the alternate uniforms patterned after the kits of the club's Mexican league sister club, Monarcas Morelia.
  • The Fire will be aiming to bring back the ninth U.S. Open Cup crown to the City of Chicago in the 91-year history of the prestigious tournament. The other Chicagoland victors were Chicago Sparta A.B.A. (1938 & 1940), Chicago Vikings (1946), Chicago Falcons (1953), and the Chicago A.A.C. Eagles (1990). With its appearance in this year's championship, the Fire becomes the 17th side to represent the "Second City" in the U.S Open Cup Final. Only New York City and St. Louis have produced more Open Cup champions than the "Windy City."
  • Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch will be making his sixth appearance in the championship match of the country's oldest knockout competition and his eleventh appearance in a domestic Cup Final, more than any other player in MLS history.
  • Chicago enters Wednesday's Final with an impressive 10-1-1 against fellow MLS opponents in Open Cup play. In their 12 contests against league foes, the Fire have persevered in close contests, going 9-0-1 in one-goal games.
  • The Fire will look to win the Open Cup Final on the road for the second year in a row after becoming the first team in the MLS-era to pull off the feat last year, when they defeated the MetroStars 1-0 at Giants Stadium on Oct. 15, 2003.
  • Fire head coach Dave Sarachan is a perfect 3-for-3 in leading his team to Cup Finals in his year-plus tenure with the "Men in Red." Sarachan nearly led the Fire to the first-ever domestic "treble" last season after leading the Fire to the MLS Supporters Shield and U.S. Open Cup title before falling just short in MLS Cup 2003.