Fire vs. Crew: Pregame report

  • Fire end regular season home schedule Wednesday vs. Crew
  • With two games remaining in regular season, Fire still looking to secure playoff berth
  • "Men in Red" sign striker Chris Carrieri to help out depleted offensive corps

    The Chicago Fire (8-11-9, 33 pts.) will close out their 2004 home slate of regular season contests at Soldier Field Wednesday night when they welcome the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew (11-5-11, 44 pts.) to Chicago at 7:30 p.m. CT in a game that holds high stakes for both squads. The contest will be broadcast in high-definition on HDNet, and fans can also follow the action live on Chicagoland radio stations WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish) and WNVR 1030 AM (Polish), and over the internet worldwide via the team's official website, (English).

    Fire still control their postseason fate, can clinch spot with help this weekend
    Chicago continues to work towards clinching its seventh postseason berth in seven seasons, and a win or draw Wednesday night against Columbus would keep the team's fate in their own hands heading into their season finale on Oct. 16 at the New England Revolution. However, the "Men in Red" still have the opportunity to reserve a spot in the postseason this week, as a Fire win over Columbus, coupled with a Revolution loss or draw Saturday at D.C. United, or a Fire tie Wednesday and a New England loss on Saturday would seal a playoff spot for the Fire. Fans can expect a heated battle from both sides at Soldier Field, as Columbus will be looking to wrap up home-field advantage throughout the Eastern Conference Playoffs with a victory over the "Men in Red" Wednesday night.

    Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew
    Wednesday, October 6 @ 7:30 p.m. CT
    Soldier Field - Chicago, Ill.
    TV: HDNet
    Satellite: KU Band AMC 9, Tr. 23
    Radio: WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish), WNVR 1030 AM (Polish), (English)

    Chicago Fire AthletiCo Sports Medicine injury report
    Armas, Chris - R knee inflammation - questionable
    Mapp, Justin - R knee Grade II LCL Sprain - out
    Pause, Logan - R foot injury - out
    Razov, Ante - R ankle bone spur - out
    Whitfield, Evan - L knee contusion - probable

    Four Fire internationals unavailable for action against Crew
    Four key components of the Chicago Fire's offensive attack - midfielder Andy Williams and forwards Damani Ralph, Andy Herron and Dipsy Selolwane - will be unavailable for the "Men in Red" Wednesday evening against the Columbus Crew after departing the country earlier this week to report to their national teams in advance of important World Cup 2006 qualifying contests this weekend. Ralph and Williams will look to help Jamaica improve its standing in Group 1 of the CONCACAF Semifinals when the "Reggae Boyz" travel to Panama to take on the "Canaleros" this Saturday in Panama City, Panama. Costa Rica will hope Herron brings his recent red-hot scoring touch with him to Central America on Saturday, when the "Ticos" will host Guatemala in a Group 2 CONCACAF semifinal battle in San Jose, Costa Rica, while Selolwane will look to help Botswana rebound from two consecutive losses in Group 5 play in the African Zone's semifinal round when the "Zebras" play host to Kenya in Gabarone, Botswana this Sunday.

    4-4-Who? Carrieri comes in to bolster Fire attack
    Suspension, injuries and call-ups, oh my. That's what Fire head coach Dave Sarachan has to deal with in regards to his forwards corps heading into Wednesday's match against Columbus, as all seven players on the Fire's current roster that have spent time up top will be unavailable. With only 12 field players available for Wednesday's match against Columbus, the Fire have called up former Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Carrieri for Wednesday's contest. Carrieri, who suited up for the Rochester Raging Rhinos during the 2004 A-League season and recently signed on with the newly-formed Chicago Storm of the Major Indoor Soccer League, played three seasons in Major League Soccer from 2001-2003 and scored 55 points on 19 goals and 17 assists in 74 MLS games.

    Quick hits vs. Columbus

  • Fire forward Nate Jaqua will also be unavailable for the Fire Wednesday against Columbus. The second-year forward received a red card, and the subsequent one game suspension from MLS, after receiving two yellow cards against the Crew last Saturday.
  • The Fire family would like to congratulate captain Chris Armas and his wife, Justine, on the berth of the couple's second child, son Aleksei Nichloas, who was born on Monday afternoon. Mother, son, and midfielder are all reported as doing well.
  • In his 100th game with the "Men in Red," defender Jim Curtin broke a 50-game scoreless streak in MLS play with his assist on the Fire's third goal in Chicago's 3-3 draw at Columbus last Saturday. His last point came on an assist on an Ante Razov goal on May 31, 2003 in a 4-1 win at San Jose.
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