Fire vs. Raging Rhinos pregame report

The Chicago Fire continues its tough road schedule as it travels to the Empire State to battle USL First Division side Rochester Raging Rhinos at Frontier Field tomorrow, August 24 at 6:30 p.m. CT. The two sides last met in Open Cup play on July 14, 1999, when Rochester handed the "Men in Red" their first-ever loss in the tournament. That result still registers as one of the biggest upsets in the MLS era of the Open Cup. The Fire will have the chance to ease the memories of that game with a victory on Wednesday night. Fans can catch the quarterfinals action through live audio via the Fire's official website, (English), as well as Chicagoland radio station WNVR-AM 1030 (Polish).

Chicago Fire @ Rochester Raging Rhinos
Wednesday, Aug. 24 @ 6:30 p.m. CT: Frontier Field
TV: None
Audio: (English), WNVR 1030 AM (Polish)

Recovery Room
Buete, Scott - R 5th metatarsal fracture - Out
Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out
Griffin, Leonard - abdominal strain - Out
Guerrero, Ivan - R foot contusion - Questionable
Herron, Andy - R toe sprain - Out
Jaqua, Nate - L ankle bone bruise - Out
Pickens, Matt - L ankle sprain - Out

Fire Remains MLS' King of the Open Cup
Chicago's 20-4-1 Open Cup record: three championships, and four Cup finals makes the Fire the most successful MLS team in the tournament and one of the top clubs to ever participate in the historic competition. Chicago is one of only seven teams in tournament history to win three championships (1998, 2000,2003), and is the last to do so since the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms won their third Dewar Trophy in 1983.

Series History vs. Rochester
The Fire has yet to claim victory in two meetings against the Rhinos, one coming in a friendly and the other in Open Cup play, both at Frontier Field. The two sides first met on July 14, 1999, when Rochester gave the Fire its first-ever loss in Open Cup play, a Yari Alnutt goal in the 15th minute leading Rochester to a 1-0 result in the Third Round. The Fire made its return to Upstate New York last year for an exhibition contest and saw a mostly reserve line-up fall to the Raging Rhinos 2-1 on May 17. Fire 2004 SuperDraft pick Ian Pilarski, who the Fire loaned to Rochester earlier in the season, victimized his MLS owners by scoring the eventual game-winner in the 63rd minute.

Fire Taking the "Road" to the Open Cup in 2005
If the Fire wants to capture its fourth U.S. Open Cup title this season, the squad will have to take the long road to get there. Chicago began this year's edition by holding off the Western Mass. Pioneers for a 3-1 victory in a Third Round contest on July 13 at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, MA, with midfielder Will John netting two goals and an assist on the match. The Fire would return three weeks later to take on the New England Revolution in a Fourth Round match-up on Aug. 4. After a 1-1 finish in regulation, forward Andy Herron's second tally of the match and a rare goal from defender C.J. Brown in overtime was enough to give the Fire a 3-2 overtime victory and a date in Rochester for the Quarterfinal round. Should the Fire emerge victorious against the Rhinos tomorrow, the squad will have to pack its bags one more time as U.S. Soccer has announced the Fire's potential semifinal opponent - D.C. United (Sep. 13) or FC Dallas (Sep. 14) - would play host to the "Men in Red" in the next round. In contrast, Rochester will be playing host to its third straight home match in the competition tomorrow after defeating the Virginia Beach Mariners (USL1) and the MetroStars at Frontier Field in the Third and Fourth Rounds, respectively.

Quick Kicks vs. Rhinos

  • Midfielder Jesse Marsch will serve a one-game suspension on Wednesday after being red carded in the Fire's 3-2 OT victory over the New England Revolution in the Fourth Round. Marsch has appeared in a club-high 22 of the Fire's 25 Open Cup games since 1998.
  • Chicago has outscored its opponents 50-22 in its 25 Open Cup contests.
  • With its Fourth Round victory over the Revolution, the Fire is now 5-2-1 in overtime contests in Open Cup play.
  • The Fire's record of 20-4-1 in Open Cup play since 1998 is easily the best mark by any MLS team in the tournament, yet Chicago has struggled against teams from the USL First Division (formerly A-League), going 4-2-0 against teams from America's second flight. The Fire fell to Rochester 1-0 in 1999 and at Milwaukee Rampage by a similar score in 2002.

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