MetroStars fired up for Chicago

Important message for fans:
Soccerfest - which will take place this Saturday, July 24, at 4 p.m. - has been moved from the Giants Stadium bubble to Gate D. Soccerfest will now be a part of the Colombian Heritage Festival.

While the MLS All-Star break is a little more than a week away, the battle between the MetroStars and this week's opponent, the Chicago Fire, goes beyond simply earning three points in a midseason game. This weekend will mark another point in the history of the greatest rivalry in Major League Soccer - a match-up which features hard tackles, physical play and streaks on the line.

The MetroStars are carrying a ten game winless streak against the Fire, including a crushing 1-0 loss to their Eastern Conference rivals in the final of last year's U.S. Open Cup. Meanwhile, the Fire are in a slump, currently in a seven game winless streak and struggling in fourth place.

The pressure on both teams came to a boil last Saturday when the two rivals met at Soldier Field and played to a rough, physical, 1-1 draw. In a game which included 41 fouls and four cards, Fire forward Damani Ralph, a constant threat when playing against the "Red and Black," scored an early goal before sizzling Metros midfielder Amado Guevara converted a penalty kick minutes before full time to ensure a share of the points.

With both teams searching for the full three points against the other, Saturday's game will definitely be electrifying as fans can follow several storylines. Will MetroStars' coach Bob Bradley be able to earn his 100th career MLS win, and finally be victorious over his old team? Will Guevara be able to continue his streak of six consecutive league games with a point? Will the MetroStars be able to break their curse against their Eastern Conference foes, or will the Fire continue their stranglehold on the "Red and Black?" Most importantly, will the MetroStars head into the All-Star break atop the Eastern Conference?

One thing's for sure, this is a game that should not be missed for MetroStars and soccer fans alike! Tickets are available for all MetroStars home games at the Continental Airlines Arena box office and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets will also be available through Ticketmaster by phone for callers in New Jersey (201-507-8900), New York (212-307-7171), and for Spanish-speaking customers throughout New York and New Jersey (212-307-4757).

This weekend's game will be televised live on Fox Sports New York and broadcasted in Spanish on WADO 1280. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.