Top spot in MLS on the line when Fire and Galaxy meet Saturday

Marsch, Jesse - R ankle cartilage damage -- out
Razov, Ante - lower back strain -- probable

Fire history vs. L.A. Galaxy
The series between the Fire and Galaxy has been a back-and-forth affair. Despite Los Angeles's 10-8-1 lead in regular season games, the Fire owns the momentum in the series after sweeping the Galaxy in three regular season contests in 2003. In addition to the Fire's two wins at Naperville's Cardinal Stadium on Aug. 20 (1-0) and Oct. 4 (2-0) and a victory in its first-ever match at The Home Depot Center on Sep. 13 (2-0), the "Men in Red" triumphed over L.A. 3-2 on Sep. 23 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals, giving Chicago revenge for a Galaxy four-game season series sweep in 2002. The Fire has an all-time record in Los Angeles of 3-5-1, but after losing MLS Cup 2003 to the San Jose Earthquakes last Nov. 23 at The Home Depot Center, Chicago now has a 1-1-0 record at the new home of the Galaxy. Former Galaxy forward and five-time Fire scoring champion Ante Razov is Chicago's all-time leading scorer against L.A. with 12 points (3g, 6a).

Fire fab four get rolling on road to Germany 2006 this weekend
Four members of the Chicago Fire - midfielders Chris Armas, DaMarcus Beasley and Andy Williams and forward Damani Ralph - will be absent from the club for its next two MLS contests after being selected to help the U.S. and Jamaican National Teams kick off the road to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany when their portion of CONCACAF qualifying opens this weekend. Armas and Beasley will suit up for United States manager Bruce Arena's side when they begin their home-and-home series with Grenada on Sunday afternoon at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio (12 p.m. CT, live on ESPN2). Ralph and Williams will look to help the "Reggae Boyz" in their series opener against Haiti, taking place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla.

Capano Named to U.S. under-20 Squad for friendly vs. world champs Brazil
United States Under-20 men's tational team head coach Thomas Rongen named Fire midfielder Craig Capano to his 23-player roster that will face defending under-20 FIFA world champions Brazil at 7 p.m. CT next Wednesday, June 16, at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Capano is one of six professional players - five of which ply their trade in Major League Soccer - named to the roster for the international friendly, which the U-20s will use to prepare for the Busan Four Nations International Tournament in Busan, Korea Republic from June 22-26. The 19-year old Capano was the hero - and team captain - for the U-20s in their last match against Haiti Select on Mar. 21 at Lockhart, as he scored the winning goal with a 20-yard strike that nicked the left post and deflected into the net midway through the second half.

Fire in the Community This Weekend

  • The Chicago Fire mascot will make an appearance at the 25th Ward Soccer Tournament this Saturday, June 12 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. The tournament is taking place at the UIC South Field Complex, located at 914 W. 14th Place in Chicago.
  • Fire forward Dipsy Selolwane, Monarcas Morelia midfielders Ignacio Carrasco and Roberto Muqoz and the Fire mascot will be appearing at the Telemundo Ritmo y Sabor Festival at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill. this Sunday from 3:30-5 p.m.

    Quick kicks vs. Galaxy

  • Chicago is the only team in Major League Soccer to not lose on the road this season. The Fire enters Saturday's match in Southern California with a 1-0-4 record away from Soldier Field, good for a League-best .600 road winning percentage.
  • Los Angeles is used to cutting it close with the Fire, as all 10 of their wins against Chicago have come by a single goal. Half of Chicago's eight wins in the series have come by one goal. Chicago is 2-0-0 in one-goal games this year, while L.A. is just 1-2-0.
  • Fire D/M Orlando Perez's assist in last Saturday's 3-0 win over D.C. United ended an 84-game streak to begin his career without an assist - the second longest such streak in MLS history behind only New England Revolution defender Rusty Pierce (89 games).