Jim Curtin

Weekly update: Battling disasters

Fire Sets Sights on Soldier Field Opener This Saturday
After gaining the first point of its 2005 season courtesy of a 1-1 draw at D.C. United last weekend, the Chicago Fire (0-1-1, 1 pt.) will focus on getting its first victory this Saturday, Apr. 16, when the club plays its final home opener at Soldier Field against the San Jose Earthquakes (0-0-2, 2 pts.). Kick-off for the 2003 MLS Cup rematch in Chicago is set for 7:30 p.m. CT, and tickets for the match can be purchased through TicketMaster by calling 312-559-1212 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Chicago Fire Offices, located at 980 N. Michigan, Suite 1998 in Chicago. Fire fans can tune into WRTO-AM 1200 (Spanish) and WNVR-AM 1030 (Polish) to follow the action live.

Chicago holds an 8-5-7 advantage over the Earthquakes in their all-time regular season series heading into this Saturday's contest. That mark is due in large part to the Fire's success against its Western Conference foe in Chicagoland, where the "Men in Red" have dropped only one result while compiling a 5-1-4 mark against San Jose.

Fire Reserves to Host San Jose Sunday at Flames Field
After falling in their inaugural MLS Reserve League contest on Sunday, the Chicago Fire Reserves will have an immediate chance to turn around and capture their first victory this Sunday, Apr. 17, when the squad takes on its counterparts from the San Jose Earthquakes. The Fire's first-ever home Reserve League affair will take place at Flames Field, located on the campus of the University of Illinois - Chicago at 901 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago, at 10:30 a.m. CT. Forward Nate Jaqua recorded the team's first goal in the second half of a 4-1 loss to the D.C. United Reserves on Sunday in Washington, D.C.

Chicago Fire Injury Report
Capano, Craig - L torn ACL surgery - Out
Herron, Andy - L ankle sprain - Doubtful
Sanneh, Tony - R hip and hamstring strain - Out
Thornton, Zach - L oblique strain - Questionable

Fire's Annual Media Day Set for Thursday at 22 Restaurant
The Chicago Fire will hold its annual Media Day this Thursday, Apr. 14 at 22 Restaurant, located at 22 E. Hubbard St. in downtown Chicago from 6:00-8:00 p.m. CT, just two days prior to its 2005 home opener at Soldier Field. Note: Media credentials and parking passes for the Fire's 2005 MLS season will be distributed at the event. Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan and several players will be at hand to discuss the home opener, while San Jose GM and former U.S. World Cup star Alexi Lalas will also be in attendance to share his thoughts on the upcoming match.

A "Fire-Storm" of Soccer This Saturday Kicks Off With Indoor Match at UIC Pavilion
Soccer enthusiasts in Chicago will be in heaven this Saturday, as both the cities' Major League Soccer and Major Indoor Soccer League sides will be in action on the same day for the first time. The day begins at 3:00 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion, as the Chicago Storm will take on the Baltimore Blast in the final regular season home contest of the Storm's Inaugural Season. A two-hour break will give fans time to head over to Soldier Field, where the Fire will begin its last season at the Lakefront against the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 pm. CT. Fans who bring a ticket stub from the Storm game will receive $3 off tickets for the Fire contest.

Fire Injury Report an "On-Going" Process
This week's key word, or at least a portion of it, for players involved in the Fire injury report is "on," as forward Andy Herron and goalkeeper Zach Thornton were both added to the list while midfielder John Thorrington was removed from the report. Thornton was removed from a match for the first time in his 10-year MLS career last Saturday at D.C. United, as the "Fire Original" suffered a strained left oblique muscle during the first half and was replaced by Matt Pickens at the halftime break. Herron suffered a severe sprain of his left ankle during the second half of the match. While X-rays proved negative, Herron's status for Chicago's home opener this Saturday is listed as doubtful. Thorrington has a chance to make his official debut for the Fire on Saturday, as the off-season signing has been sidelined for much of the last month with a hamstring strain.

FireWorks for Kids Foundation Rolls Out the Red Carpet for The Game of Their Lives on Apr. 20
The FireWorks for Kids Foundation -the Chicago Fire's charitable arm-has announced that it will hold a red carpet private screening of the soon-to-be-released motion picture THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES (rated PG) before it opens to the general public. The event will take place on Wednesday, Apr. 20 at the Marcus Cinemas in Addison. The evening will include a wine/cheese and soda reception, a brief presentation featuring Gino Gard, a member of the 1950 U.S. World Cup team, a free bag of popcorn and the screening of the movie. A donation of $20 is requested for the event, with all proceeds benefiting the FireWorks for Kids Foundation. The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT followed by a presentation at 7:15 p.m. and the viewing of the film at 7:30 p.m. Marcus Cinemas is located at 1555 W. Lake Street in Addison, IL. Tickets can be purchased in advance only by calling 312-705-7218. For more information on the film or to request an interview, please contact Sarah Beck at HNOW at 312-755-0888.

Fire Juniors to Hold Tryouts for All Age Groups in Early May
The Chicago Fire Juniors has announced that the club will be conducting tryouts for the 2005/2006 season during the first week of May at two locations in west suburban Wheaton, IL. On Sunday, May 1, the Senior Girls (U15-U18) tryouts will begin at the Hubble Middle School Alumni Field, while on Monday, May 2, the U12-U14 Boys and Girls will tryout at Seven Gables Park. On Saturday, May 7, the tryouts for U8-U11 Boys and Girls will be held at the Hubble Middle School Alumni Field. For a schedule including dates (and rain-out dates) and times for specific age groups and further information on the CFJ tryouts, including directions to the tryout sites, visit www.ChicagoFireJuniors.com or call the CFJ office at 312-705-7250.

Mexico vs. Poland at Soldier Field
Tickets to the doubleheader, which will range in price from $30 to $75, can be purchased via Ticketmaster by calling 312-559-1212 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Executive Suites are also available and can be purchased by calling the Fire's Premium Seating Department at 312-705-7239. The doubleheader is included in the Fire's full season ticket package, but is not included in the seven-game package. Fire flex plan holders can redeem two vouchers for every 10 purchased until this Friday, Apr. 15, which is the cut-off date for the acceptance of vouchers for the event.


  • The Chicago Fire Juniors enjoyed a successful weekend at the Rockford Spring Fling Tournament in northwest Illinois, with at least three of its Boys teams reaching the semifinals in their age groups. The CFJ U-13 White squad rolled over its competition, outscoring its opponents 22-4 en route to five straight wins and a tournament title, which was capped off with a 9-0 victory in the final. The CFJ U-12 Red side also reached its tournament final, which it lost 1-0, while the U-17 Red team finished pool play 3-0-0 before falling in overtime in the semifinals. The Fire family would like to congratulate the Chicago Fire Juniors players, coaches and staff on a successful start to the club's spring season.
  • Monarcas Morelia, the Fire's Mexican League sister team, suffered its first home loss of the 2005 COMEX Clausura campaign last Saturday, falling to Group 3 leaders Monterrey 2-1 at Morelos Stadium in Morelia. Despite the setback, the "Monarchs" (7-3-2, 23 pts.) held on to sole possession of first place in Group 1, remaining just two points above U.A.G. (6-3-3, 21 pts.) and Club America (5-1-6, 21 pts.) with six regular season games remaining. Morelia will take to the road for Round 13 action this Saturday, Apr. 16 when it travels to Victoria Stadium in Aguascalientes, Mexico to face playoff contender Necaxa (6-5-1, 19 pts.) at 8:30 p.m. CT. The Monarcas-Necaxa match can be seen in the U.S. on a tape-delay broadcast on Galavision beginning at 11:00 p.m. CT.
  • Another week, another birthday in the Fire camp, as this week's cake is in honor of goalkeeper David Mahoney. The rookie netminder, who played 45 minutes in the Fire's Reserve League match at D.C. United on Sunday, will turn 24 years old this Thursday, Apr. 14.

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