Weekly update: Fire head to Mexico

Opponent -- Site -- Score/Time -- Record
2-09 -- University of Central Florida -- IMG Academy -- Bradenton, FL -- 4-1 W 1-0-0
2-10 -- FC Dallas -- IMG Academy -- Bradenton, FL -- 3-1 W -- 2-0-0
2-11 -- U.S. U-17 National Team IMG Academy -- Bradenton, FL -- 3-1 W -- 3-0-0
2-14 -- San Jose Earthquakes -- IMG Academy -- Bradenton, FL -- 0-2 L -- 3-1-0
2-19 -- U.S. U-20 National Team IMG Academy -- Bradenton, FL -- 2-2 T -- 3-1-1
2-24 -- Kansas City Wizards -- USF Soccer Stadium -- Tampa, FL -- 1-3 L -- 3-2-1

2005 Chicago Fire Preseason Schedule (Dates/Times subject to change)
Tuesday, Mar 1 -- Depart for Guadalajara, Mexico to continue preseason training
Thursday, Mar. 3 -- Exhibition match vs. Atlas -- Club Atlas Colomos Field, 11:00 a.m. CT
Tuesday, Mar. 8 -- Exhibition match vs. Chivas -- Club Guadalajara Tolon Field, 10:30 a.m. CT
Thursday, Mar. 10 -- Exhibition match vs. Tecos -- Tres de Marzo Stadium, 10:30 a.m. CT
Saturday, Mar. 12 -- Exhibition match vs. Colorado Rapids -- Hoover H.S. Stadium in Birmingham, AL, 7:30 a.m. CT
Sunday, Mar. 13 -- Return to Chicago; OFF
Mar. 18 - Mar. 26 -- Training camp begins in Jackson, MS
Friday, Mar. 25 -- Match vs. MetroStars -- Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland, MS, 7:30 p.m. CT
Monday, Mar. 28 -- Training at Lake Forest College practice facility begins (Time TBD)

Recovery Room
Armas, Chris - L groin strain
Caballero, Samuel - R hamstring strain
Johnson, Will - R foot ligament strain
Pause, Logan - surgery (Athletic Pubalgia)
Sanneh, Tony - R hip and hamstring strain

Fire Announces Kick-Off Times for 2005 Schedule; Change Made to July 2 Kick at CD Chivas USA
The Chicago Fire has finalized start times for all but one of the 32 matches on its 2005 MLS regular season schedule. Included in the 2005 slate of games are four appearances on ESPN2's national broadcast schedule, including three Saturday matinees on June 4 (CD Chivas USA), June 18 (Kansas City Wizards) and July 16 (Columbus Crew), each starting at 3:00 p.m. CT. The only match on the Fire's schedule that has not been tabbed with a kick-off time is Chicago's home match against defending MLS Cup champions D.C. United on Sep. 24, while the Fire and Chivas USA have announced that the start time for their July 2 match at The Home Depot Center has been moved up a half-hour from its original time to 9:00 p.m. CT. For a listing of the Fire's complete 2005 MLS regular season schedule, please visit

Guerrero Helps Honduras to Finals of UNCAF Nations Cup Opener, CONCACAF Gold Cup Berth
Fire D/M Mario Ivan Guerrero appeared in all three of the Honduras National Team's group play matches in the 2005 UNCAF (Unión Centroamericana de Fútbol) Nations Cup in Guatemala City, Guatemala, helping the "catrachos" win Group A and earn an automatic berth to the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. Guerrero started and played all 90 minutes in the first two pool play contests, a 5-1 drubbing of Nicaragua on Feb. 19 and a 4-0 blanking of Belize on Feb. 21 that clinched Honduras's spot in the semifinals of the tournament, which serves as the championship of Central America and determine the region's four qualifiers for the Gold Cup. Guerrero started and played only 32 minutes in a 1-1 draw against the host Guatemala before sitting out of Honduras's 1-0 victory over Panama last Friday in the semifinal round. Guerrero returned to action in Sunday's Nations Cup Final and went the distance against Costa Rica in a thrilling match that ended tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation. Costa Rica would capture the title after winning 7-6 in penalty kicks.

Winter FireFest and Health Fair a Success in the Southland
The Chicago Fire would like to thank all the fans, sponsors and healthcare organizations that participated in last Saturday's Winter FireFest at the Holiday Inn Select & Convention Center Hotel in Tinley Park. Over 1,000 spectators came out to the annual event, which was held in Chicago's Southland for the second consecutive year in anticipation of the Fire's move to the Village of Bridgeview in the Spring of 2006. To see a sampling of what went on Saturday at Winter FireFest, visit this afternoon to view a special photo gallery from the event.

Fire and Prairie State College Announce Grass Roots Partnership Program
The Chicago Fire and Chicago Heights-based Prairie State College announced a partnership that will help grow educational opportunities for students and raise awareness of the Fire and the sport of soccer in the Southland during the team's annual "Winter FireFest" celebration last Saturday in Tinley Park, IL. As part of the partnership, the Fire has agreed to provide students with educational opportunities, including professional direction and an organized work environment, from every aspect of the Chicago Fire community outreach involvement as well as the Fire's stadium project in Bridgeview, IL. Prairie State College students will have the opportunity to begin a career with the Fire through internships, community service work and volunteering, with opportunities for part-time and full-time employment to also be made available in the future. The partnership will be mutually beneficial, as Prairie State College will help the Fire raise awareness of its move to the Southland in the Spring of 2006 through the formation of a grass roots outreach campaign team comprised of students majoring in various academic fields.

Only One Month Until Annual FireWorks For Kids Foundation Season Kickoff Luncheon
Only four weeks remain to reserve your seat - or seats - for the FireWorks for Kids Foundation 2005 Season Kickoff Luncheon, sponsored by AthletiCo. The 2005 edition of the annual Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, Mar. 29 in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, located at 151 East Wacker Drive. This year's event will begin with a reception at 11:00 a.m. CT, with the lunch and formal program beginning at 12:00 p.m. Veteran Chicago sports anchor Jim Rose of WLS-TV (ABC-7 Chicago) will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for this year's event, while recent National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee and former Fire and U.S. National Team member Eric Wynalda will perform as the Luncheon's Keynote Speaker. Tickets for this year's Season Kickoff Luncheon are $60 per individual or $500 for a table of ten, with all proceeds from the event and silent auction benefiting the FireWorks for Kids Foundation. For more information regarding the 2005 FWFK Season Kickoff Luncheon, feel free to contact the Fire Community Relations department by phone at 312-705-7218 or by fax at 312-705-7393.

Etc ...

  • The Fire would like to congratulate defender C.J. Brown and his wife, Kim, on the birth of the couple's second child, daughter Kali Anh, last Thursday, Feb. 24 in San Jose, CA. Kali, who measured in at seven pounds and 19 inches, was born one year to the day after the Browns' first daughter, Canessa, was born. Mother, daughter and defender are all reported as healthy and doing well.
  • The Fire would also like to wish an early 27th birthday to forward Andy Herron. The Costa Rican striker celebrates his birthday this Wednesday, Mar. 2.
  • The Fire's sister team Monarcas Morelia began another winning streak last Saturday, as its 1-0 road victory over Dorados in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico gave the red-hot "Monarchs" their second straight victory and fifth in seven contests to start the 2005 COMEX Clausura season. With the result, Morelia maintained a share of its lead atop the Group 1 standings with a 5-1-1 record and 17 points, keeping them tied with Tecos (U.A.G.), who the Fire will play in a scrimmage on Feb. 10 in Guadalajara. Morelia will return home this weekend for a crucial Group 1 clash against Club America (4-1-2, 14 pts.) at Morelos Stadium on Saturday, Mar. 5 at 7:00 p.m. CT.