Jesse Marsch

Weekly update: Taking a break

Fire and MetroStars Change Second Giants Stadium Date to May 31 to Accommodate International Doubleheader
In conjunction with the MetroStars and Soccer United Marketing (SUM), the Chicago Fire has announced that its second road contest against the MetroStars, originally scheduled for Wednesday, June 29, has been changed to Tuesday, May 31 and will be played as the second match of a doubleheader featuring an international friendly between the national teams of England and Colombia. The Fire and MetroStars will kick off their MLS regular season contest at 5:30 p.m. CT, preceded by England vs. Colombia at 3:00 p.m. CT.

Fire Preseason Update: Final Training Camp of 2005 Preseason Begins Friday in Jackson, MS
After returning to Chicago on Sunday from a 12-day road trip that saw the club go 1-2-0 in Guadalajara, Mexico and draw the Colorado Rapids 0-0 last Saturday night in suburban Birmingham, AL, the Fire will take a welcome five-day break from training this week before embarking on its last preseason camp of 2005, a week-long stay in Jackson, MS that will begin this Friday, Mar. 18. Chicago will take on two opponents during its second visit to Jackson in as many years, with a scrimmage against the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers set for Sunday, Mar. 20 and an exhibition contest against the MetroStars scheduled for Friday, Mar. 25 at Freedom Ridge Park in suburban Ridgeland at 7:30 p.m. CT. To view lineups and game summaries of the Fire's preseason contests thus far, please visit www.Chicago-Fire.com. For complete listing of the club's preseason activities, please see below.

2005 Chicago Fire Preseason Results

Date Opponent Site Score/Time Record
Feb. 9 University of Central Florida IMG Academy,
Bradenton, Fla.
W, 4-1 1-0-0
Feb. 10 FC Dallas IMG Academy,
Bradenton, Fla.
W, 3-1 2-0-0
Feb. 11 U.S. U-17 national team IMG Academy,
Bradenton, Fla.
W, 3-1 3-0-0
Feb. 14 San Jose Earthquakes IMG Academy,
Bradenton, Fla.
L, 0-2 3-1-0
Feb. 19 U.S. U-20 national team IMG Academy,
Bradenton, Fla.
T, 2-2 3-1-1
Feb. 24 Kansas City Wizards USF Soccer Stadium
Tampa, Fla.
L, 1-3 3-2-1
March 3 Atlas (MEX 1) Colomos Field
Guadalajara, Mexico
L, 2-4 3-3-1
March 8 Guadalajara Select Hotel Villa Primavera
Guadalajara, Mexico
W, 6-1 4-3-1
March 10 Tecos (MEX 1) Tres de Marzo Stadium
Guadalajara, Mexico
L, 0-3 4-4-1
March 12 Colorado Rapids Hoover H.S. Buccaneer Stadium
Hoover, Ala.
T, 0-0 4-4-2

2005 Chicago Fire Preseason Schedule (Dates/Times subject to change)
Friday, Mar. 18: Depart Chicago for training camp in Jackson, MS
Sunday, Mar. 20: Scrimmage vs. University of Alabama-Birmingham in Jackson, MS - Time and Site TBD
Friday, Mar. 25: Match vs. MetroStars - Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland, MS - 7:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, Mar. 26: Return to Chicago
Monday, Mar. 28: Training at Lake Forest College practice facility begins - Time TBD

Capano Out 4-6 Months After ACL Surgery
Fire midfielder Craig Capano underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee last week. Fire Senior Team Physician Dr. Preston Wolin performed the successful surgery at the Neurologic and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago (NOIC) last Monday. Capano, who suffered the tear during the team's preseason training last month in Florida, has begun rehab work on the knee, which is expected to take 4-6 months to recover.

Recovery Room
Capano, Craig - surgery - L ACL tear
Caballero, Samuel - R hamstring strain
Pause, Logan - surgery - Athletic Pubalgia
Sanneh, Tony - R hip and hamstring strain

Ralph Departs Fire After Signing With Russian Club FC Rubin Kazan
The Fire has announced that forward Damani Ralph signed a contract with Russian Premier Liga side FC Rubin Kazan that resulted in the striker's immediate departure from the MLS side. To compensate for the loss of Ralph, the 2004 Fire/Budweiser Scoring Champion and 2003 Gatorade MLS Rookie of the Year, the Fire will receive a major player allocation. Ralph had agreed to a multi-year deal with the Fire last April. Per MLS policy, terms of the transfer deal were not made available. Ralph finished his two-year stint in Chicago having made 51 appearances, with 47 of those coming as a member of the starting eleven. He ended his tenure with the Fire near the top in several of the club's career statistical categories with 53 points (6th), 22 goals (T-4th), seven game-winning goals (4th), 180 shots (2nd) and 72 shots on goal (5th).

Get Your Tickets Now for the 2005 FireWorks For Kids Foundation Season Kickoff Luncheon
The Fire's 2005 MLS season is right around the corner, which means time is running out to reserve a seat - or seats - for the annual FireWorks for Kids Foundation 2005 Season Kickoff Luncheon, sponsored by AthletiCo. This year's edition of the Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, Mar. 29 in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, located at 151 East Wacker Drive. The 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.

Tickets for Fire's Soldier Field Opener on Apr. 16 vs. San Jose Now on Sale
With the Chicago Fire's final opening day at Soldier Field only a month away, fans of the "Men in Red" can now secure their seats for the Apr. 16 contest against the San Jose Earthquakes. Tickets for the match, which is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. CT kick-off at the Lakefront venue, 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. To order season tickets or for group discount information, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE. The Fire's 2005 season will be its last at Soldier Field before the club moves to its 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in the Village of Bridgeview in the Spring of 2006.

Etc...

• The Fire was not alone during its recent preseason training visit to Guadalajara, as WGBO-TV 66 (Univision-Chicago) accompanied the squad south of the border to profile several members of the "Men in Red" and catch up with the squad as it prepares for the 2005 MLS campaign. The first in a series of profiles aired on Sunday's edition of Univision Deportes Extra, and more interviews and features can be seen on WGBO-TV 66 this week on its 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Noticias Univision Chicago broadcasts.

• The Fire's official website, www.Chicago-Fire.com, will give fans a chance to catch up with some of the Fire's "Central American Connection" this week, as a feature on Costa Rican forward Andy Herron will be added to the site Monday afternoon and an interview with Honduran defender Mario Ivan Guerrero will debut on Tuesday. In addition, visitors can read a first-hand account of the Fire's trip to Guadalajara through midfielder Will John's player diary later in the week. For the latest inside scoop on all things Fire, visit www.Chicago-Fire.com.

• The Fire family would like to congratulate Chicago Fire Juniors Director of Coaching Larry Sunderland and his wife, Jen, on the birth of their fifth child, daughter McKenna Marie, last Wednesday, Mar. 9. The newest Sunderland measured in at seven and a half pounds and 20 inches, and mother, father and daughter are all reported as healthy and well.

• Monarcas Morelia, the Fire's Mexican League sister team, had its worst result of the 2005 COMEX Clausura season to date, dropping a 3-1 match on the road to Santos Laguna yesterday at Corona Stadium in Torreon, Mexico. With the loss, Morelia (5-2-2, 17 points) fell out of a first-place tie in the Group One standings, but the "Monarchs" remain only one point behind group leaders Tecos. Morelia will return home for a favorable match-up this Saturday, Mar. 19, when it takes on Pachuca (2-5-2, 8 pts.) at Morelos Stadium at 7:00 p.m. CT in a contest that will be broadcast live in the United States on FOX Sports en Español.