Chicago Fire defender Cory Gibbs
Chicago Fire

Gibbs circles dates on Chicago's 2011 calendar

The Chicago Fire may have a difficult stretch in March and April, but new center back Cory Gibbs is already excited about a couple of dates on the team’s 2011 schedule.

The Fire face a strong Western Conference quartet in the first two months, traveling to Dallas and Seattle in the season’s opening weeks before playing the LA Galaxy at home and Colorado on the road in the second half of April.

Aside from the tough opening, Chicago open two new stadiums this season. They play the inaugural match at Portland’s PGE Park on April 14 before christening Kansas City's Sporting Stadium on June 9.

“It’s going to be great,” Gibbs told “I heard that Kansas City has probably one of the better – if not the best – stadiums and Portland is probably going to be one of the harder games of the year in terms of the atmosphere and the buzz that’s going on with the new team and the new stadium.”

Gibbs said he's also excited about taking on Real Salt Lake (Sept. 28) and the Galaxy (July 9) on the road.

“Utah’s a good one, and of course LA is, too, with all the hype they have going on there,” he said. “Those are probably the top places I look forward to going to.”

More than anything, Gibbs is looking forward to a full slate of home games in what will be his first season at Toyota Park.

“Of course all the home games are going to be great,” he said. “I’m really excited to get out there in front of our fans.”

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for Email him at and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.