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Chicago Fire Host Opening Night at Toyota Park Saturday vs. New England

March 4, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire (0-1-0; 0 points) return to the Windy City this week as they welcome the New England Revolution (0-0-0; 0 points) for Opening Night at Toyota Park this Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network/La Ley 107.9 FM ).

The Men in Red opened the 2013 season with a 4-0 loss to two-time defending MLS Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy at T he Home Depot Center Sunday afternoon. A hat trick from Galaxy forward and Chicago, Ill. native Mike Magee and a goal from Galaxy captain Robbie Keane proved the difference as the Fire dropped the first match of the 2013 MLS season.

The March 9 match marks the earliest regular season home opener in the club's 16 seasons, nearly two weeks earlier than last year's 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on March 24. The Fire are 9-3-3 all-time in their first match of the year in Chicago.

The Revolution, who enter the match after a bye this past weekend, went 2-3-1 in their preseason matches.

CHICAGO FIRE vs. New England Revolution

- The Fire hold a 19-15-9 regular season record against the New England Revolution, including a dominating 11-4-6 record in matches played at home.

The Fire are 9-3-3 on Opening Day at home dating back to 1998. For only the third time in club history, the Fire will host a MLS home opener in the month of March. The Fire are undefeated in home openers against the Revolution with a 2-0-3 record. The Men in Red went 1-2-0 against the Revolution in the 2012 series. The Fire fell 2-0 at Gillette Stadium June 2 and 1-0 on Oct. 20. In the home leg of the series, Chris Rolfe converted an early penalty kick in the 5th minute and Sherjill MacDonald found his first goal in a Fire shirt in the 25th minute to lead the Fire to a 2-1 win Aug. 18. Fire defender Steven Kinney appeared in his first MLS match Sunday since rupturing his Achilles at The Home Depot Center Oct. 23, 2010, the final match of his rookie season. Arne Friedrich (hamstring) and Logan Pause (quad) were kept out of the match Sunday due to injury. Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere, Dilly Duka, Maicon Santos and Yazid Atouba all made their debuts for the Men in Red against the Galaxy. Larentowicz donned the armband in the stead of captain Logan Pause. Selected by the Revolution in the fourth round (45th overall) in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, Larentowicz made 111 regular season appearances for the Revolution from 2005-2009. The Revolution reached MLS Cup in his first three seasons with the side.

- Wells Thompson was drafted by the New England Revolution in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, and went on to make 71 regular season appearances in three seasons for the Revolution. In his rookie season, Thompson made 27 appearances and started 11 matches, then started all four post-season games for the Revs, including the 2007 MLS Cup final. Thompson made his MLS debut against the Fire on April 7, 2007. He also notched his first professional goal against the Men in Red on May 6, 2007.

- Larentowicz and Thompson joined the Colorado Rapids in 2010 in a trade that sent recently-retired Fire defender Cory Gibbs to the New England Revolution.

Milford, Mass. product Michael Videira was selected in the second round (18th overall) in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft but elected to sign with Hamilton Academical of the Scottish Premier League. Videira returned to sign with the Revolution in 2009, making 12 appearances and notched a total of 973 minutes from 2009-10.

CHICAGO FIRE FALL 4-0 AT LA GALAXY

The Chicago Fire were undone by the two-time defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy 4-0 at The Home Depot Center Sunday afternoon. A hat trick from Galaxy forward Mike Magee and a goal from Robbie Keane proved the difference as the Fire were defeated in the first match of the 2013 MLS season.

Head coach Frank Klopas trotted out six returning starters from the Fire's 17-win season in 2012, however, he was without the services of Arne Friedrich and Logan Pause due to late-week injuries to the two veteran players.

The Fire did well to absorb the Galaxy pressure out of the gate and the Men in Red nearly took the lead in the 32nd minute. Chris Rolfe intercepted an errant Carlo Cudicini pass out of the back and dribbled in on goal. The Fire forward pushed his shot just wide of the far post and the match remained level.

The two-time defending MLS Cup champions would get on the board in the 38th minute. Fire defender Steven Kinney attempted to clear the ball out of the penalty area only for it to deflect off of Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant. The deflected ball floated across the box to Magee who smashed a well-timed side volley past Sean Johnson and rippled the net at the near post.

The Galaxy would double their advantage 30 minutes later when Robbie Keane held possession at the top of the area. The Irishman sent a looping pass to the back post finding Magee wide open. Magee would make no mistake smashing it home to give the home side a 2-0 advantage in the 68th minute.

Magee completed the hat trick in the 74th minute. The opportunistic, Chicago-born forward collected a rebound off a Keane shot, took a touch off his chest, turned and buried the ball into the back of the goal to give the defending champs a 3-0 lead.

Robbie Keane would round-out scoring in the 80th minute tucking in a tidy finish off an Omar Gonzalez header in the area.

CHICAGO FIRE AND QUAKER© OATS ASK FANS TO CHOOSE THE NEXT FIRE BOBBLEHEAD

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club has partnered with iconic jersey sponsor The Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., to create a campaign that allows fans to Quaker Up™ and vote for the Fire player they would like to see immortalized into a bobble head. The fan-selected bobblehead keepsake will be unveiled and distributed to the first 5,000 supporters at the Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City match at Toyota Park on Sunday, July 7 at 2:00 p.m. CT (ESPN).

Voting opened on Tuesday, February 26 to give Fire supporters the opportunity to vote to get their favorite player turned into a bobblehead. Every player on the Fire's roster is available for selection.

Voting takes place on www.Chicago-Fire.com and www.facebook.com/chicagofire. Fans may also cast votes on Twitter by sending a tweet to @ChicagoFire with the hashtag #QuakerLastname, using the last name of the chosen Fire player (for example: #QuakerRolfe or #QuakerFriedrich).

Following a week of voting, the Top Five Fire bobblehead vote getters will square off for the chance to be selected as the Quaker Title Day Giveaway for the Sunday, July 7 match. The final round of voting will begin on Tuesday, March 5 and will run through Sunday, March 10.

SUPPORT THE CHICAGO FIRE FOUNDATION AT THE 15TH ANNUAL SEASON KICKOFF LUNCHEON MONDAY, MARCH 5

Get your tickets for the 15th annual Chicago Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon which will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati will deliver the keynote address. This is the first chance of the season to meet your 2013 Chicago Fire Soccer team . The event includes a reception, lunch and silent auction featuring Chicago Fire and other sports memorabilia, gift certificates and more . Tickets are available here or by calling (708) 496-6751.

This year will feature an extensive silent auction that will utilize text-to-bid technology that will allow fans to bid on silent auction items even if they are unable to attend the event. The auction is now open and can be found here and will remain open until Tuesday, March 5 at 12:45 p.m. CT.

LA LEY RADIO NAMED AS OFFICIAL SPANISH LANGUAGE RADIO BROADCASTER OF THE CHICAGO FIRE

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Sunday that La Ley Radio (WLEY FM-107.9) will broadcast regular season Fire games and a weekly soccer show in Spanish. Oscar Guzman will return for his eighth season as the voice of the Fire's Spanish-language broadcast.

Guzman will anchor the Fire's Spanish-language broadcasts on WLEY FM-107.9. In addition to calling the games, the veteran play-by-play broadcaster and popular Chicago sports anchor will host a weekly soccer show, which will focus on the beautiful game in Chicago, MLS and abroad. Date and time to be determined.

Joining Guzman on the broadcasts is long-time Chicago reporter and FutbolMLS.com correspondent Raquel Ortiz. In addition to her time with FutbolMLS.com, Ortiz has covered the team contributing to the content of its Spanish website and other media outlets including numerous Fire broadcasts.

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