Chicago Fire Face Two MLS Opponents in Preparation for 2013 Season
FIRE FACE CHIVAS USA AND SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES IN SECOND LEG OF PRESEASON TRAINING
The Chicago Fire began the nine-day preseason training camp in Ventura, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 2. During phase two of preseason, the Fire will face fellow MLS club Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 1:30 p.m. CT. The Fire will close out the west coast leg of preseason with a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara (6:00 p.m. CT) and 2012 MLS Supporters' Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes (8:00 p.m. CT) at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 9. Tickets for the doubleheader are $12 for adults and $8 for youth. Tuesday's match against Chivas USA will be available live via audio cast on www.Chicago-Fire.com and as always, fans can follow the matches live via @ChiFireMatch on Twitter.
Following the stay in California, the team will return to Chicago for two days before departing for the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C. on Feb. 13.
FIRE CONTINUE TO BUILD ROSTER, ADD MIDFIELDERS DUKA AND KING
Head Coach Frank Klopas continued to build his roster this week with the additions of midfielders Dilly Duka and Brendan King.
The Fire acquired Duka and the right of first refusal on U.S. international Robbie Rogers from the Columbus Crew in exchange for Ghanaian forward Dominic Oduro. Selected in the first round (eight overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Duka made 45 appearances for the Crew over three seasons, scoring two goals and adding five assists.
King, a 22-year-old midfielder from Naperville, Ill., joins the Men in Red after spending 2012 with Norwegian Division One side Alta IF where he appeared in seven matches and League of Ireland Premier Division side Bray Wanderers AFC where he made one appearance. Drafted in the second round (27th overall) of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by the Portland Timbers, King, a Fire PDL product, was also a member of the Chicago Fire Super-20 team that won the North American Super-20 championship in 2008.
With the additions of Duka and King, the Fire currently have 25 signed players on the roster. Following is a breakdown of the current Fire roster:
- A total of 21 signed players are currently in camp with the Fire. Missing are goalkeeper Sean Johnson (U.S. Men's National Team World Cup Qualifier), midfielder Victor Pineda (meniscus recovery), forward Kellen Gulley (potential loan) and defender Tony Walls (did not travel to camp.)
- German World Cup veteran defender Arne Friedrich and fourth-year midfielder Corben Bone have joined the Fire in Ventura, Calif.
- Trialist Colin Rolfe has not traveled to California due to injury and will join the squad in Charleston, S.C. for the Carolina Challenge Cup.
- The current Fire squad has appeared in a total of 1,623 MLS Regular Season matches. Captain Logan Pause has appeared in 259 matches across his 10-year career, all as a member of the Fire. Newly acquired midfielder Jeff Larentowicz is a close second with 207 appearances in eight seasons with the New England Revolution and the Colorado Rapids.
- The current roster has scored 154 goals in regular season play, led by 2012 Fire MVP and Golden Boot winner Chris Rolfe who has 44 goals to his name. Three of the Fire's offseason acquisitions boast double-digit career goal scoring figures: Jeff Larentowicz (23 goals), Joel Lindpere (15 goals) and Maicon Santos (21 goals).
- A total of 135 regular season assists have been dished out by current Fire players. Patrick Nyarko (28 assists) and Chris Rolfe (21 assists) sit atop the table and are aided by 42 assists from newly-signed Fire player s: Dilly Duka (5 assists), Jeff Larentowicz (11 assists), Joel Lindpere (18 assists) and Maicon Santos (8 assists).
- Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson are the only two current Fire players with a MLS Cup Championship on their resumes. Both players were a part of the Colorado Rapids squad that won MLS Cup 2010 with a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas.
- Five players bring Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship experience to the team. In his rookie season, Logan Pause and the Fire defeated the MetroStars 1-0 for the 2003 title. In 2006 Logan Pause, Chris Rolfe and Gonzalo Segares all started as the Fire won their fourth Open Cup title with a 3-1 victory over the LA Galaxy. The following year, Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson led the New England Revolution to their first cup trophy in club history. Thompson's 57th minute game-winner was the difference as the Revs defeated FC Dallas 3-2.
CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER SEAN JOHNSON NAMED TO U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM SQUAD FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson has been selected by U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Honduras at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 3:00 p.m. CT (beIN SPORT).
Johnson, who earned his first start for the U.S. Men's National Team in a 0-0 draw with Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas Jan. 29., has appeared in three matches for the United States.
The 23-year-old Lilburn, Ga. product enters his fourth season as a professional after a 2012 season where he appeared in a career-high 31 regular season games for the Men in Red, accumulating a 16-10-5 record, including five shutouts. Johnson's 1.24 goals against average was the lowest in his professional career. Johnson made 108 saves in 2012, including a career-high ten saves against the San Jose Earthquakes July 28.
Johnson will join the Fire in Ventura, Calif. following the match.
MARCH TO SOCCER - FIRE OPEN 16TH CAMPAIGN AGAINST MLS CUP CHAMPION LA GALAXY IN 27 DAYS
The Men in Red open their 16th season on the road in just 27 days when they visit two-time defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, March 3 at 4:00 p.m. CT (Univision). The following week, in just 33 days, the Fire will host the New England Revolution for Opening Night at Toyota Park on Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC Sports Network).
The Fire's full 2013 schedule can be found at www.Chicago-Fire.com/schedule. The Fire are slated to appear in a total of 16 nationally televised broadcasts throughout its 16th season of MLS play.
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS FOR THE CLUB'S 2013 MLS CAMPAIGN AT TOYOTA PARK NOW ON SALE
Individual single game tickets for the club's 16th MLS season at Toyota Park are now on sale via Ticketmaster.
One of the most affordable live events in the Chicagoland area, single game ticket prices start as low as $20 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.
Chicago Fire Season Tickets and #cf97withdrawals Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Day while donning the four Fire hats and four pairs of Fire gloves included in the pack are now on sale. Tickets are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE, via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club's official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Season Ticket Holder exchanges will begin Monday, February 18.
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 help kickoff the event by delivering 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 . The first 20 full paid tables of ten (10) at $850 will be seated with a Fire player or coach. Tickets are available here or by calling (708) 496-6751.
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