November 8, 2005 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire
DÃ©jÃ vu for Fire as Chicago's Season Again Ends at New England The Chicago Fire saw its 2005 season end in all too familiar fashion last Sunday, as the Fire dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to the New England Revolution in the MLS Eastern Conference Championship in front of 18,118 fans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. Revolution midfielder Clint Dempsey's finish in the fourth minute would surprisingly stand for the duration of the match that saw the Fire press the issue but fail to capitalize any of its 14 shots, seven of which were on frame. An offside call in the second minute of second half injury time erased what would have been an equalizing goal off the foot of Fire rookie defender Gonzalo Segares, adding to a disappointing ending to the Fire's run towards a possible fourth appearance in MLS Cup. The match marked the third time in the last four seasons that Chicago's campaign was ended by the Revolution either in the regular season or MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Pipes Are Calling Fire Forward Chris Rolfe for U.S.'s Friendly at Scotland on Saturday
U.S. Soccer announced today that Fire forward Chris Rolfe is one of 20 players tabbed by U.S. Manager Bruce Arena to represent the "Red, White & Blue" this Saturday, Nov. 12 in the country's final match of 2005 against Scotland at famed Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland (10:00 a.m. CT, Fox Soccer Channel). The 22-year-old Rolfe is coming off a stellar first year with the Fire in which he garnered the 2005 Fire/Honda Golden Boot Award by leading the squad with eight goals while also contributing five assists. His effort this season helped the University of Dayton product finish as one of three finalists for the Gatorade Rookie of the Year award after he ended the campaign second among the League's rookies in goals scored and tops in assists. In addition to Rolfe, former Fire players DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven) and Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham) and Arlington Heights, IL natives Brian McBride (Fulham) and Jonathan Spector (Charlton Athletic) also made Arena's 20-man roster for the friendly.
Reiter Could Help Slovakia Write New Chapter in World Cup History in Playoff Series Against Spain
Fire forward Lubos Reiter has departed for his native Slovakia, who will be looking to qualify for its first-ever appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals next summer when it takes on a heavily-favored Spain side in one of three UEFA region playoffs that will determine Europe's final spots in Germany '06. The Slovakia-Spain series will begin this Saturday, Nov. 12 at Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid, Spain at 3:00 p.m. CT (10:00 p.m. local), with the return leg being played at Tehelne Pole Stadium in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava next Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 1:15 p.m. CT (8:15 p.m. local). Reiter has served largely as Slovakia's "super-sub" during World Cup qualifying, a role that has boosted the 30-year-old striker's international numbers to 28 career appearances and nine goals. Slovakia is looking to qualify for a spot in its first major international tournament since the split of the former Czechoslovakia occurred 12 years ago.
RED ALERT! 2006 Season Tickets at Bridgeview Stadium Now on Sale
The Fire has kicked off its public on-sale for 2006 Season Tickets at Bridgeview Stadium, giving fans the opportunity to choose their seats for the club's inaugural season at the new, world-class facility, located on the corner of 71st Street and Harlem in Bridgeview. Fans can pick out their seats by checking out the Bridgeview seating chart in the Ticket section at www.Chicago-Fire.com. For more information on the public on-sale and the Bridgeview Stadium project, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE or visit www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Fire Coaching Staff to Branch Out During Busy Weekend of Collegiate Conference Championships
While the Fire's season has only been over for two days, the club's coaching staff is already focused on its search for new talent for the 2006 edition of the "Men in Red." Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan and assistant coaches Denis Hamlett, Daryl Shore and Craig Reynolds will be traveling across the country this week to scout players at five different NCAA Division I conference championships - Atlantic Coast Conference in Cary, NC (Nov. 8, 9, 11 & 13); BIG EAST Conference in Storrs, CT (Nov. 11 & 13); Big South Conference in High Point, NC (Nov. 10, 11 & 13); Colonial Athletic Association in Norfolk, VA (Nov. 11 & 13) and Big Ten Conference in suburban Evanston, IL (Nov. 10, 11 & 13).
Monarcas Morelia Learns of Draw for 2006 InterLiga Tournament
The Fire's Mexican First Division sister club, Monarcas Morelia, has been grouped with Monterrey, Pachuca and Veracruz in Group A of the 2006 InterLiga Tournament, the qualifying tournament that will determine Mexico's two representatives in the prestigious Copa Libertadores. InterLiga 2006 will be held from January 4-15, 2006, with all matches being held on doubleheader dates across Texas and California. Morelia will begin play on Jan. 5 against Monterrey at La Joya Stadium in La Joya, TX, before heading north to the home of FC Dallas, Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX, for a tilt against Pachuca on Jan 8. The "Monarchs," who qualified for the tournament based on their combined record in the 2004 Apertura and 2005 Clausura seasons of the Mexican domestic league, will round out group play on Jan. 11 against Pachuca at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, a venue that will also host the tournament's Finals on Sunday, Jan. 15.
- One of the squad's four remaining "Fire Original" celebrates another birthday this week, as midfielder Jesse Marsch turns 32 years old today, Nov. 8.
- More and more progress is being made at the Bridgeview Stadium site everyday, and updated photos in the "Stadium" section of www.Chicago-Fire.com are up to prove it! In addition to a new set aerial photos taken in late October, fans can check out the preparations of the stadium field, which is just weeks away from being covered with an immaculate natural grass turf that should be installed by the first week of December. In addition to the newest pictures, fans can also check out the Bridgeview Stadium webcam, giving fans a chance to see up-to-the-minute progress at the future home of the Fire.
- Monarcas Morelia saw its two-game winning streak snapped in a wild 4-3 loss to Necaxa last Saturday at Morelos Stadium in Morelia. The "Monarchs" were able to knot the match after trailing by two goals, but its second attempt at erasing a two-goal margin fell short, putting a heavy dent in the squad's postseason chances. Now at 5-8-2 (17 pts.) and in fourth place in the Group One table with two games remaining in the 2005 Apertura season, Morelia will have two weeks off from Mexican First Division play while the league takes a hiatus during the upcoming FIFA international play window. Morelia will come stateside this week, taking on fellow First Division stalwart Cruz Azul at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, CA, in an exhibition contest on Wednesday, Nov. 9.