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Chicago Fire Weekly Notes

March 22, 2010 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire FC News Release


The Chicago Fire will open the 2010 MLS season against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, March 27 at 6:00 PM CT. The Fire will play in the inaugural MLS match at the Red Bull's state-of-the-art soccer specific stadium, in a nationally televised game on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Click here for a virtual tour of the new Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

CHICAGO FIRE VS. NEW YORK RED BULLS NOTES

* Both coaches in this Eastern Conference match-up will be making their MLS debuts. Carlos de los Cobos, who joined the Fire in January, enters his first season as the club's head coach after an illustrious career as a player and coach in Mexico and Central America. From 2006-09 de los Cobos led the El Salvador Men's national team to its deepest run in FIFA World Cup Qualifying since 1998. In the offseason the Red Bulls signed international coach, Hans Backe, a former Danish SuperLiga coach and Sven-Goran Eriksson assistant. Backe is the first Swedish born coach in MLS history.

* Juan Pablo Angel returns for his fourth season with the Red Bulls. The veteran Colombian forward tallied 12 goals in 25 league matches in 2009.

* MLS All-Time Best XI forward Brian McBride returns for his 11th season in MLS. In 2009, the 37-year-old, three-time World Cup player led the Fire with seven goals and two assists.

* Entering his 13th season with the Fire, veteran defender CJ Brown will surpass Cobi Jones for number of consecutive seasons with the same MLS club. Jones played 12 seasons with the LA Galaxy from 1996-2007.

* The Fire are 20-10-6 since the sides first met in 1998, the Fire's inaugural season.

* The Fire are 4-3-5 all-time during First Kick weekend, going 2-0-1 in the last three season openers, defeating Brimstone Cup rivals FC Dallas 3-1 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas during First Kick 2009.

* In 2009, the Fire defeated the Red Bulls twice, with both matches resulting in 1-0 Fire victories. Marco Pappa's 33rd minute goal proved the difference as the Fire won at TOYOTA PARK and Chris Rolfe's strike just ahead of halftime was enough for the Fire to leave the Meadowlands with a sweep of their Eastern Conference rivals.

2010 CHICAGO FIRE KICKOFF LUNCHEON NEARLY SOLD OUT

The Chicago Fire Foundation announced today that it has limited tickets remaining for the 2010 Chicago Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon taking place on Wednesday, March 24 at 11:00 AM CT at the Swissotel Chicago. The annual event benefits the Chicago Fire Foundation, the charitable sector of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club.

Prominent Chicago sports anchor Jim Rose will moderate a Fire Side Chat with Fire forward Brian McBride, Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos and Technical Director Frank Klopas. Fans and media in attendance will meet the team ahead of the 2010 MLS season, and are available to participate in a "wine lottery" and silent auction, with the proceeds being donated to the Chicago Fire Foundation.

For tickets to the luncheon, please call 1-708-496-6740.

CHICAGO FIRE - NOTRE DAME MATCH CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW

Due to inclement weather, the Fire's final preseason fixture ahead of the 2010 MLS season was cancelled. Both teams arrived to TOYOTA PARK early Saturday morning with the intention of playing in the blustery Chicago spring conditions, however, after checking the field conditions and surveying the weather forecast, the Fire decided to cancel the match. With the game being cancelled, members of Section 8 who braved the snowy conditions to come out to TOYOTA PARK were given a tour of the stadium. A Section 8 "meet-and-greet" with Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos will be rescheduled for a later date.

INDIVIDUAL GAME TICKETS NOW ON SALE

Individual game tickets for all 2010 MLS regular season Chicago Fire matches at TOYOTA PARK are now on sale. The Fire have individual tickets starting at just $22. For more information on any Chicago Fire ticket package please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473) or visit the club's official website at www.chicago-fire.com.

With a balanced schedule, each of MLS' other 15 clubs will make an appearance at TOYOTA PARK during the 2010 regular season, including Opening Night against the San Jose Earthquakes on April 10 at 7:30 PM CT, the LA Galaxy (Sept. 4) and the expansion Philadelphia Union (June 5).

FIRE UNVEIL 2010 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

The Fire is slated to appear in a total of 16 nationally televised broadcasts throughout its 13th season of MLS play. For the third consecutive year, every Fire game will be televised, either through national or regional broadcasts, or on the MLS Direct Kick package. Please head to www.chicago-fire.com for the club's full MLS schedule.

OPENING NIGHT TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE AT TOYOTA PARK

Fire fans hoping to secure seats for Opening Night vs. San Jose on Saturday, April 10 at 7:30 PM CT can now purchase group tickets via the front office. Tickets start at just $18 for groups of 15 or more. Fans wishing to purchase group tickets can do so by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473).

Full Season Ticket packages as well as partial season ticket packages are currently available. The Fire are currently taking deposits and are available now by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE or clicking on the TICKETS link on the club's official website, www.chicago-fire.com.

FOLLOW THE CHICAGO FIRE 24/7 ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Fans can follow the Chicago Fire on the web at www.Chicago-Fire.com, on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/ChiFireSoccer on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ChicagoFire or the Fire's blog EN FUEGO.


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