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Fire to Host International Friendlies vs. Celtic, Cracovia

May 3, 2007 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire News Release

BRIDGEVIEW, IL (May 3, 2007) - The Chicago Fire have scheduled international exhibitions with Scottish Premier League powerhouse Celtic Football Club and Polish First League side MKS Cracovia Kraków this summer at TOYOTA PARK. The Fire meet Cracovia on June 22 (8 p.m. CT) and will play host to Celtic on July 22 (3 p.m. CT), three days after the Glasgow club participates in the 2007 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game.

Tickets can be purchased beginning today through the TOYOTA PARK box office and other TicketMaster outlets. A special two-game package is currently available, which includes admission for one of the two international friendly games and the Thursday, May 17 match-up against Brimstone Cup rival FC Dallas at TOYOTA PARK. For more ticket information, call 1-888-MLS-FIRE or visit www.chicago-fire.com.

"These games offer a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase world-class soccer," said Fire President/CEO John Guppy. "We're very pleased to bring top-flight professional clubs from Europe to TOYOTA PARK. Celtic is known the world over for its loyal following and is steeped in tradition. Cracovia will be very well received by the Chicago Polish community, which in the past has been a strong fan base for the Fire."

Celtic FC recently clinched the Scottish Premier League (SPL) title, the club's 41st domestic title. "The Hoops" have won back-to-back championships, capturing five of the last seven league crowns. Celtic went unbeaten in an astonishing 31 of 34 games this season, notching a 25-3-6 overall record in the SPL. Among the team's most notable stars are Japanese international Shunsuke Nakamura (recently named SPL player of the year), and Polish National Team member Maciej "Magic" Zurawski.

"We are delighted to be able to confirm this match against Chicago Fire," commented Celtic FC Chief Executive Peter Lawwell. "Celtic Football Club enjoys a fantastic support in the United States and we have previously enjoyed excellent tours in America. This match will be another great opportunity for our fans to see the team play on American soil."

Cracovia stands seventh in the Orange Ekstraklasa (Polish First League), sporting a 10-9-5 record. The "Pasy", or Stripes have won five league titles all-time. The oldest active club in Poland, Cracovia was founded in 1906 and plays at Pope John Paul II Stadium in Kraków.

"We expect that the match on the 22nd of June at the TOYOTA PARK played with the Chicago Fire team will attract a large number of spectators, especially those of Polish origin," said Cracovia President/Chairman Janusz Filipiak. "We promise all supporters to play beautiful football for which Cracovia is well known to create a unique ambiance during the match."

The Chicago Fire is 10-6-2 all-time against international competition, taking on teams from eight different countries. Chicago will be encountering a Scottish club for the first time. In the Fire's only other contest against a Polish team in 1999, the "Men in Red" defeated Legia-Daewoo Warsaw 3-2 at Soldier Field. Chicago last faced European competition in a high-profile friendly against A.C. Milan on July 27, 2005 at Soldier Field.


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