There's nothing quite like the phrase 'Chicago Fire game'. In the cold months of December and January, it can be difficult to remember the team plays these things. It's why the Chicago Fire Soccer Club exists.
Preseason has been in full-swing for over a week, it's time to see strategy in action. Today's game 1:00 PM CST vs. D.C. United starts it all. In yesterday's Q&A at the Section 8 Chicago AGM, Fire VPs Mike Ernst and Emigdio Gamboa said that today's game will not be streamed online but the organization hopes to stream the rest of the preseason matches. The Fire Twitter account will provide updates.
Earlier this week, Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas said he would play 3 groups for 30 minutes each. It will be interesting to see where some of the trialists are slotted. We might even learn some of the names of the couple of anonymous trialists that remain. Yesterday we got confirmation that Ivan Guerrero was training with the club. Who else is down there?
As for today's opponent, D.C. United? Well, Ben Olsen's face above should remind you what happened the last time these two teams squared off. Full pre-season schedule is after the break.
January 20-February 3: First Team trains in Ave Maria, Fla.
TRAINING: Chicago Fire First Team - 9:00 a.m. CT - North Park - Ave Maria, Fla.
Sunday, January 29 - Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United - 1:00 p.m. CT - Florida Gulf Coast University
Wednesday, February 1 - Chicago Fire vs. Florida Gulf Coast University - 6:00 p.m. CT - Ave Maria University
February 3-5: First Team trains in New Orleans, La.
Saturday, February 4 - Chicago Fire vs. Real C.D. Espana (HON) - 5:00 p.m. CT - Tad Gormley Stadium
February 5: First Team returns to Chicago
February 8-18: First Team trains in Ventura, Calif.
Saturday, February 11 - Chicago Fire vs. Chivas USA - Time & Location: TBD
Wednesday, February 15 - Chicago Fire vs. Portland Timbers - 1:00 p.m. CT - The Home Depot Center
Saturday, February 18 - Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes - 11:00 a.m. CT - Ventura, Calif.
February 18: First Team returns to Chicago
February 21-March 5: First Team trains in Charleston, S.C. as part of 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup
Saturday, February 25 - Chicago Fire vs. DC United - 4:00 p.m. CT - Blackbaud Stadium
Wednesday, February 29 - Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew - 4:00 p.m. CT - Blackbaud Stadium
Saturday, March 3 - Chicago Fire vs. Charleston Battery (USL) - 6:15 p.m. CT - Blackbaud Stadium
March 5: First Team returns to Chicago