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Chicago Fire Announce 2011 Preseason Schedule; will play New York Red Bulls, DC United, Toronto FC, others in Florida & South Carolina

While some MLS teams are starting their pre-season training today, the Chicago Fire sent out a press release with their entire pre-season schedule. Can you believe that there are just 61 days until the start of the 2011 season?

Highlights include the Carolina Challenge Cup that is going to be hosted by the Charleston Battery in Charleston, South Carolina. Chicago will take on Toronto FC on March 5 at 3:00 PM CST, DC United on March 9 at 3:00 PM CST, and the Charleston Battery on March 12 at 5:15 PM CST (and you thought you had removed those terrible memories of the US Open Cup last year). A group of Chicago Fire fans are going down to support the team but you might want to consider keeping your travel plans for the regular season.

Players report to Bridgeview starting on January 28 although some of the players like Daniel Paladini have already announced they are in town per Twitter. The team will start training at the Brideview Soccer & Sports Dome starting on January 31 and they will start training in Florida on February 15. February 23 features a doubleheader with the Red Bulls. Some players will impress, others will no doubt not impress. Good luck to all. I would say some players will get cut but we have 26 players for a 30 man roster... For those interested, the full pre-season schedule is after the break.

Chicago Fire 2011 Preseason Schedule (all times CT):

Jan. 28: Players report to TOYOTA PARK

Jan. 28 - Jan. 30: Fitness and Medical Examinations at TOYOTA PARK

Jan. 31 - Feb. 5: Training at the Bridgeview Soccer & Sports Dome

Feb. 6: Players off in Chicago, IL

Feb. 7-11: Training at the Bridgeview Soccer & Sports Dome

Feb. 12 - Feb. 13: Players off in Chicago

Feb. 14: Travel to Ave Maria, FL

Feb. 15- Feb. 26: Training in Ave Maria, FL

Feb. 17: Match vs. Florida Gulf Coast University

Feb. 20: Match vs. TBD (TBA)

Feb. 23: Match vs. New York Red Bulls (10 and noon)

Feb. 26: Match vs. TBD (TBA),

Feb. 26: Return to Chicago

Feb. 27 - March 1: Players off in Chicago

March 2: Travel to Charleston, SC

March 5: Match vs. Toronto FC (4:00 PM)

March 9: Match vs. D.C. United (4:00 PM)

March 12: Match vs. Charleston Battery (6:15)

March 13: Return to Chicago

March 14: 2011 Season Kickoff Luncheon at Hyatt Regency Chicago

March 14 - March 18: Training at TOYOTA PARK

March 19: First Kick match on the road against FC Dallas (7:30 PM)

March 26: Opening Day at TOYOTA PARK versus Sporting KC (3:00 PM)