The Chicago Fire (0-1-0; 0 points) return to the Windy City this week as they welcome the New England Revolution (0-0-0; 0 points) for Opening Night at Toyota Park this Saturday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The Men in Red opened the 2013 season with a 4-0 loss to two-time defending MLS Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center Sunday afternoon. A hat trick from Galaxy forward and Chicago, Ill. native Mike Magee and a goal from Galaxy captain Robbie Keane proved the difference as the Fire dropped the first match of the 2013 MLS season.
The March 9 match marks the earliest regular season home opener in the club’s 16 seasons, nearly two weeks earlier than last year’s 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on March 24. The Fire are 9-3-3 all-time in their first match of the year in Chicago.
The Revolution, who enter the match after a bye this past weekend, went 2-3-1 in their preseason matches.
CHICAGO FIRE vs. New England Revolution Fact-sheet:
- The Fire hold a 19-15-9 regular season record against the New England Revolution, including a dominating 11-4-6 record in matches played at home.
- The Fire are 9-3-3 on Opening Day at home dating back to 1998. For only the third time in club history, the Fire will host a MLS home opener in the month of March.
- The Fire are undefeated in home openers against the Revolution with a 2-0-3 record.
- The Men in Red went 1-2-0 against the Revolution in the 2012 series. The Fire fell 2-0 at Gillette Stadium June 2 and 1-0 on Oct. 20. In the home leg of the series, Chris Rolfe converted an early penalty kick in the 5th minute and Sherjill MacDonald found his first goal in a Fire shirt in the 25th minute to lead the Fire to a 2-1 win Aug. 18.
- Fire defender Steven Kinney appeared in his first MLS match Sunday since rupturing his Achilles at The Home Depot Center Oct. 23, 2010, the final match of his rookie season.
- Arne Friedrich (hamstring) and Logan Pause (quad) were kept out of the match Sunday due to injury.
- Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere, Dilly Duka, Maicon Santos and Yazid Atouba all made their debuts for the Men in Red against the Galaxy.
- Larentowicz donned the armband in the stead of captain Logan Pause.
- Selected by the Revolution in the fourth round (45th overall) in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, Larentowicz made 111 regular season appearances for the Revolution from 2005-2009. The Revolution reached MLS Cup in his first three seasons with the side.
- Wells Thompson was drafted by the New England Revolution in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, and went on to make 71 regular season appearances in three seasons for the Revolution. In his rookie season, Thompson made 27 appearances and started 11 matches, then started all four post-season games for the Revs, including the 2007 MLS Cup final. Thompson made his MLS debut against the Fire on April 7, 2007. He also notched his first professional goal against the Men in Red on May 6, 2007.
- Larentowicz and Thompson joined the Colorado Rapids in 2010 in a trade that sent recently-retired Fire defender Cory Gibbs to the New England Revolution.
- Milford, Mass. product Michael Videira was selected in the second round (18th overall) in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft but elected to sign with Hamilton Academical of the Scottish Premier League. Videira returned to sign with the Revolution in 2009, making 12 appearances and notched a total of 973 minutes from 2009-10.