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Fire Thu Jul 16 2009

Chicago Fire Ablaze in SuperLiga Tournament

This week has been full of high points for the Chicago Fire: reaching the first place position in the Eastern Conference with a tie against the Columbus Crew; having two players, defender Wilman Conde and midfielder Cuauhtémoc Blanco, selected for the MLS All-Star First XI; topping off with a 2-1 win in the SuperLiga semifinals against defending champions New England Revolution. Yes, the team is certainly--pardon the pun--on fire.

The semifinal match took place last night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. This is the first year that the Chicago Fire has participated in the SuperLiga tournament, but they are extremely familiar with New England. The Fire have played the Revolution in 35 regular season games and 13 post-season matches. And while the Revolution had the upper hand at home last night, holding a 15-8-2 record against the Fire when playing at Gillette Stadium, Chicago showed no sign of intimidation.

The Fire struck first in the 34th minute with a powerful shot from forward Brian McBride, set up nicely by midfielder Cuauhtémoc Blanco. A mere 10 minutes later, the Revolution's Edgaras Jankauskas evened the score with a lucky left-footer that ricocheted off Fire midfielder John Thorrington. The score was tied 1-1 as the teams returned from half-time, but soon after, in the 63rd minute, Blanco took advantage of a free kick opportunity after McBride was fouled. Blanco delivered a bending shot that flew inside the left post to score the winning goal.

The Fire will host the Tigres UANL on August 5 for the final of the SuperLiga. Tickets for the event are on sale today, and are available through ticketmaster, the Chicago Fire website, the Toyota Park box office, or by calling 888-MLS-FIRE.

Chicago will also be returning to regular MLS play this Saturday, July 18, when they face the San Jose Earthquakes. They hope to advance their lead in the Eastern Conference with this match, and they need plenty of support from fans. The game will be played at Toyota Park and begins at 7:30 p.m.

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