As MLS camps open across the country Fire players are set to report to Toyota Park on Wednesday and Thursday for physicals and medical exams before heading off to Ave Maria, Florida to begin training. The club has also released their full pre-season itinerary. Warm up fixtures include:
January 29 (1:00 pm) vs DC United at Florida Gulf Coast University
February 1 (6:00pm) vs Florida Gulf Coast University at Ave Maria University
February 4 (5:00pm) vs Real CD Espana in New Orleans, LA
February 8-18 Training in Ventura, CA - Games and opponents to be determined
February 25 (4:00pm) vs DC United at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC
February 29 (4:00pm) vs Columbus Crew in Charleston, SC
March 3 (6:15pm) vs Charleston Battery in Charleston, SC
The Fire are sending one lucky season ticket holder to the Carolina Challenge Cup in early March. All season ticket holders who have bought or renewed tickets by February 3 are eligible to win a trip for two to catch the March 3 game against the Battery.
Ring of Fire?
With Fire original Zach Thornton apparently set to announce his retirement it got me wondering how long it will take the Fire original to find a place in the club's Ring of Fire. The club apparently changed the rules for selection last season by instituting a mandatory one year after retiring requirement but the rules and process for selection are still a bit fuzzy. That led to me wondering whether or not CJ Brown would be rightfully inducted this season. Real Salt Lake pays their only visit to Toyota Park on May 9. That should be a no-brainer no matter what the new rules are.
Weigh in on whether or not Thornton should be included next season in the newest Fire Confidential poll found on the right rail of the page.
The MLS supplemental draft will be held tomorrow and the Fire will have two picks to make. While it won't get the hype or coverage of last week's Superdraft, tomorrow's event can prove to be very benificial. Fire 'keeper Sean Johnson was selected in 2010's fourth round.