Chicago Fire to return for Carolina Challenge Cup | Sports & Recreation
DANIEL ISLAND (WCSC) - Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire will return to compete in the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup. Chicago returns to Charleston for a second consecutive year, the Battery and the Fire played to a feisty 0-0 draw in the final match of last year’s tournament in a game that saw three players red-carded. The 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup will be hosted by the Charleston Battery Feb 25 – March 4, 2012 and feature the Battery, DC United, the Chicago Fire and one additional team from Major League Soccer.
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced last week that Technical Director Frank Klopas will be the new head coach of the team. With the move, the club removed the “interim” tag from his title after Klopas guided the Fire to an 8-5-10 record and the final of the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Fire original becomes the first former Fire player to be named head coach, and the sixth in the club history.
In 1998, their inaugural league season, the Fire won MLS Cup as well as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (the "double"). They have also captured the 2000, 2003, and 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups. The Battery has met Chicago in the Open Cup on two occasions winning via a penalty-kick shoot-out in the 3rd round of the 2010 tournament and losing in the 2004 edition; both matches were played in Chicago.
The Carolina Challenge Cup is the premier pre-season tournament in the US. Each year the Battery is joined by three teams from Major League Soccer for the round-robin competition. Beginning in 2011 the tournament also featured a youth element as the MLS teams brought their USSF Academy sides to Charleston for a parallel USSF Academy tournament.
The final Major League Soccer team for the 2012 Carolina Challenge Cup will be announced in the coming weeks, tickets will go on sale later this month. For more information please call (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.
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