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Red Stars/Fire notebook: Red Stars roll out 2016 schedule

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

The Chicago Red Stars, which will call Toyota Park in Bridgeview their home in 2016, will open the season April 16 in Houston and will make their home debut at 6 p.m. April 23 against Western New York,

The first homestand will continue the following weekend when first-year NWSL club Orlando Pride and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan comes to Bridgeview at 5 p.m. May 1.
 
The 20 game schedule includes a four-game regional matchup against back-to-back reigning NWSL Champions FC Kansas City, with two slated at Toyota Park on May 13 and Sept. 7.
Things could get exciting toward the end of the season when the final four games feature playoff semifinal contenders Seattle Reign FC, FC Kansas City (twice) and te Washington Spirit. The top four teams in the standings qualify for a spot in the NWSL playoffs.


The NWSL will also be taking a majority of August off due to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
 
The Red Stars begin their preseason in March with three matchups against Illinois State University, Notre Dame and Northwestern University.

 
United States Women’s National team members Christen Press and Julie Johnston return to Chicago in 2016 and are joined by U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who was acquired from the Boston Breakers during the offseason. Reigning NWSL Rookie of the Year Danielle Colaprico will enter into preseason with the Red Stars after earning her first call-up by the U.S. National Team during January camp. 

Season tickets and flex packs are currently on sale, with individual tickets going on sale at 10 a.m. today. Red Stars season ticket memberships allow fans to experience Toyota Park tours, invitations to season ticket member events with the Red Stars team and discounts on merchandise and camps.

For more information about becoming a season ticket member, call 773-697-8699.
 
 Fire faces champs

The Chicago Fire, which opened the Simple Invitational in Portland, Oregon, with a 3-2 victory over Vancouver on Saturday, faced Minnesota on Wednesday night and will take on defending MLS champion Portland on Sunday.

First-year Fire coach Veljno Paunovic said he wants his team to treat the Portland game like all of the others.

“Our approach for every game is that we want to win,” he said. “We have to be aware of what we want to achieve at this point in the preseason and meet our goals for the long term. For us, every game is special and every opponent is special.’’

Against Vancouver, John Goossens scored with an assist from Matt Polster while Gilberto and Kennedy Igboananike scored on penalty kicks.

 Discounted tickets available for opener

Premier tickets, usually $42, are available for $20 for the March 6 opener against New York at Toyota Park. Corner Kick tickets, which are usually $32, are available for $13 at   www.chicago-fire.com/cccfb.