- Chicago Fire sets pre-season schedule
- Fire acquire Joel Lindpere from NYRB
- Sean Johnson called into USMNT camp
Charleston, SC – Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire returns to the Carolina Challenge Cup for a third year this February and in preparation for the upcoming season the Fire has set its pre-season schedule. Chicago has also been busy in the transfer market acquiring forward Joel Lindpere from the New York Red Bulls and goalkeeper Sean Johnson has been called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s upcoming USMNT camp.
Chicago Fire Pre-Season
Chicago Fire announced their full preseason schedule last week which includes trips to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. to take on the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, Jan. 30 as well as a trip to Ventura, Calif. from Feb. 2-10 for a match against the San Jose Earthquakes at Oxnard College. The Fire will conclude its preparations for its 16th MLS season in Charleston, SC competing in the tenth annual Carolina Challenge Cup.
Estonian international Joel Lindpere has signed with Chicago Fire from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a 2013 International Roster Spot. Per team and MLS policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Estonian International made his professional debut for Estonian Meistriliiga side JK Nõmme Kalju in 1997, scoring 14 goals in just seven games. He also represented Estonian sides Lelle SK, FC Flora and FC Valga. In 2004 he transferred to Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia where he made 11 appearances. From 2007-09, Lindpere scored five goals in 75 appearances for Norwegian side Tromso IL before joining the Red Bulls in 2010.
A product of Tallinn, Estonia, Lindpere made his international debut for Estonia on Nov. 1, 1999 in a friendly against the United Arab Emirates. He scored his first international goal on Feb. 18, 2004 in a 1-0 win over Moldova, and has since scored five goals in 83 total appearances for his country.
Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson has been selected by U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann to participate in the annual January Training Camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. from Jan. 7 – 27. The three-week training camp will culminate with an international friendly against Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas on Jan. 29 at 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2).
Johnson made his international debut Jan. 22, 2011 against Chile at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Johnson has been capped twice for the United States, earning his second cap Jan. 25, 2012 against Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Johnson played the second half and preserved the shutout in a 1-0 victory.
The Lilburn, Ga. native recently returned from England, where he honed his skills with training stints with English Premier League sides Stoke City from Dec. 5 – 9 and Everton F.C. from Dec. 10 – 23.
Carolina Challenge Cup tickets
The Carolina Challenge Cup is the premier pre-season tournament in the US. Each year for the past decade the Battery has been joined by three teams from Major League Soccer for the round-robin competition. For more information or to purchase tickets please call (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.
2013 Carolina Challenge Cup tournament schedule
Saturday, February 16
Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo, 5 PM
Charleston Battery vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:15 PM
Wednesday, February 20
Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 5 PM
Charleston Battery vs. Chicago Fire, 7:15 PM
Saturday, Feb 23
Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 5 PM
Charleston Battery vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:15 PM