Pizza Hut Park
Rick Yeatts

FC Dallas face Chicago Fire in home opener

FRISCO, Texas (Monday, Dec. 20, 2010) – Coming off the most successful season in franchise history, FC Dallas opens the 2011 season against the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 19 at Pizza Hut Park, the club announced today.

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Led by 2010 Coach of the Year Schellas Hyndman, the reigning Western Conference Champions will look to take their first step towards returning to Major League Soccer’s biggest stage against Brimstone Cup Rivals the Chicago Fire.

An annual competition founded by FC Dallas and Fire supporters during the 2001 season, the Brimstone Cup is awarded to the club with the better record in head-to-head competition during that season. FC Dallas has not lost the Brimstone Cup in nine seasons.

As the reigning Western Conference Champions, FC Dallas earned its first trip to the MLS Cup in 2010 following a record-setting year that saw the club set MLS marks for its 19-game unbeaten streak and its 12-game road unbeaten streak. The Dallas side also tied the MLS mark for fewest losses in an MLS season with four, while the Dallas defense allowed the fewest goals against in club history with only 28 through 30 games.

The first match of Major League Soccer’s 16th season will kick off on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 when Seattle Sounders FC host the LA Galaxy live on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. CT. All 18 clubs will take the field during the opening “First Kick” week as they embark on a 34-game, balanced regular season in which every club will face each of the other 17 twice – once at home, once on the road. Ten teams will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

By the end of Week 2 of the 2011 season, 16 clubs will have played in front of their home fans. The Portland Timbers begin their inaugural MLS campaign at the MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids on March 19, and celebrate the opening of the fully-renovated PGE Park on April 14 against the Chicago Fire. Sporting Kansas City begins its landmark season on the road while the finishing touches are made to KC Stadium, a stunning new soccer venue that stages its first MLS match on June 9, also against the Fire.

The schedule for all 18 home openers is below. Additional games and national television broadcasts will be announced at a later date. The entire 2011 MLS regular season will be released by early February. 

Home club listed first; All times Central

Tuesday, March 15

Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, March 19

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC, time TBD

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, 6:30 p.m. 

New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 6:30 p.m.

FC Dallas vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m. CALL 888-FCD-GOAL TO PURCHASE TICKETS NOW!

Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30pm

Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers, 8 p.m.

Chivas USA vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9:30 p.m.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m. 

Sunday, March 20

LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution, 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 26

Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City, 3 p.m. 

Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls, 3 p.m.

Philadelphia Union vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 3 p.m.

Toronto FC vs. Portland Timbers, time TBD

New England Revolution vs. D.C. United, time TBD 

Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy, 8 p.m.

Thursday, April 14

Portland Timbers vs. Chicago Fire, 10 p.m. 

Thursday, June 9

Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire, time TBD