FORT MYERS, Fla. – Professional soccer is coming to the FGCU campus on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m., when the MLS’s Chicago Fire and D.C. United compete in a preseason exhibition at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
“Giving local soccer players and clubs the chance to see MLS professionals compete right here in Fort Myers is a great opportunity,” said fifth-year FGCU head men’s soccer coach Bob Butehorn. “We are excited to host this preseason exhibition and we are certainly looking forward to a great turnout on Sunday afternoon.”
Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance, as a sellout crowd is expected for the Sunday afternoon contest. Tickets will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com/tickets on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. and will go offline on Friday, Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the gate based on availability the day of the game. Adult tickets are $12 and children 12 and under are $8.
Since 1996, the pair of clubs have combined for five MLS Championships, five MLS Supporters’ Shields and six US Open Cups. The Chicago Fire finished sixth in the Eastern Conference standings last season, one spot out of playoff contention, holding a 9-9-16 overall record. Meanwhile, the D.C. United landed seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 9-13-12 mark.
At halftime of the Sunday afternoon exhibition, the FGCU men’s soccer team will be recognized for their outstanding on-field success this 2011 fall season. After successfully defending its A-Sun regular season title with a 7-1 conference mark, the Green and Blue entered the A-Sun Tournament as the league’s No. 1 seed. The Eagles went on to a pair of one-goal victories of fourth-seeded Mercer (2-1) and sixth-seeded tournament host ETSU (1-0) to clinch their first-ever A-Sun Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berth in the program’s first year of postseason eligibility.
As part of the spring training season, the Eagles will follow the Sunday exhibition with a contest of their own against the Fire on Wednesday, Feb. 1, on the campus of Ave Maria University beginning at 7 p.m. Also on the schedule for the spring season, the Eagles will travel to Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 11, to compete against the MLS’s Philadelphia Union with a start time to be determined.
Sunday, January 29
Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United – 2:00 p.m. ET – Florida Gulf Coast University
Wednesday, February 1
Chicago Fire vs. Florida Gulf Coast University – 7:00 p.m. ET – Ave Maria University