With the start of the MLS season set for early March, the Chicago Fire released their preseason schedule on Friday, according to a report from Len Ziehm of CSNChicago.com.
After a couple of days of medical exams at Toyota Park, the Fire will leave for Naples, Fla., to begin 10 days of workouts at Ave Maria University. There, Chicago will also play exhibition matches against Florida Gulf Coast University and the MLS's own Columbus Crew.
Preseason conditioning and exhibition contests will continue into early February, before the Fire make final regular season preparations in the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C., an exhibition tournament which takes place Feb. 23-24.
Chicago opens the regular season on March 3 on the road against the twice-defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy, and will have their first match at Toyota Park on March 9, playing host to the New England Revolution.
The Fire's 2012 campaign ended with a 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the MLS playoffs, after Chicago finished the regular season with a record of 17-6-11.