Here's some Fire tidbits that you might have missed:
-- Marco Pappa's 20-yard blast for the lone goal in last weekend's home-opening loss to San Jose was nominated for Major League Soccer's goal-of-the-week.
-- Former Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco was one of 17 players called up by Mexico national team coach Javier Aguirre for his team's first four North American exhibition matches leading into the World Cup finals. Blanco, now playing for Veracruz of the Mexican second division, will be included when Mexico faces Senegal in the second of the exhitions, on May 10 at Soldier Field. First of the exhibitions in May 7 vs. Ecuador in New Jersey.
-- D.C. United, the Fire's opponent Saturday on the road, has three players on its roster who came out of the Fire Development system. Thabisco Khumalo trained with the Fire from 2003-04 and was drafted 36th overall by the Fire in 2005. Brandon Barklage was in the Fire Development system in 2008 and Barry Rice in 2009. Barklage and Khamalo are midfielders and Rice a defender.
-- A ``Fire Goes Green'' promotion will be featured at the next home game -- April 24 vs. Houston. Fire players and staffers will plant 40 tries around Toyota Park at noon on Thursday, April 22, and then wear commemorative jerseys against Houston that will be auctioned off afterwards. Proceeds will go to the Chicago Fire Foundation.
-- The Chicago Red Stars, which shares Toyota Park with the Fire for its home games, plays its first match of the season in Bridgeview on Saturday when Saint Louis Athletica visits. The Red Stars also announced a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago and Northwest Indiana. The Red Stars will wear the charity's logo on its jerseys.