With Bastian Schweinsteiger expected in Chicago tomorrow and officially presented on Wednesday, the talk over the last week has been all about the Fire's newest acquisition. With that in mind, as we await word on his P-1 visa status, here's a full recap of Nelson Rodriguez's tele-conference last Tuesday after the announcement of his signing was made: Nelson Rodriguez opening statement "Obviously, this is a very big day for our club and I also believe, for Major League Soccer in announcing that we've acquired the services of one of the great champions in all of sport, Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Current Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to join the Fire. Per multiple sources, Chicago/MLS has agreed to terms with the former German national team captain. The deal will be finalized pending Manchester United's formal release of the final year of his contract, which runs until summer of 2018.
An eleventh minute red card set the tone for the match but the Fire didn't exactly cover themselves in glory through the first ten minutes of this match. Atlanta took an early lead in the 4th minute and Chicago seemed to be in complete "absorb and counter" mode even before Johan Kappelhof was sent off.
What Are They All About? Atlanta United
A win over a Western Conference opponent, four points and second place in the table, a debut goal from Nikolic, and a clean sheet. No, that's not what happened in a FIFA simulation. The Chicago Fire continued their apparent turn around in beating Real Salt Lake2-0 at Toyota Park.
In recent past seasons, sure victories against wounded or struggling opponents have been hard to come by for the Chicago Fire. Countless late and sometimes fluky goalscombined with subpar performances turned many home contests into a study in frustration. Perhaps the tables are starting to turn somewhat.
What Are They All About? Real Salt Lake
A point is a point is a point is a point. The Chicago Fire rebounded from a lackadaisical first half against Columbus Crew SC this past weekend to dominate the second half and leave Ohio with a draw. David Accam opened his account for the season in the 73rd minute while Nemanja Nikolic showed his quality, but just missed out on etching his name onto the score sheet.
After a less than rousing first half in which Columbus controlled most of the play and easily could have come away with more than a 1-0 half-time lead, a tactical shift reversed the course of the action and put Chicago on the front foot in the second half. A change to a 4-3-3 formation opened up the attack and provided Dax McCarty with a little more help in controlling the middle of the pitch.
The season is finally here. After the match preview, have a look at the Fire Confidential crew's season predictions.
What Are They All About? Columbus Crew SC
It's finally here! After going undefeated in preseason, the Chicago Fire will face their first real challenge of 2017 as they take on Columbus Crew SC on Saturday at 1 p.
Optimism always abounds at the Annual Fire Kick-Off Luncheon and this year's event was no different. The 6-0-0 record this preseason has helped fuel that a bit but the numbers were downplayed across the board. There may be more reason for optimism this year with the addition of proven players like Dax McCarty, Juninho, and Nemanja Nikolic.
The past few preseasons have provided false hope by way of positive exhibition results coming into league play, but this 6-0-0 run from the Fire has a slightly different feel to it. This version of the Fire concluded training camp with its most impressive result so far, a 4-1 defeat of defending Eastern Conference champion Toronto FC.
What Are They All Aboot, eh? Toronto FC
It all comes down to this. After defeating FC Cincinnati 3-2 this past Wednesday, the Chicago Fire have set themselves up to claim a three year undefeated preseason streak this Saturday. Opting to start what looks to be his preferred eleven and giving them significant minutes–an average of sixty-four minutes for the starters–Paunovic has breezed through the strenuous endeavor of playing against college teams, lower league opposition, and MLS academies to find himself on the brink of glory.
Being able to carry over preseason success to the regular season is something the Fire haven't been able to do over the last several seasons. With their most difficult test ahead of them against Toronto FC on Saturday, the Fire have managed to emerge victorious from every first team match they started so far.
What Are They All About? FC Cincinnati
You get a goal, you get a goal, everyone gets a goal! The Chicago Fire steam rolled past Miami FC in another Suncoast showcase match as they netted five times against a poor and out of sorts NASL side. Two head scratching defensive lapses saw them concede twice for a final score line of 5-2.
The competition so far this preseason may not be of the highest quality, but the Fire continue to show that they are capable of putting away chances with a revamped attack. Chicago handled NASL side Miami FC easily en route to their fourth victory against zero losses in first team games this preseason.
Before jumping into the preview, check out the latest episode of the Fire Confidential Live podcast with guest MLSsoccer.com's Sam Stejskal right here. Also check out the Fire Confidential AMA over on Reddit.
What Are They All About? Miami FC
The wins just keep coming.