Alex

Chicago Fire

Breakdown: Fire vs. Toronto FC

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The Fire stumbles its way to another draw (ap.com)

T.J. Zaremba dissects another "Meh" performance by the Men In Red.

Chicago Fire's return to MLS action against Toronto FC was forgettable to say the least.

It looked like a battle of two teams playing early in the season, instead of a mid-season contest wherein one team had played Open Cup games the past two weeks.

Prime Your Fire Pump: Chicago vs. Toronto FC

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New year, new you. That goes for both Mike Magee and Toronto FC (mlssoccer.com)

OTF's Jon Denhamrevisits the roster, the standings, and the injury list while Tony Walsh of the Yorkies celebrates North America Day!

Where should we start, faithful Fire fans? Priming your Fire pump may seem difficult right now, but I'll get you there.

OTF Roundtable: Chicago Fire Week Six

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Alex was a box-to-box force last Saturday (photo: thestate.com)

The Roundtable brings you some over-the-counter medicine for what ails the Fire...

Well, this week's question is obvious:

What needs to happen to turn all these Fire draws into wins?

Emanuel Corpus

Emanuel is on vacation this week.

Breakdown: Fire at Impact

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Yet another strong, gutsy performance by Quincy Amarikwa (photo: chicagotribune.com)

The Fire remain winless, but OTF editor Scott Fenwick finds improvement and joy in the numbers...

If you look at the metrics, it's truly bewildering Chicago didn't come away with its first win in Montreal last weekend.

Dispatch: Chicago Fire (1) at Montreal Impact (1)

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Capitaine Jeff et le match nul dans le Dome (photo: windsorstar.com)

OTF's Brendan Carr brings you a meditation on mediocrity...

The script before the match seemed to be more important than the result. It was the battle of the sweater vests, as the two Franks, Yallop and Klopas, faced off on the Stade Olympique carpet.

OTF Roundtable: Chicago Fire Week Four

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Certainly, we all love #QuincyTime, but is it enough? (photo: chicagotribune.com)

Winless through four games, is it time for Fire Nation to press the panic button on the Men in Red, or remain patient? OTF's Roundtablers ponder the question...

OTF contributor Brendan Carr:

"After the away draw against DC United, it seems to be business as usual: Chicago Fire accepts away draws, no matter the opponent.

Dispatch: Chicago Fire (1) at Portland Timbers (1)

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Big Red converts the penalty (photo @ChicagoFire, Twitter)

OTF contributor Daniel Casey reflects on the Chicago Fire's first point of the 2014 season...

It would be wrong to characterize manager Frank Yallop's decision to change up the line-up for the second match of the season as a ‘shake-up.

Postmortem: Chicago Fire (2) at Chivas USA (3)

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Chicago Fire's Starting XI for Opening Day 2014 (Photo: Chicago-Fire.com)

OTF contributor Daniel Casey on the Chicago Fire's first loss of the 2014 season...

There's always a reason to complain. Most of the time, complaints are trifles or mere quibbling based in faux nuance.

Preseason Dispatch: Chicago Fire (2) vs. Chivas Rayadas (0)

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Saturday night's win marked consecutive preseason trophies for the Men in Red (photo: chicago-fire.com)

OTF editor Scott Fenwick wraps the Fire's preseason with a look at their final warm-up in the desert...

I find it hard to get excited about preseason trophies.

Preseason Dispatch: Chicago Fire (2) vs. FC Tuscon (0)

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Alex looked good in his new #7, as the Fire continued their preseason unbeaten run on Saturday (photo: chicago-fire.com)

OTF editor Scott Fenwick brings you a look at the second installment of the Fire's tussle down in Tuscon...

Frank Yallop and company had amassed an encouraging 5-0-0 preseason record heading into the second round of the Desert Diamond Classic, including a most recent 2-1 win over Colorado Rapids, and highlighted overall by admirable performances from the Fire's new youngsters and reserves.

Prime Your Fire Pump: Chicago vs. Toronto FC #2

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Toronto FC (and their -17 goal differential on the road) are guests at the Toyota Park finale
(photo: John Sokolowski/USA TODAY sports)

OTF's Jon Denham understands if Dilly Duka and Cacha Rios come off the bench, while Tony Walsh from The Yorkies tells tragicomedic Toronto tales.

Prime Your Fire Pump: Chicago vs. Toronto FC #2

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Toronto FC (and their -17 goal differential on the road) are guests at the Toyota Park finale
(photo: John Sokolowski/USA TODAY sports)

OTF's Jon Denham understands if Dilly Duka and Cacha Rios come off the bench, while Tony Walsh from The Yorkies tells tragic Toronto tales.

Chicago Fire Power Rankings: MLS Round 33

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El poder de La Pantera! (photo: chicago-fire.com)

Each week, OTF aggregates the power rankings and visits with the MLS pundits to see how they rate and rank our Men in Red...

HIT THE MUSIC!!! Aggregate = 11.1/19 ( +1.5 from last week) ESPN FC(10)

"You know it's your year when you're deflecting shots in off your chest.

Chicago Fire Power Rankings: MLS Round 33

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El poder de La Pantera! (photo: chicago-fire.com)

Each week, OTF aggregates the power rankings and visits with the MLS pundits to see how they rate and rank our Men in Red...

HIT THE MUSIC!!! Aggregate = 11.1/19 ( +1.5 from last week) ESPN FC(10)

"You know it's your year when you're deflecting shots in off your chest.

OTF Roundtable: Chicago Fire Week 34

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Jalil and the Beanstalk: Que Golazo! (photo: chicago-fire.com)

Each and every Wednesday, OTF contributors have their say on our Men in Red...

The Men in Red are over the thin red line again. With two games left to play, they control their own playoff destiny. Are you surprised?

OTF Roundtable: Chicago Fire Week 34

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Jalil and the Beanstalk: Que Golazo! (photo: chicago-fire.com)

Each and every Wednesday, OTF contributors have their say on our Men in Red...

The Men in Red are over the thin red line again. With two games left to play, they control their own playoff destiny. Are you surprised?

Dispatch: Chicago Fire (2) vs. Montreal Impact (2)

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Two out of three for Magia Miguel (AP Photo/Chicago Fire, Brian Kersey)

OTF's Shane Nicholson laments another blown chance by the Men in Red and wonders if they've checked their calendars lately...

Six from 18.

The Fire just went through a month in which their season was in their hands, and they took six points out of a possible 18.

Chicago Fire Power Rankings: MLS Round 29

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Move on up! (photo: chicago-fire.com)

OTF aggregates the power rankings and visits with the MLS pundits to see how they rate and rank our Men in Red...

HIT THE MUSIC!!! Aggregate = 10.6/19 ( +1.7 from two weeks ago) ESPN FC(9)

"Playing catch-up for most of the season after a terrible start, the Fire finds itself among the playoff places thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win over New England.

OTF Roundtable: Chicago Fire Week 30

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Playoffs? Let's get it started! (photo: chicago-fire.com)

Each and every Wednesday, OTF contributors have their say on our Men in Red...

Brian Howe Battle

How does a team that's squandered so many opportunities this season retain a tenuously-high standing? No doubt Frank Klopas's side played one of their best games last weekend, but they were backed up against the wall.

Dispatch: Chicago Fire (3) vs. New England Revolution (2)

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Juan Luis Anangono points skyward after his first MLS goal. (photo by chicago-fire.com)

OTF's Adam Morgan riffs on the high and low points at Toyota Park this weekend...

On Saturday evening, Chicago Fire leapt into a playoff spot for the first time in 2013. Somehow, the Men in Red overcame controversy, gaffes, missed chances, and a rather cynical opponent to earn all three points, thereby putting themselves in position to make a postseason run.

Dispatch: Chicago Fire (1) vs. Houston Dynamo (1)

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An ugly tackle to go with a less than pretty performance by the Men in Red (photo: uk.eurosport.yahoo.com)

OTF's Scott Fenwick witnessed the Moffat Bomb that netted the draw and left Fire Nation with that losing feeling...

When you pack it in with a one goal lead you, pardon the pun, play with Fire.

OTF Roundtable: Chicago Fire Week 27

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"You see that, Cacha?" "Que es eso, Magia Miguel?" "Right in front of us, those are the MLS Playoffs." (photo: chicago-fire.com)

Each and every Wednesday, OTF contributors chime in on the ups and downs of our Chicago Fire...

The Jekyll and Hyde nature of Chicago Fire continues.

OTF Roundtable: Chicago Fire Week 26

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A talented bunch who must play to their potential sooner rather than later (photo: chicago-fire.com)

Each and every Wednesday, OTF contributors chime in on the state of our Chicago Fire...

There was a lot of gloom and doom after the 2-0 loss to New England this weekend.

Prime Your Fire Pump: Chicago vs. DC United #2

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Will young Jalil redeem himself this weekend? (photo: 1000goals.com)

OTF's Scott Fenwick and Luis Perez, Jr. of DCU 4 Life come together to ponder how exciting 8th place vs. 10th place truly is...

With lowly DC United in town, Chicago Fire is damned if they do and really damned if they don't.

Dispatch: Chicago Fire (3) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (2)

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Dilly Duka and the Fire Never Say Die!!! (photo: chicago-fire.com)

OTF's Daniel Casey on another comeback victory for the Men in Red...

I wouldn't be comfortable calling the Fire's win over San Jose ugly, but it certainly wasn't pretty. At the same time though, it was an enjoyable match to watch.

Breakdown: Fire vs. Timbers

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Excitement! Hugs! Goals! (photo: chicago-fire.com)

OTF's Mark Rogers ponders the Fire's direction after a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Portland at home...

Well, for those of you who watched the Men in Red take on Portland last Saturday night, that sure was something wasn't it?

English Premier League

Manchester United linked with former Chelsea powerhouse

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Manchester United linked with former Chelsea powerhouse - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Manchester United have been linked with a move for PSG defender Alex, with David Moyes set to instigate a complete overhaul of his defence in the summer.

Alex is named, in a typically manic report from the Guardian, as just one of a great many potential United targets,with the club approaching arguably the most important transfer market in their recent history.

Who Are Ya? Olivier Kemen (Newcastle United)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Olivier Kemen Age: 16 Position: Midfielder Signed from: Metz Fee: Undisclosed (rumoured £600,000) Did you know? Kemen had the chance to join Lyon's youth set-up three years ago but was impressed by Metz's academy and joined them instead.

Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger tells Serge Gnabry to take his big chance

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Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal youngster to take advantage of the "fantastic opportunity" to establish himself as a first-team regular. Injuries to Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain have presented the 18-year-old with the chance to get some game-time under his belt. The German youngster featured in last weekend's victory against Stoke, and Wenger wants [.

Photo: Arsenal new boy Mesut Ozil meets Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski

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Mesut Özil with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. #aha pic.twitter.com/5uH1kPaFVp Sir Jenkinson (@theEpicGooner) September 11, 2013 Arsenal's record signing Mesut Ozil has arrived at the club's training ground for the first time. The £42.4m man returned from international duty to report with the Gunners for the first time since joining from Real Madrid.

FIFA 14 Bench Edition: Emmanuel Frimpong winds up former Arsenal team-mates Samir Nasri and Alex Song

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Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has been taking aim at former Gunners Samir Nasri and Alex Song. With the internet abuzz over the launch of the FIFA 14 demo, Frimpong uploaded a photo of a very special 'Bench Edition' of the game, with Nasri and Song as the cover stars. Frimpong clearly feels that the duo [.

Arsenal close to £14m signing of Luiz Gustavo from Bayern Munich

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Arsenal are on the verge of making their first big-name signing of the summer in the form of Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo, the Daily Telegraph reports. The holding player was often involved in the Bayern side that won the treble last season, but the arrival of Thiago Alcantara means he has fallen down the [.

Video: Alex Oxlade Chamberlain mocks Arsenal team-mate Aaron Ramsey over lack of pace

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Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was ridiculed by team-mates Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Theo Walcott over his lack of pace. The Welshman's post-match interview was hijacked by the Ox, who immediately quizzed him on his failure to get on the end of a long ball from Lukasz Fabianski. Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain then took it in turns [.

Arsenal could do a lot worse than PSG defender!

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Arsenal should go for Sakho by Stefan

Now is the time for Arsene Wenger to move for Paris Saint Germain's Mamadou Sakho. The young French centre back has recently said that he may leave the French champions if he does not get more game time in a congested defence that has now got even worse because of the £27 million signing of Marquinhos from Roma.

Video: Vietnam 1-7 Arsenal

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Arsenal eased to a 7-1 victory in their pre-season friendly against Vietnam. French striker Olivier Giroud scored a hat-trick his second is worth watching out for in the video above and was joined on the scoresheet by Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Chuba Akpom (2) and Ignasi Miquel. Vietnam pulled a goal back late on [.

Video: Promo for new Arsenal away kit, featuring Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott, Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Ramsey

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Arsenal's British players have fronted a promotional video for the club's new away kit, which was unveiled yesterday. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott, Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Ramsey star alongside Arsenal fans as they all prepare for a match by following their own rituals. The video is built around the tagline: "Our Style.

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain’s dad falls asleep, misses his goal against Brazil

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Mark Chamberlain, dad of England star Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, missed his son's excellent goal against Brazil after falling asleep during the game. The former England international blamed an early morning airport run for his dozing, but we reckon the first-half of the match should also shoulder some of the blame.

Video: Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade Chamberlain claims Neymar’s shirt mid-match (Brazil 2-2 England)

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England goalscorer Alex Oxlade Chamberlain came in for some minor criticism during the 2-2 draw with Brazil after being spotted staking a claim for Neymar's shirt during the game. The Arsenal midfielder struck up a shirt-swap deal with Brazil's Barca-bound pin-up boy in the middle of the match. ITV pundits Gareth Southgate and, particularly, Roy [.

The Rest

Prime Your Fire Pump: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution #2

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Can the Fire snatch another draw from the hands of victory or defeat? (Getty Images)

OTF's Jon Denham welcomes UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug Matthew Fondy to the roster in the form of a letter, and Seth Macomber of The Bent Musket explains why he prefers the Revolution score first...

With the summer schedule in full swing, Chicago Fire, now semifinalists in the U.

Dispatch: Chicago Fire (3) at FC Dallas (2)

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Young Jalil Anibaba and the Chicago Fire are in the midst of a delicate balancing act (photo: youtube.com)

OTF's Brian Howe Battle takes a closer look at last Saturday night's Chicago win and cautions Fire Nation to take it one game at a time...

Studies have shown that fewer options will ultimately make people more happy.