The Chicago Fire won't win awards for stylish soccer after their first two matches of the 2017 campaign, but there are plenty of indications that they are on the right path. Their 2:0 win on Saturday over Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park was built on pragmatism, hard work, and taking advantage of opportunity.
Way back in the nineties, I worked my way through undergrad as an equipment manager for Illinois State's football (the other football) team. When I wasn't on the practice field or traveling around the country to away games, I spent most of my time working in the equipment room.
The "OriginalRecipe" OTF Roundtable returns. Preseasonpracticehas begun,the team looksconsiderably younger and(dare wesay it), there are even some signs of hope. Evensome of OTF'sperma-skeptics may be coming around to the team ... maybe.
Today's roundtable question:
What is one prediction about the 2016Fire season that you aresure will come true?
After this weekend's activitiesfriend of OTF, Mr.Marty Tomszak, brings you a soulful message of protest...
Dearest Fire Family,
Congratulations on a successful Black Out! If you need help gauging whether or not this is the case, you simply have to look at the ferocity with which Monterrey Security tore up the black banner as it made its way into the Club STH sections near Owner and Chairman Andy Hauptman's box.
OTF friend Marty Tomszak brings you a soulful message of protest...
Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of being surrounded by a wonderful group of people on a bus ride to Philadelphia for Chicago Fire's US Open Cup semifinal against the Philadelphia Union. It wasn't my first S8OT trip (and it won't be my last), but it was certainly one of the most memorable.
Ten years ago last week, news broke that thefirst President and General Manager of the Chicago Fire was leaving the club. DespiteWilt's departure from Major League Soccer, his influence in the North American game remains.
In an age of "Circle the Wagon" franchise mentality,Wilt is a champion of fan culture, corporate accessibility, andorganizational transparency.
Harry Shipp notched another brace on Saturday (photo: chicago-fire.com)
OTF's Brendan Carr brings you more dropped points at home...
"Another one bites the dust," albeit an exciting one at home to Seattle. Meanwhile, Fire fans are left to think what's next. Nothing but the record seems to be falling for the Fire, as they dropped to a poor 2-4-8 on the weekend.
Both the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew come into 2017 looking to turn a page and forget about their respective dismal 2016 campaigns. They squared off on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in the season opener on a chilly afternoon and battled to a 1:1 draw. Based on the soccer on display it's unlikely that either side learned much about whether 2017 will bring more joy than 2016 did, but both teams have a lot of work ahead if they want to be competitive.
The Chicago Fire put on a display of powerful attacking capability en route to a 3:0 demolition of the Montreal Impact on Saturday. The soggy, miserable conditions at Toyota Park seemed to have a bigger effect on Montreal than on the home side. The Impact looked ready to pack it in by halftime.
The Chicago Fire uncorked their attacking power when they took on New York City FC on Friday at Yankee Stadium and were 2:0 up before a half hour had elapsed. But fundamental defensive errors at the most crucial moments proved costly, as NYC conjured goals in stoppage time of both halves and salvaged a point that they had no business winning.
Give us fuel, give us Fire, give us depth which we desire. (photo via YoDesportes)
Preseason has started for your 2016 Chicago Fire. Prior to tomorrow's friendly against fellow basement-buddy Philadelphia Union, we wanted to look at the depth chart battles going on.
Because a lot of the team's existing and big-purchase talent havejustjoined camp, the convincing (if tepid) 3-0 win over the University of South Florida on Saturday is not really going to help anyone figure out what Chicago will ultimately look and play like.
Let's re-phrase the headline:Do the Chicago Fire spend less than other teams? That's an easy answer. The answer is "no." Based on this Forbes article that outlines MLS Spending Habits, they actually spend a whole bunchmorethan most MLS Franchises.
In case youhaven't successfullysifted through U.S. Open Cup game date information (info whichMajor League Soccerhas little incentiveto promote), theChicago Fire are meeting fellow cellar dwellingPhiladelphia Union in a semi-final match tomorrow,Wednesday 8/12.
Ironically, things move so slowly sometimes that itishard to see what's happening. Aside from the wheeling and dealing on Draft Day, there was considerable movement on the Fire roster so far in the offseason...
Here's all the official player movement that hasoccurred sinceOctober 24ththrough January 27th in handy GIF form.
Quicker than we were able get to Home Depot for some new pitchforks and lanterns, the Chicago Fire organizationborrowed some fromtheBridgeview Grounds Crew and did it themselves, (maybe). As of Sunday afternoon Technical Director and Head Coach FrankYallop is out (along with his coaching staff), and Owner Andrew Hauptman has installed a General Manager with some serious league chops Nelson Rodriguez.
Chicago Fire's new General Manager Nelson Rodriguez doubled-down on his staff cleansingby announcing the organization's new coach, Veljko Paunoviclast week.
Calling Veljko Paunovic an "outside" choice is an understatement, as most media and local soccer followers tracking the Front Office's progress (and perhaps thinking they had insider info) rattled off considerably long lists of potential candidates none of which included the 37-year old who coached Serbia to a u20 World Cup victory this summer.
Does Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez's upcoming coaching decision dwarf the rest on the organization's needs?
New Chicago Fire General Manager Nelson Rodriguez speaks to the press for the first time officially thisSunday. Media speculatesthat a great deal of this conversation revolves around choosing a coach for the 2015 season.
In caseyou've decided to swear off the #CF97 hashtag for the rest of the year, you missed a (*ahem*)FireStorm earlier this week whenformer Chicago Fire defender Hunter Jumper was tweeting for HOURS about the Fire organization.Most of Jumper's Tweets are still up if you want to track back.
On Saturday, August 22nd, at Toyota Park, a collaborative effort among supporters and fans will express their disappointment and discontent with the current state of Chicago Fire Soccer Club. Read on for a detailed schedule of activities and action.