This weekend Fire Confidential broke the news that 3rd-year player and fan favorite Harrison Shipp would be traded to Montreal Impact for General and Targeted Allocation Money.
As a Homegrown Player who spent his childhood and most of his adult life in the Chicago area Shipp was devastated about the transaction, as were Fire fans who saw Harry as a sign of hope in a team that desperately needed something to cheer about.
(Ed. Note — Possible headlines I decided not to use: “Shipp’s Passing,” “Abandoned Shipp,” “Harry’s Situation”)
Prompt: Now that they have parted ways, what does the future hold for Harry Shipp and the Chicago Fire?
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. Continue reading
The “Original Recipe” OTF Roundtable returns. Preseason practice has begun, the team looks considerably younger and (dare we say it), there are even some signs of hope. Even some of OTF’s perma-skeptics may be coming around to the team … maybe.
Today’s roundtable question:
What is one prediction about the 2016 Fire season that you are sure will come true?
Ironically, when things move so slowly it is hard to see what’s really 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 has occurred since October 24th through January 27th in handy GIF form. Below is a description by week.
(Last Update, 1/29)
Chicago Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez and Head Coach Veljko Paunovic calling Brian Bliss to get his laptop password.
Frankly, all of Fire Nation was hoping we’d have more things to talk about by now, but no dice.
With the international transfer window now open and the MLS Superdraft combine beginning today Chicago continues to shed both salaries, personalities, and staff.
The number of players remaining on the Fire’s roster sits at 14, with the organization making no additions during either stage of the Re-Entry Draft in December and choosing not to cash in on any of MLS’s first, albeit aging, free agents.
Evaluating players is a messy thing. With MLS’s first Free Agency class now available for purchase and MLS’s yearly Re-Entry Round 2 Draft beginning tomorrow (Thursday, 12/17), it is worth looking at who’s available… and who’s worth being available.
Chicago shed a lot of player contracts last week as new GM Nelson Rodriguez and new coach Veljko Paunovoic freed up as many dollars as possible for the upcoming MLS post season scramble.
As Phase One of the Re-Entry draft begins it’s worth taking a look at how the 2015 Fire performed in context to their MLS salaries.
Chicago Fire’s new General Manager Nelson Rodriguez doubled-down on his staff cleansing by announcing the organization’s new coach, Veljko Paunovic last 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.
Now that the announcement is a few days old (buried under so much delicious turkey and Cyber Monday purchases) how much do we really know about Pauno?
While Fire nation was patiently waiting for Nelson Rodriguez’s Thanksgiving announcement of their new coach, they went ahead and axed a lot of people. Like… a lot of people.
CHICAGO (November 19, 2015) — Chicago Fire Soccer Club today announced changes to the soccer staff, parting ways with Goalkeeping Coach Aron Hyde, Strength and Conditioning Coach Adrian Lamb and Head of Scouting Trevor James.
“This decision was not taken lightly, but was ultimately necessary as part of advancing our soccer operations,” said Chicago Fire General Manager Nelson Rodríguez. “We offer our best wishes for all of their respective future professional endeavors.”
In addition to the coaching staff changes, support staff members Ron Stern, Charles Raycroft and Allan Araujo were relieved of their duties.
Here’s what OTF contributors had to say about it…
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 this Sunday. Media speculates that a great deal of this conversation revolves around choosing a coach for the 2015 season.
It’s a decision which Rodriguez has stated he wants made by Thanksgiving, so the clock is ticking.
With a lot of rumors floating around, and with Rodriguez’s own United States Soccer Federation history fueling the guesses, the OTF writers pool took some guesses on who the next Fire coach might be…
Fabian Johnson challenged by Oribe Peralta during USMNT vs Mexico match Saturday (via BostonHerald.com)
After the U.S. did not make the Gold Cup final earlier this year, it was clear that Jurgen Klinsman had been given a longer leash than previous National Team coaches like Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena. Now, after the US loss to Mexico on Saturday night and their match against Costa Rica tonight, we ask the OTF Staff: What changes (if any) need to be made to improve the United States Men’s National Team?
(via USA Today)
After what was a pretty successful league run for the first decade or so of their existence, Chicago’s still-young franchise had begun to stall.
It was a new century and there was a clear need for change. The owner ousted their manager (a beloved former player) and the vacuum that remained caused an even further dip in performance. Supporters, still loyal to the club and sympathetic to its young local players, gave the team some nicknames: “The Remnants,” and “The Orphans” were two of the more popular ones, but the one that caught on… in 1900’s … was “The Cubs.”
The name stuck.
As the first pitch for your 2015 National League Wildcard Cubs nears, let’s go ahead and place that Loveable Losers crown on the new not-so-great team with young talent and plenty of hustle — the Chicago Fire.
Wow. That happened quick.
Quicker than we were able get to Home Depot for some new pitchforks and lanterns, the Chicago Fire organization borrowed some from the Bridgeview Grounds Crew and did it themselves, (maybe). As of Sunday afternoon Technical Director and Head Coach Frank Yallop is out (along with his coaching staff), and Owner Andrew Hauptman has installed a General Manager with some serious league chops — Nelson Rodriguez. Read Fire’s official release here, and read below for some additional speculation.
So, we ask our illustrious OTF Writers Pool: Do the recent Fire Front Office and coaching changes make you more optimistic, pessimistic, or increasingly indifferent about the future of the organization?
Editor’s Note: This snarky re-post was to be published Sunday after Chicago’s yawner of a loss, and a follow-up post to ESPN Chicago Radio’s highly suspect defense of Frank Yallop the week before no longer feels relevant. There is a weird tinge of something surfacing through Fire supporters thick armor of cynicism. As a Chicago sports fan I’m not sure what you call it; a less jaded type may call it optimism. (Had to spellcheck that word, I’ve never typed it before.) Anyway, because I’ve already put this together I’m posting it, but, stay tuned, there is positive news….
This article, in its entirety, was posted on September 17th, 2014, any updates for the 2015 season have been noted with a
“strike through” and additions in bold.
If you’ve sworn off the #CF97 hashtag for the rest of the year you missed a (*ahem*) Fire Storm earlier this week when former Chicago Fire defender Hunter Jumper tweeted for HOURS about the Fire organization. Most of Jumper’s Tweets are still up if you want to track back.
If you’re looking for a straight recap with minimal commentary, Fire Confidential has captured the rant for posterity’s sake. Here’s what some OTF contributors had to say about Jumper’s damning tirade when asked…
“What’s your biggest take-away from Hunter Jumper’s Twitter Comments?”
Why have game summaries when photos tell the story? (via The Journal)
Memory is a funny thing.
On one hand you have Confirmation Bias, in which your brain recalls facts that support what you already believe to be true and disregards information that is contrary to what you believe. Compounding this behavior is Memory Inhibition, where things that we maybe don’t want to remember mercifully fall off our brain’s radar.
In either case, I’m here to ruin your constitution by reminding you, again, of the Chicago Fire’s 4-3 loss at Montreal last week, and the upcoming
loss match against surging New York Red Bull today, Friday 9/11. Hang in there kids, just a few days before the Chicago Bears start playing games that matter and all Chicago sports media can focus on writing articles about American Football and relegate Chicago Fire back into the “In Brief” section they share with minor league hockey and pro-am lacrosse.
There was a point, eons ago, when OTF covered on-field soccer events in addition to domestic soccer culture. …This is one of those posts.
Witnessed on the field last night was the kind of grit, resiliency, and determination that Fire Supporters had been hoping to see the whole season but rarely had. Even if the game had ended in a draw (which Eric Gherig made sure did not happen) the experience was pure pleasure.
After this weekend’s activities friend of OTF, Mr. Marty Tomszak, brings you a soulful message of protest…
Cheap is a loaded word.
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 bunch more than most MLS Franchises. End of story… right?
In case you haven’t successfully sifted through U.S. Open Cup game date information (info which Major League Soccer has little incentive to promote), the Chicago Fire are meeting fellow cellar dwelling Philadelphia Union in a semi-final match tomorrow, Wednesday 8/12. The two teams also meet again, in The Bum Fight Double, for an MLS league match this weekend.
Word on the interwebs is that the Chicago Fire, who own Chelsea striker Didier Drogba’s MLS “Discovery Rights,” are now in discussion with the Montreal Impact, who are interested in actually signing the player.
Some may call it extortion, I’m calling it a brilliant coup by the Fire front office who are upping Drogba’s value, and then judo-flipping that value into a better negotiation leverage to ship him off to Quebec.
In other words…
Jason Johnson rewards Frank Yallop with effort, a goal, and a big hug. (photo via Chicago-Fire.com)
“Winning Cures All Ills” may be a cliche, but it’s never seemed more applicable than this weekend at Toyota Park. Despite Section 8’s “bannergate,” Head Coach Frank Yallop’s job security, “#HauptmanOut,” injury troubles, transfer window scrutiny, and Bridgeview finances, all anyone would take away from Saturday was the spark provided by a rejuvenated Mike Magee, Patrick Nyarko, and Michael Stephens and the clutch finishing of Jason Johnson that delivered the Chicago Fire their first victory over the Seattle Sounders ever. E-V-E-R.
Chicago Fire players run in the opposite direction of owner Andrew Hauptman (via Modern Luxury)
On the coasts, LA introduces Stevie G to the Galaxy crowd and we see Pirlo smooching in a NYCFC luxury box… what moves do the Fire need to make when the window opens on July 8th.
Who is most likely to “get moved”? Who is definitely going to stick around?
Correspondent Alex Unzueta recaps the U.S. Women’s National Team’s uninspired, but effective win over the The Matildas from Down Unda.
The U.S. Women’s National Team opened up their World Cup play with a win against Australia on Monday evening. After a shaky start, the U.S. dialed in with some help from Megan Rapinoe, who scored twice and Chicago Red Star’s striker, Christen Press who added a goal as well. With a surprisingly tough 3-1 win, the U.S. sits first in their group.
The United States is a favorite to win the tournament. After falling short in a penalty shootout to Japan back in 2011, the only expectation this year is lifting the cup on July 5th…
STL FC’s Patrick Doody (on loan from Chicago Fire)
Absence makes the heart grow fonder—Matthew Bird checks in on Saint Louis FC after a bye week as Chicago Fire loanees and StL locals make their mark.
Been awhile since I last updated on what’s been going on down here in sunny Saint Louis, We’ve had three games and a bye week. Bye weeks suck. I mean seriously, you don’t have professional soccer in the city for 5 years…