Women in Soccer, Chicago Fire ‘Keeper Debate and “Puto”

National Women’s Day

Since today is International Women’s Day, I thought I’d use this edition of my semi-weekly Musing column to write about gender equality among soccer fans and players.  Did you know that FC Dallas has female capos?  I did not know this until I read this great piece in What a Howler written by Gaby Kirschner.  Gaby’s piece, linked below, identifies some of the following negative and positive points. Continue reading

OTF Roundtable: Frank Yallop Out, Nelson Rodriguez In

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?

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Goalless Fire Remain 0-For-Cascadia

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(courtesy mlssoccer.com)

The Fire have never won a match in the Pacific Northwest since Seattle, Portland and Vancouver joined MLS and that trend continued last Friday at Providence Park, as the Timbers squeezed out a 1:0 victory. That result, combined with Philadelphia’s scoreless draw with Orlando City on Saturday, dropped the Fire back into the cellar of the Eastern Conference.
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Fire Defense Leads to Latest Letdown

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Photo courtesy chicago-fire.com

Much of the pre-game hype leading up to the Fire’s tilt with the New England Revolution last Saturday centered on Drogba Watch, as fans waited to see whether an aging striker still has enough magic left to provide some hope for a season that was quickly sinking into oblivion. Discussion regarding Didier Drogba’s effectiveness was the perfect fodder for debate while having a pre-game beer. That discussion, unfortunately, missed the point about what ails this Fire team far more acutely than adding more firepower up top, and that is the atrocious level of defending. Amateurish mistakes were on full display at Toyota Park on Saturday, as the Fire and Revs shared the spoils in a 2:2 draw.

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Fire Have That Sinking Feeling

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(photo courtesy chicago-fire.com)

The Chicago Fire, floundering in last place in MLS’s Eastern Conference, have passed the midpoint of the regular season and basically face must-win situations in almost every match. It really should be too early to think about results in those terms in July, but the hole that the Fire have dug for themselves has become awfully deep, leaving very little margin for error.

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Inward and Upward: Chicago Fire Quash their Seattle Jinx in a Season Saver

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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.
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Mended and Melded: How the Fire Sabbatical Shapes the Rest of their MLS Season

Mike Magee's Day Off

(From the film “Mike Magee’s Day Off”)

Brian Howe Battle dusts off the ol’ keyboard after the Fire returned to the field last Friday after two weeks off and tallied 3 points.

The time between the Chicago Fire’s win against New York City FC last week and their previous win against Toronto FC seems like a lifetime. Despite the Full-Team Sabbatical, things are looking pretty good.

When the Fire agreed to reschedule their game against the Montreal Impact #CF97 fans were outraged. Of course, the default Twitter emotion is outrage, so that’s not really a big deal.  What this shift did afford the Fire was what they needed more than any other MLS team — time to mend and meld.

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OTF Roundtable: Do the Chicago Fire Deserve Harry Shipp?

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Harry shares the sports memorabilia in his childhood home. (via Chipotle’s Being Homegrown)

Near the end of the Fire’s third loss in a row last Saturday, Alexi Lalas doubled-down on his flattery of second year stand-out Harry Shipp by suggesting that he was the Fire’s only “real” DP, and further stating that Harry may be “Too Good” to play for Chicago…

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Dispatch: Chicago Fire (0) at Los Angeles Galaxy (2)

Robbie Keane welcomes Primetime MLS viewers to the 2015 season.

Robbie Keane welcomes primetime MLS television viewers to the 2015 season.

It’s too early to say anything overly positive or overly critical, so OTF’s Brian Howe Battle does both.

“Yallop was once asked if he might be tempted to roll out a 4-3-3 and he replied, wryly, ‘You can call it whatever you like, but you already know what it will be.'” -San Jose Earthquakes writer Nerdy Gales in an 11/1/13 OTF Guest Blog

You could call the beginning of this season whatever you would like, but part of your psyche already knows what it will be.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

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15 Things that Happened During the Chicago Fire Offseason

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In case you’ve been hibernating (and I don’t blame you), you missed a lot of Chicago Fire and MLS news since The Galaxy won a sloppy yawner of an MLS Cup over New England last November.  Well, today is your lucky day.  

Before the season starts (or, you know, doesn’t), some OTF Soccer editors compiled what we thought were the top fifteen stories you may have missed if you haven’t been paying attention…

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