#cf97 – Hope, Passion and the Fire’s Three-Way Battle for ‘Keeper

I’m back, with another installment of my “Monday Musings” column on a Tuesday. Why am I back?  Or, why was I gone?  The answer to both questions is simple:  a loss of “passion” for my beloved Chicago Fire Soccer Club.  I’d been sitting on a draft of this piece, weighing whether my passion has been properly reignited.  Yesterday gave me the proper perspective to gauge that it is the proper time to hit “publish”.  Last season, after a series of tragic losses, I lost a bit of passion for the Club and the sport that I love.  It didn’t help that fans and the front office were in general disagreement about pretty much everything.  Fans protested, in a “Black Out” of sorts, with mixed results. It was a low point in my love for the Fire.  My sons also started to give up hope, tired of giving up points after watching 90 minutes of nervous, and at times rudderless soccer.    Against this backdrop, I couldn’t find anything positive to write about.  My “muse” was gone.   Continue reading

OTF Roundtable: One Prediction

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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?

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Chicago Fire Offseason Player Movement

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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)

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OTF Roundtable: Silent Sigh

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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.

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Maths Apology: Which 2015 Fire Players Earned Their Salaries?

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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.
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OTF Roundtable: Red Thursday

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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…

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Who is the Next Chicago Fire Coach?

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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…
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