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 Crew controlled play in the first half, while the Fire were the better team in the second. Given the sparse number of shots that found the target the 1:1 result can be considered a fair one.
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
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
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?
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)
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.
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?