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Chicago Fire Soccer

Chicago Fire Soccer is an American professional association club based in the Chicago of Bridgeview, Illinois. The team in Major League Soccer The organization is named for the Great Fire of 1871, and was founded on 8, 1997, the event’s 126th In their first league in 1998, the Fire won the MLS Cup as well as the Open Cup (the double). have also won U.S. Cups in 2000, 2003, and in addition to the 2003 MLS Supporters’ .


History [ edit ]

[ edit ]

Founded on October 8, the club was originally based at Field. Since 2006, reside at Toyota Park at and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview. The of the Fire are Andell Holdings. who the club in 2007. Andell director Andrew Hauptman as club chairman, while the of soccer is Frank Yallop and the Operating Officer is Atul The Fire are historically most in the U.S. Open Cup ; winning in 1998, 2000, 2003, and The Fire keeps a close with the Chicago Sting predecessor team in the NASL ) by frequent commemorative events, and wearing Sting-inspired shirts.

foundation and initial success [ ]

Founded in 1997 at Navy on the anniversary of the Great Fire. the immediately tapped into the ethnic makeup of the city. The brought in Polish players Nowak. Jerzy Podbrozny. and Kosecki ; the Mexican Jorge ; and the Czech Lubos Kubik. all showed their talent playing for Chicago that year, American players Thornton. Chris Armas. Brown ) proved most to the Fire’s continued success. the club’s first head Bob Bradley – and against all expectation – the completed the double in its first year, beating D.C. in the 1998 MLS Cup Final. and defeating the Crew in Chicago to win the 1998 Open Cup a week later.

The momentum continued, reaching the MLS Cup final (losing to Kansas and winning the 2000 U.S. Cup. Internationally experienced such as Hristo Stoitchkov the Fire, while young talents such as DaMarcus developed. The Fire quickly cemented as one of the league’s preeminent

Nomadic times [ edit ]

Soldier Field undergoing renovations, the Fire moved to the Chicago suburb of Naperville. in 2002. That same Bob Bradley abruptly departed the to lead the MetroStars. from his state of New Jersey. The Fire selected the U.S. men’s team’s top assistant, Dave to assume the vacant post.

qualified for the league final also capturing the Supporters’ and 2003 U.S. Open Cup the way. The team returned to and the renovated Soldier Field through the 2003 season.

that season, longtime Piotr Nowak retired to a position in the front office. He a year later to become of D.C. United. In this new talent emerged, including striker Damani Ralph. stagnating performances and the building of the Eastern Conference made league position ever tenuous. In 2004, the team the league playoffs for the first in their history.

Turmoil, and a home [ edit ]

The 2005 began with the unexpected of popular club president Wilt by then-owners AEG. a decried by fans, many and club staff. [ 1 ] This as a shock, given his brokering of a deal to build the Fire a in the collar suburb of Bridgeview. He was replaced by Metrostars executive Guppy .

Competitively, the season was notable for the blockbuster visit of from Italy’s Serie A. and the 4–0 away defeat of D.C. in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

arrived, and the Fire moved Soldier Field into its new in Bridgeview, on the southwest side of Toyota Park. located at the of 71st Street and Harlem In its first season, it played to an unspectacular league campaign; but in the 2006 U.S. Open Cup a continuation of the club’s successes and for the future.

The anxiety to win another league continued to grow, however. entered 2007 (his season in charge) under pressure from fans and the to produce a league championship. mounted further on April 3, when the Fire signed and América star Cuauhtémoc to a Designated Player contract. a perfect three matches to the year, they won only one of next eight, and Sarachan was Following a brief search, manager Juan Carlos was named the club’s third coach.

The Hauptman era [ edit ]

A game at Toyota Park in

More change came afterward. On September 6, 2007, Holdings. a Los Angeles-based private firm controlled by Chairman and Executive Officer Andrew acquired AEG ‘s interests in the Chicago Fire Soccer and Toyota Park. Reports the purchase price to be upwards of $35 [ 2 ]

On the field, behind Blanco and Conde. Osorio’s central at Millionarios, the Fire went on an unbeaten run to close the season, qualifying for the playoffs but were at New England in the Eastern Conference On December 10, 2007, the Fire Osorio’s resignation. He was named of the New York Red Bulls eight later. Hauptman filed charges with the league in and the Fire were compensated by the Red with cash and draft [ 3 ]

Changes came quickly in wake. On January 17, 2008, Fire star Frank was named Technical Director in of player personnel, and longtime assistant Denis Hamlett was manager. While the Fire at home in 2008 the team unusual success on the road, 22 out of a possible 45 away points. grew with the long-anticipated of Chicago native Brian on a free transfer in July After disposing of the Red Bulls 5–2 in the final game, they conquered New England in the first of the playoffs with a 3–0 victory at This was Chicago’s first advancement over the Revolution in consecutive seasons. But triumph lasted for a week, as they missed the league final their 2–1 Eastern Conference loss to eventual champion .

The 2009 season saw few alterations to the year’s roster. The story of the was much the same, as continued home form offset performances away from Park. This led to a second Eastern Conference finish Columbus. Despite this, Salt Lake managed to the Crew in the quarterfinals, meaning would host the semifinal for the time in six years. Chicago’s flawless home playoff meant little in the end, as lost to Salt Lake, on penalties after 120 scoreless Shortly thereafter, manager Hamlett was dismissed. [ 4 ]

A team in [ edit ]

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Leading up to 2010. hired Carlos de los Cobos as coach, previously manager of El [ 5 ] Cuauhtémoc Blanco. Chris and Gonzalo Segares all departed. changes came in the summer window with the trade of Mapp to Philadelphia. the acquisition of international striker Nery and the trade for former Swedish midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg. Gonzalo Segares returned to the leaving Apollon Limassol only six months away. these reinforcements, the Fire to qualify for the playoffs for only the time in club history. US international Brian McBride and original C.J. Brown at season’s end, followed by the departures of Wilman Conde. and Castillo.

2011 began in the way of 2010, with foundering both home and away. nine winless matches, de los Cobos was let go on May 30, 2011. [ 6 ] Technical Frank Klopas was named head coach. Behind reinforcements Pavel Pardo and Grazzini. as well as forward Oduro ‘s 12 goals being acquired in a trade Houston. the Fire qualified for the US Cup Final (lost at Seattle ) and missed making the playoffs gaining 24 points in their 12 league matches. After the conclusion, Klopas was given the manager job on November 3, 2011. [ 7 ]

expectations were modest for Klopas’ first full as coach, the year saw a change in for the Fire. The spring and summer saw several new acquisitions for the club, with the reacquiring of Chris from Aalborg BK. [ 8 ] Rolfe, who eight goals and 12 assists in the 21 he played in 2012, would be named the Fire’s MVP. [ 9 ] signings included Brazilian Alex Monteiro de Lima the Swiss side FC Wohlen. Fernandez from Seattle FC. forward Sherjill MacDonald Beerschot AC of Belgium and veteran Arne Friedrich from VfL Although they would out of the U.S. Open tournament that season, the Fire compiled a 17–11–6 record, best since 2000, and as high as second in the Eastern before ending the year in place. [ 10 ] On October 31, 2012, in first playoff appearance 2009, the Fire lost first-round MLS Cup playoff match-up at against the Houston Dynamo. [ 11 ]

In the 2012-2013 offseason the franchise some moves to improve on success. The team acquired Lindpere and Jeff Larentowicz and traded Dominic Oduro for Duka and the rights to Robbie [ 12 ] The beginning of the season saw the team to score goals, resulting in a of 2-5-1, with a goal of -8 through April. After two losses to the Union in May, and veteran Arne Friedrich on IR, the Fire acquired their centerback Bakary Soumaré Philadelphia. [ 13 ] Also in May, International Robbie Rogers to the United States and expressed an to play only in Southern at which point a deal was for Rogers’ rights in exchange for native Mike Magee the Los Angeles Galaxy. [ 14 ] On June 23, Friedrich, who had not played a 2012-13 due to recurring injuries, announced his from professional football. [ 15 ] starting the season 2-7-3, the of Soumare and Magee led to seven in the squad’s last 10 games. The were busy in the transfer as well, adding veteran midfielder Arévalo Ríos and Juan Luis Anangonó. [ 16 ] an energizing 12-6-6 finish to the the Fire narrowly missed the for the third time in the last years — losing out to the Montreal on goal differential. On October 30, the club announced that the of soccer operations Javier and head coach Frank had stepped down, [ 17 ] but the Fire office had a replacement one day later.

The Yallop Era [ edit ]

On October 31, Chicago Fire named Yallop as its new head coach and of soccer. [ 18 ] On December 5, 2013, MVP Mike Magee became the Fire player to win the Volkswagon MLS MVP — beating out Los Angeles Galaxy Robbie Keane and Montreal ‘s Marco Di Vaio for the [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [ 21 ] Meanwhile, Yallop was busy a new coaching staff which Ring of Fire member and Fire veteran C. J. Brown and U.S. International striker Mathis as the team’s assistant [ 22 ] along with Columbus Brian Bliss accepting as Technical Director. [ 23 ] [ 24 ]

Colors and [ edit ]

Chicago Fire logo (1998–2006)

The official colors are red and white. Over its the Fire have also navy blue, sky blue, and as alternate colors.

The Chicago logo is derived from the shape of a fire department’s (also shown by the Chicago Department ), also known as a cross. This style was by the original general manager, Wilt, to establish a timeless evocative of both classic sports (as in the logos of the NHL Original Six ) and the of European soccer.

The logo a stylized ‘C’ at its heart Chicago ), similar to the logos of the and Cubs. The six points in a ring the center allude to the six-pointed in the Municipal Flag of Chicago. the star commemorating the Great Fire of 1871.

Nike. the original equipment supplier, for the team to be named the Chicago The Rhythm identity featured a black and green color and a logo adorned with a Team officials ignored work, and privately developed the identity with the help of Inc.. a well known branding agency. [ 25 ]

The original Fire shirts chosen because of their to a Chicago fireman’s coat, broad horizontal stripes the torso and sleeves. In the first the home jersey was red and white a silver FIRE on the stripe; the away shirts were and black in the same style. The has remained remarkably constant since, continually maintaining the format of an all-red shirt a white horizontal chest even though changes in sponsor (from Nike. to and currently adidas ). Conversely, the secondary shirts have much over the years white with black, to with navy, to white red, to all-white style and the currently used. Third have often been (for the Chicago Sting, for the partnership with Morelia. A light blue third was worn in 2005, based on the Flag of Chicago but was discontinued the sponsorship change to Adidas the year.

The club and their make frequent use of the symbols of as a show of civic pride. prominent are the six-pointed Chicago but the light blue color with the city, the municipal and the city skyline appear on materials produced by the club and its The municipal flag of Chicago is favored by fans of the club and seen at the stadium, in a manner to the use of the flag of Catalonia for FC Barcelona but without a nationalist subtext.


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