Tag Archives: Major League Soccer

Match Preview: Red eyed Fire eager to bounce back with win over Chivas USA

Logan and co. will be desperate for three points after last weekend’s disappointment against Seattle | Photo credit: ESPN LA

Match Preview: Chicago Fire at Chivas USA (Home Depot Center)
Friday, May 4 (ESPN 3)

Tactics is at once the easiest thing to comment upon and the most difficult thing to get right; I would venture that this is an absolute truth for pundits. For managers, the axiom is a little iffy. A manager can see a string of luck, good or bad, that overrides any tactical tweaking or consistency. On the bad side we see Aron Winters experiencing this every day in Toronto and Peter Nowak getting an earful every week, while on the good side Ben Olson is quietly making a case for manager of the year, Peter Vermes is mining gold, and people still think Sigi Schmid is a grandmaster and not some high-rent Hans Backe. The point is, tactics for the supporter and pundit is a vast arena of speculation, one that demands engagement but where you can’t honestly expect to ever be right. Too many variables. But tell that to the sport betting crowd. Continue reading

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Memories of 2011 US Open Cup final linger as Chicago prepares to host Seattle Sounders

Can the Chicago Fire dish out a small dose of revenge for last year's loss to the Sounders in the US Open Cup final? | Photo credit: zimbio.com

The last time Chicago saw Seattle was the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Final, and it was not a night to remember for Fire supporters. Although Chicago was on the upswing making a last ditch run for MLS playoffs, the team that faced off against Seattle in the US Open Cup final, it could be argued, reverted to playing as the Carlos de los Cobos’s Fire and not the Frank Klopas’s Fire. In that final, Chicago played spastically, failing to maintain possession by frustratingly playing head-tennis rather than orchestrating any kind of attack. Continue reading

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FLASHBACK: Chris Rolfe scores in win over Toronto FC

Chris Rolfe: Good to have you back.

The headlines have all been about Chris Rolfe this week and they have the potential to be the same this weekend with the 29-year-old in line for a first appearance in a Chicago Fire uniform since 2009. Rolfe told Chicago-Fire.com that he is “excited and ready to play” on Saturday. It remains to be seen whether Rolfe will be handed the start up front alongside Dominic Oduro or if he will be brought on as a substitute – or if he will even play at all – but hopes are high that he will be given the start and add some much needed attacking fuel. After all, the Fire’s new #18 has a history of scoring against Toronto FC.

One of those goals against the reds came at a crucial time in the 2008 season (Remember those days with Dennis Hamlett?) In the midst of a five game winless streak, the Fire welcomed Toronto FC to Toyota Park on July 12th, 2008 in hopes of regaining sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference standings. John Thorrington was the hero that day with a fantastic 92nd minute winner, but Rolfe’s contributions can hardly be downplayed. Watch his stunning sixth minute goal and the rest of the highlights from that match. Let’s hope we see a repeat of this on Saturday. Continue reading

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HE’S BACK: Chris Rolfe returns home to the Chicago Fire

The return of a legend and the Fire's new #18.

As if a 2009 Eastern Conference final loss to Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park wasn’t hard enough to swallow, the departure of Chris Rolfe – a true Fire original – two months earlier was also a major low point of the 2009 campaign. Rolfe took up the opportunity in September that year to prove himself in Europe with Aalborg BK in the Danish Superliga and the move was understandable.

It’s quite common for American players to grasp the first chance to play in Europe that comes their way, but it was still disappointing to lose a player who established himself as an integral member of the club during his five seasons from 2005-2009, as well as with the Chicago Fire Premier in the Premier Development League. Continue reading

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Arne Friedrich impresses during Major League Soccer debut for the Fire

Photo credit: mlssoccer.com

It wasn’t exactly a night to remember for the Chicago Fire as heavy rain and lightening brought Sunday night’s match against Houston to an early finish at 1-1, but it was certainly an experience and a debut German defender Arne Friedrich won’t soon forget.

“It was a crazy game. It was the first time for me and it was unusual… and it was sad because we still had 25 minutes to go and it’s just a draw so we’re not happy,” Friedrich said.

Friedrich started alongside Jalil Anibaba and the German international hardly looked like he hadn’t played a match since last summer (barring the friendly vs. Louisville last week). Friedrich was composed on the ball, vocal, and looked extremely comfortable against Will Bruin and Brian Ching. Friedrich’s passing range and technical skills were also on display throughout the shortened match and the 32-year-old looks like he will be a huge factor for the Fire this season – as you would expect from a player of his caliber. Continue reading

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