Every once in a while I find myself a good soccer video that compels me to press replay over and over again. And ever since I started supporting the club all those years ago, not much has brought me greater entertainment on youtube than Chicago Fire videos made by either the Fire front office, the media or our very own fans. Now, Chicago Fire Blog has decided to get in on the act and produce its very own promo for your viewing.
All footage in this video was recorded during the Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps match Saturday night at Toyota Park and all credit goes to Fire supporters Geoff Stellfox and Zach Huey for putting together this great video. Enjoy!
Match Preview: Chicago vs. Kansas City
Toyota Park, May 12
So far May has been kind to the Fire, undefeated with four points over two games. But things are getting progressively more difficult. The defeat of Chivas in LA came at the last seconds and this last Wednesday’s draw against Real Salt Lake though steady was uninspiring. Chicago’s midweek match was a midfield grind which in a way revealed the true character of the Fire. MLS is midfield-centric league, and Chicago toes the line.
On Wednesday, we saw Marco Pappa put in a third straight excellent performance. Part of this is due to the growing understanding between Pappa and playmaker Seba Grazzini, but part of this is also due to the fact that Pappa has embraced playing the left wing role. Manager Frank Klopas has said that Chicago “are not a team that is going to rely too much on service,” so I suppose I’m going to have to resign myself to the fact that Pappa and Patrick Nyarko will never be played as out-and-out wingers. Yet it can’t be ignored that when Pappa and Nyarko provide service, the Chicago attack lights up. Continue reading
Stefan Antonijevic in action for Valparaiso University in 2011. | Photo credit: valpoathletics.com
The path toward achieving a dream isn’t always clear-cut. In January, Stefan Antonijevic became the first ever player from Valparaiso University to be drafted into Major League Soccer when Sporting Kansas City used the 43rd pick in the MLS Supplemental Draft to acquire the 2011 Horizon League Defensive player of the year.
Unfortunately for Antonijevic, SKC decided they already had enough depth in defense and opted against offering the former Valparaiso University defender a place on the team. In fairness, SKC is one of the most talented teams in the league and has a perfect record to show for it so far this season.
“Stefan gets judged because of his size. He’s six to seven feet and not as big as everyone else,” said VU Men’s Soccer Head Coach Mike Avery. “He was the last cut at Sporting Kansas City, so that was disappointing. But it’s no insult to him. They are arguably the best team in the league, at least so far this season, and have two really good young central defenders.”
Sporting Kansas City’s defense has been a significant reason for their unbeaten record, as the league leaders have conceded just two goals in seven matches, meaning breaking into a defense like that would have been a tall order for rookie. As a result, Antonijevic was granted the opportunity to pursue an MLS contract elsewhere.
Antonijevic (far left) celebrates with the rest of the U-20 squad after winning the 2008 USL Super-20 title. | Photo credit: United Soccer Leagues
And Antonijevic is working on doing just that. Last month, the Serbian defender began training with the Chicago Fire as a guest player. Continue reading
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
Assistant coaches Mike Matkovich and Leo Percovich answer the media’s questions after the Chicago Fire’s 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park. The match was called off in the 65th minute due to lightening. Both coaches had some good things to say and if you’ve never heard Leo’s accent, I would say this video is a must-watch.