My Chicago Fire Off-Season Wish List

With the season almost over and the team already out of the playoffs it is time to start looking at making the adjustments necessary to improve our team for 2011.  Here is my thought and wishlist position by position:

Goalkeepers:  Keep starting Sean Johnson, he has the ability to develop into a fantastic keeper.  Andrew Dykstra really is as good as a backup that you could ask for in this league and we don’t really need to do anything new here.

Back line:  Kinney needs to continue to get starters minutes on the right and Siriboe needs to have the same in the middle.  Gonzalo Segares will be ready to perform on the left next season and either Krol if we can keep him or Umanzor if we can’t will be good or servicable backups respectively.  Meanwhile Dasan Robinson will continue to function and a backup center back.  This leaves us with our needs:

1. we need a top center back, a real leader for the whole defense.

2. we need backup center back and right back capable of filling in at any time.

Midfield: We will break down the midfield by position.  First I will say I think we need to let John Thorrington go, it is just not ok to continue paying someone to hardly play all season.

CDM:  I really think we should consider starting Bratislav Ristic here.  It is obvious he can function out wide in the midfield, or on the defensive line.  I think he could be an upgrade on Logan Pause, a player capable of not only protecting the team defensivly but helping push the transition into the attack.  Logan Pause should stay on as depth here, he is perfect for this…the player who does not hurt his team but doesn’t really having the skill to create going forward.

Wingers:  I think both Patrick Nyarko and Marco Pappa should come back as starters as our wide midfielders.  However, we need to find depth to fill in should these two falter or get injured.

CAM:  Freddie Ljungberg has at least one more good season in his legs and considering his skill set it would be best if we kept him on and put him in that attacking midfielder role.  We have decent depth here with Husidic, Lowry, and Bone all capable of stepping in.  Both Husidic and Lowry have had some good moments during the season this year and Bone hasn’t really had a chance yet..but he needs to get that chance.

Strikers: My gut says start next preseason with Nery Castillo in the withdrawn striker role with Collins John up front as the target striker.  It is clear that Castillo has the skills but with such a lack of condition when he came to Chicago he hasn’t really had the opportunity to gel on the field, next year is his chance.  As for John I believe that he needs consistent minutes to hit his form and he has not had that this year, I say we give him the chance next year to see what he can do if he finds his form.  Calen Carr can go, as he really hasn’t proved anything to me, but that means we need to pick up #3 and #4 striker who are capable of stepping into the starting lineup at any given time.

So it seems to me that Chicago could really turn around next year without much change to the starting lineup.  The players we have used at the end of this season are starting to play some decent football and with 1 or 2 adjustments to the starting line-up and quite a bit of additions to the substitutes bench we should be competitive next year.


Fire Officially Miss Playoffs


After the weekend of MLS play the teams making the playoffs are almost set in stone.  A number of normally successful teams are now out of the 2010 MLS Cup including the Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution and Chicago Fire.  With Chicago missing the playoffs for the second time in the clubs history most fans are now looking to next season.

However, just missing the playoffs is not enough.  Should Colorado lose out the rest of their games (a definite possibility) and Chicago win out the final three games on their schedule (also a total possibility)…Chicago will have missed the MLS Cup playoffs by a single point.

Soon I will take a look at my wish list for Chicago during the offseason so stay posted and we will look forward to the off-season.


Fire settle for Draw in Colorado

This weekend the Fire made the trip to Colorado to take on the Colorado Rapids during the second weekend of MLS league play.  In what was the home opener for the Rapids the Fire once again struggled with both injuries and their ability to find creative offensive play.

Missing from todays match were starters M John Thorrington and D Wilman Conde.  Thorrington was sorely missed in the central midfield and the Fire struggled to find any sort of cohesion in the middle of the park.  The 1st goal of the game by Colorado’s Jamaican international Omar Cummings came down to a lack of defensive pressure from CJ Brown and rookie Kwame Watson-Siriboe.  Conde truly in the man that make this defense run.

Otherwise the game was played decently well on both sides of the ball with striker Collins John scoring his first goal in MLS off of a corner and Brian McBride slicing a PK past Colorado keeper Matt Pickens and into the side netting.

Image from mlssoccer.com

Hopefully Thorrington and Conde will be healthy for the home opener to replace to offensively challenged Logan Pause in midfield and bring stabilty and fight to the Fire’s defensive structure.


Fire sign Costa Rican David Myrie

From the Chicago Fire Communications Office:

The Chicago Fire today announced that the club has signed Costa Rican defender David Myrie to the team’s roster. Myrie will be counted as an international on the team’s senior roster and be available to play upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per team policy, details of the contract will not be disclosed. Myrie joins the Fire after playing for Liga Deportiva Alajuelense of Costa Rica last season. Before joining Alajuelense, Myrie played for Puntarenas for one season after spending two seasons in Spain with Cadiz of the Spanish third division. The Costa Rican international competed for his country in the 2007 Under-20 World Cup and at the 2005 Under-17 World Cup. “David is a young player with a lot of potential and we are pleased to add him to our roster as the team continues to work toward bringing the MLS Cup to Chicago this season,” said Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Technical Director. The Fire return to action against the Columbus Crew on Sunday, September 20th at home in TOYOTA PARK (2 p.m. CT, My50 Chicago).

David Myrie

Position: Defender

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 175 lbs.

Birthday: June 1, 1988

Hometown: Puerto Viejo Limon

Nationality: Costa Rica Roster

Status: International


Soumare is Officially going to France

It was announced Wednesday afternoon that Bakary Soumare was officially a member of Boulogne of Ligue 1 the French 1st Division.  The newly promoted club has been pursuing Soumare since the begining of the season and after the altercation with teammate Logan Pause and Coach Hamlett it seemed inevitable that this move was at some point inevitable.  In a statment released by the club Fire technical director Frank Klopas said;

“We would like to thank Bakary Soumare for his contributions to this club and wish him the best in his future playing career.”

It is rumoured that Boulogne payed a transfer fee of $2.15 million for the rights to Soumare’s contract.


MLS Clubs in World Rankings

At the end of July two MLS clubs had made it into the top 350 of the world ranking for club teams.

Houston Dynamo is tied with 7 other teams in 234th. The most notable of these teams are Monaco of Ligue 1 the French 1st Division, TSG Hoffenheim of the Bundesliga German 1st Division and Palermo of Serie A the Italian 1st Division.

Meanwhile DC United is tied with 7 teams in 258th.  The most notable of these are; Deportivo Saprissa the most successful team in Costa Rican history with 28 titles and one of the best in the CONCACAF region, FK Teplice of the Gambrinus Liga the Czech 1st Division and Cagliari Calcio in Serie A the Italian 1st Division.


Battle for the Conference

The next 2 months will be the telling tale when it comes to who will win the Eastern Conference of MLS, and quite possibly the Supporters Shield.  Two teams are leading the way in the East; Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire with 39 and 38 points respectively.  Here is a look at their remaining schedule and what may happen as the season comes to a close.

Columbus-Total Pts Avaliable: 24

Also must play 5 Champions League matches during this time

A 8/30 Red Bull New York

-This should be an easy win for the Crew, but after the Red Bulls good finish this week you never know.  They may go on a run.

H 9/13 Houston Dynamo

-The two top teams meet, Houston has been struggling and the Crew on fire.  However both will be starting to wear down for Champions League play and a draw seems a strong possibility.

A 9/20 Chicago Fire

-A second important match in a row for the Crew, after 0-0 and 2-2 draws earlier in the season you would expect the same.  However if the Fire get Segares, Conde and Ward back from injury and with the Crew having a full schedule I give the Fire the edge.

H 9/26 Los Angeles Galaxy

-The edge goes to the Crew, but as with the Fire game this could be a tie or LA win as well.

H 10/03 Seattle Sounders FC

-A likely Crew victory, the Sounders have struggled on the road this year and that is unlikely to change here.

A 10/10 New England

-An important game for both teams.  New England is making a run and has games in hand.  This will be a tight game.

A 10/17 DC United

-It seems that DC is struggling and unless they turn it around before this, more struggling is likely all they will see in this game as well.

H 10/25 New England

-Another game against New England.  Assuming the Fire have beat the Crew at Toyota Park and gone on a run to take the East already you just have to root for the Crew and hope that New England misses the playoffs.

Chicago-Total Pts Available: 21

H 8/29 DC United

-The way DC have been struggling for results and have a rull group of Champions League games to play you have to think the Fire might take advantage of that.

A 9/12 Real Salt Lake

-After taking Real 1-0 at home, it seems likely that a draw at Rio Tinto is a strong possibility, but based on the Fire’s away record a win is definitely possible.

H 9/20 Columbus Crew

-The most important game left, after 0-0 and 2-2 results already another draw seems a strong possibility.  However if the Fire have figured out the fighting mindset at home that they have on the road and get some of the backline back they have a chance for 3 pts.

H 9/26 Toronto FC

-Another important game against a team fighting for a playoff spot.  Judging by Toronto’s away record the Fire should be able to take this game.

A 10/02 Los Angeles Galaxy

-After a 2-1 win and 2-0 loss it seems this may be a draw between to pretty equal teams.  The Fire’s away record give’s hope that they might pull out a win, but the Galaxy has been playing well.

A 10/17 New England

-A important rivalry game away from home against a team getting on a roll and fighting for the playoffs.  If ever there was a late season away win for the Fire to get, this is the one!

H 10/22 CD Chivas USA

-Chivas come to Chicago to end the season and the Fire if they play strong should eek out a win, however a draw is possible here as well.

Trophy Case

2003 Supporters Shield

1998 MLS Cup

1998 US Open Cup

2000 US Open Cup

2003 US Open Cup

2006 US Open Cup

Last Match

Friday October 8, 2010

Chicago Fire 2 - 0 Columbus Crew

15,124 at Toyota Park

Next Match

Kansas City @ Chicago Fire

Tuesday October 12, 7:30 pm CT

League Match

MLS League Table

56 pts Los Angeles Galaxy

--------Supporters Shield----------

52 pts Real Salt Lake

50 pts FC Dallas

48 pts New York Red Bulls

46 pts Columbus Crew

45 pts Seattle Sounders FC

43 pts San Jose

42 pts Colorado Rapids


33 pts Kansas City Wizards

32 pts Chicago Fire

31 pts Toronto FC

29 pts New England

28 pts Philadelphia Union

28 pts Chivas USA

27 pts Houston Dynamo

21 pts DC United

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