Chicago Fire Thread

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by little bear, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. little bear

    little bear Head Coach

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    http://www.csnchicago.com/fire/fire-announce-plans-year-round-soccer-center

    Fire announce plans for year-round soccer center

    Despite a disappointing end to the 2013 season, the Chicago Fire is planning what they hope will be a major upgrade to its brand in the Chicagoland area.


    Fire owner and chairman of Andell Inc., Andrew Hauptman announced this morning on the team's official website the development of the Chicago Fire Soccer Center on the city's North Side.


    The year-round soccer facility, expected to open in the summer of 2014 on 4.7 acres on N. Talman Ave. just north of Addison, will become the first air-supported dome within the city limits. The 140,000 square-foot building will feature two outdoor FieldTurf soccer fields, several indoor-sized soccer fields under the removable 72-foot-high dome and around 15,000 square feet of space for offices, restaurants, retail and training facilities and is expected to cost between $15 and $20 million, according to a report from Crain's Chicago Business.


    It's part of the Fire's continuing efforts to promote both soccer and the organization in the Chicago area.


    “We are thrilled to extend the Chicago Fire presence within the city,” Hauptman said in a press release. “We are investing in this site to increase awareness of the organization and create more accessibility for both new and existing soccer fans. We want the Chicago Fire brand to have a positive impact on the community.”


    The Fire will train and practice at the facility at times, namely in preparation for matches on turf fields, and adult and youth leagues alike will also have the chance to take advantage of the center. Both the Chicago Fire Recreational Soccer Program, a 5,000-adult league, and the Chicago Fire Juniors City Team, comprised of more than 250 kids ages 6-18, will have year-round access to compete, train and practice at the Soccer Center.


    "In a downtown market that is underserved with fields this new facility will be Chicago’s premier soccer center,” said Hauptman. “It is a real, physical presence for the Fire to use as a means of continuing to engage the soccer community, year round, through leagues, camps, clinics, tournaments and more.”

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    The Fire will practice on the outdoor field in preparation for matches on FieldTurf.


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  2. little bear

    little bear Head Coach

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    http://www.espnfc.com/major-league-...go-in-talks-to-determine-didier-drogba-rights

    Montreal Impact, Chicago Fire in talks for Didier Drogba's MLS rights - source

    The Montreal Impact are in negotiations with the Chicago Fire to acquire the MLS rights to Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, a source with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed to ESPN FC.

    The news was also reported in a tweet by the Chicago-based site Fire Confidential.

    The Fire have the right of first refusal on Drogba as a result of filing what's called a discovery claim on the former Chelsea forward. Chicago initially offered Drogba an 18-month contract with an annual salary of around $2.5 million, a source said, and later increased the offer to north of $3 million a year, according to another source.

    But Montreal has done what it could to lure Drogba to the French-speaking city, and now it appears that Chicago isn't the player's preferred destination.

    Speaking to reporters following Chicago's midweek victory over Orlando in the U.S. Open Cup, manager Frank Yallop said he hoped to resolve the situation in 48 hours, and that Drogba's representatives were pleased with the contract offer that was on the table. But that deadline has come and gone, lessening the likelihood that Drogba will end up in the Windy City. Yallop has also hinted that there are other players the club could pursue if it doesn't land Drogba.

    League rules state that Montreal need only pay Chicago $50,000 to acquire his rights, but that's only if the Fire had no intention of making a contract offer to the player. Since Chicago has done that, the club is allowed to ask for more, though the source indicated via email that the two sides were "still apart" in terms of determining compensation.

    Montreal isn't the only club in contention for Drogba's services. Inter Milan and an unknown Qatari club have also expressed interest, and published reports indicated that Indian side Atletico de Kolkata have also made a pitch to Drogba. But with talks at an advanced stage, it seems increasingly likely Drogba will end up in MLS.

    Drogba, 37, has been out of contract since his deal with Premier League champions Chelsea expired at the end of last season. He saw the field with some regularity during the 2014-15 campaign, scoring seven goals in 38 appearances across all competitions. But he started just 12 of those matches as Diego Costa was manager Jose Mourinho's preferred option up top.

    He has spent the bulk of career with the Blues, winning four Premier League titles, three League Cups, four FA Cups, and one UEFA Champions League crown. Drogba first left Chelsea back in 2012, and nearly signed with Chicago back then, but opted to play with Chinese side Shanghai Shenua. He spent just seven months in China, later signing with Turkish club Galatasaray. He then returned to Chelsea prior to the start of last season.

    At international level, Drogba is the Ivory Coast's all-time leading scorer with 65 goals, and his 104 appearances rank third behind Kolo Toure's 108 and Didier Zokora's 123.

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  3. little bear

    little bear Head Coach

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    http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/...xpects-important-transactions-central-defense

    Chicago Fire's Nelson Rodriguez expects "important transactions" for central defense

    BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Many Chicago Fire fans have been frustrated by the club’s relative inactivity in the transfer market. But general manager Nelson Rodriguez insists he “feels good about [the team's] progress,” and reasserted the club’s immediate priority “remains central defense.”

    With just 15 players contracted for 2016, new head coach Veljko Paunovic has four recognized defenders in Eric Gehrig, Joevin Jones, Patrick Doody, and Kingsley Bryce. But only Gehrig and the versatile Matt Polster have experience at center back--so it is no surprise to learn that recruiting starting quality center backs is the Fire’s number-one priority.

    That's especially true given the team's decision to not exercise several players' options. Those include captain Jeff Larentowicz, who could be on his way to the LA Galaxy, Adailton, Daneil Cyrus, and Greg Cochrane. All of them hail from a defense that conceded a league-equaling high 58 goals last year.

    With all of that said, the Men in Red have a number of spots to fill. Naturally, there have been some rumors--like those linking the team with Olympiacos’ Mexican striker Alan Pulido. For now, those will remain just rumors, according to Rodriguez. “I know it’s boring to most fans and most media, but it’s not our nature to comment publicly on players or targets that we have," he said. "I will add this though: Our priority remains central defense.”

    Rodriguez himself has spent some of the holidays back home in New Jersey, while Paunovic has been in Madrid with his family. Both will travel to Florida for the MLS Combine in Fort Lauderdale from Jan. 7 through 12, then to Baltimore for the MLS Draft on Jan. 14, then return to Chicago ahead of the start of pre-season on Jan. 24.

    “We feel good about our progress,” Rodriguez said by phone from New Jersey. “We have our plan, we are disciplined against our plan, we remain committed to that plan, and feel that when we’re finished, we will be satisfied. I know that fans at times can be impatient but I also think generally that this time of year is difficult to conclude transactions because of the nature of the holidays and the impending opening of transfer windows throughout Europe.”

    Rodriguez expects significant movement ahead of the squad’s arrival for the first day of pre-season, though it's tough to tell if any major arrivals will come in the next week or so.

    “My experience tells me that every negotiation and every transaction moves at its own rate and pace,” he said. “We, for the moment, remain satisfied with our progress with some of the targets that we’ve identified, and we still believe that we are on our timeline for completion of some important transactions.”

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