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jeff crandall

31 January 9:00 am

New Fire assistant coach Clint Mathis scored a few goals in his career, many of which were stunning.

There was this darting run in 2001 vs. Dallas that wound up winning MLS Goal of the Year. 

There was also this one-time volley from 2004 while playing for Hannover 96 in Germany.

But if you got this far into this blog post and didn't already know what the favorite goal of Clint's career was, you haven't been a U.S. Soccer fan long enough. Of course you know what it is:

Daegu, South Korea.

June 10, 2002.

John O'Brien.

24th minute.

Deft touch with his right.

Beautiful finish with his left.

Jack Edwards: "That's why he's here!"

When I asked him this question which was very easily answered, Clint, with his Southern Charm, responded like he'd never been asked before saying, "The goal in 2002. That’s one that my kids can tell their grandkids and it’s one of those situations where I have some goals I remember playing in the league but it’s different when you score in MLS vs. the World Cup.

"I think the significance behind that goal – it ended up being the one goal we needed to get out of the group because of the other results that happened on the final day to put us through – you just can’t rate anything higher than that. You can't forget it."

Ahhh, just watch it again:

30 January 11:02 am

As Sunday's first preseason friendly vs. Florida Gulf Coast University approaches, more number choices are being made.

Today's "Numbers Game" features the club's two new Homegrown players Chris Ritter and Harry Shipp who have chosen #21 and #19 respectively. Asked if their was any significance behind their number choice, both said, "No, not really."

Thanks guys!

The #19 shirt has been worn by nine players previously and was actually worn by six different player's in the club's first five years. Those were Josh Keller, Jeff Zaun, Yuri Lavrinenko, Chad Prince and David Vaudreuil before Craig Capano donned the shirt from 2002-2004. Jim Curtin's little brother Jeff wore #19 in 2007 while Corben Bone was the most recent #19 from 2010-2013. 

Most notably, Chad Barrett (pictured above) switched to the #19 shirt in 2008 when the club acquired Tomasz Frankowski who moved into the #9 shirt. Barrett wore #19 for half a season before being dealt to Toronto FC in the Brian McBride trade that August. So in closing, Harry has the chance to really make #19 his own.

Conversely, Ritter is just the fourth player in club history to wear the #21 shirt. Michael Videira most recently wore it the past three seasons but before him, two of the club's top offensive leaders wore #21.

They were... 

Dema Kovalenko (1999-2002)

Justin Mapp (2003-2010)

Coincidentally, the Fire acquired Mapp from D.C. United for Dema Kovalenko prior to the start of the 2003 MLS campaign. Kovalenko sits fourth on the club's All Competitions goal scoring list with 26, while Mapp sits fourth on the All Competitions assists list with 35.

27 January 4:50 pm

After doing only conditioning work shortly after arriving in Ave Maria Sunday night, the team held their first full training session Monday morning.

Frank Yallop and staff split the players up into three groups that rotated between three stations focusing on conditioning work, small-sided games with small goals and possession. 

Monday afternoon half of the players in camp head to the weight room while another group gets back on the field for another session. Check out some of Monday's photos below:

26 January 6:14 pm

After a day of travel, the Chicago Fire first team arrived at its preseason home for the next week Sunday afternoon here in Ave Maria, Fla. Frank Yallop's first training session was a relaxed affair as Strength and Conditioning Coach Tony Jouaux led the team through a lengthy jog, stretching and stride exercises to loosen the muscles. 

The team will begin regular sessions Monday morning at 10:30am ET at Ave Maria's North Park. See photos of today's session below: 

24 January 10:22 am

Chicago Fire midfielder Logan Pause returns for a twelfth season with the Men in Red in 2014

A third round pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft, Chicago Fire midfielder Logan Pause had already capped off a decade with the Men in Red last year before extending his deal to come back for a 12th season with the club in 2014 on Friday.

Logan's longevity got me thinking about players that held the longest consecutive tenures in terms of both years and games played ith one MLS club. After some research, I found that Fire legend and new assistant coach C.J. Brown holds the record for consecutive seasons with one team at 13, while Logan will tie Cobi Jones (LA Galaxy) and Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids) when he makes his first appearance for the Fire in 2014. 

A look at the Top 10 players with the most consecutive seasons at one MLS club...

Rank Player Club Years Consecutive Seasons Games Played
1 C.J. Brown Chicago Fire 1998-2010 13 296
2 Cobi Jones LA Galaxy 1996-2007 12 306
3 Pablo Mastroeni Colorado Rapids 2002-2013 12 216
4 Logan Pause Chicago Fire 2003-present 11* 274
5 Shalrie Joseph New England Revolution 2003-2012 10 261
6 Davy Arnaud Sporting KC 2002-2011 10 218
7 Jason Kreis Dallas Burn 1996-2004 9 247
8 Kerry Zavagnin Kansas City Wizards 2000-2008 9 237
9 Landon Donovan LA Galaxy 2005-present 9* 216
10 Jay Heaps New England Revolution 2001-2009 8 228

*-denotes active MLS player

You may be wondering where are Jaime Moreno and Ramiro Corrales? Good question. Moreno holds the MLS record for most seasons with one club, spending 14 years with D.C. United but he did have one stint with the MetroStars that broke up his two long stints in the nation's capital.

In Corrales' case, while he never played for another MLS club other than San Jose after being traded back to the Quakes in 2001, he did spend a few years abroad in Norway with HamKam that keep him out of the consecutive seasons count. Corrales spent a total of 12 seasons in San Jose over three stints (1996-97, 2001-04, 2008-13)

Just for fun, a look at the record number for consecutive appearances for MLS club is below too:

Rank Player Club Years Consecutive Games Played  Seasons
1 Cobi Jones LA Galaxy 1996-2007 306 12
2 C.J. Brown Chicago Fire 1998-2010 296 13
3 Logan Pause Chicago Fire 2003-present 274* 11
4 Shalrie Joseph New England Revolution 2003-2012 261 10
5 Jason Kreis Dallas Burn 1996-2004 247 9
6 Kerry Zavagnin Kansas City Wizards 2000-2008 237 9
7 Jay Heaps New England Revolution 2001-2009 228 8
8 Ramiro Corrales San Jose Earthquakes

2001-2004;
2008-2013

225 10
9 Nick Garcia Kansas City Wizards 2000-2007 224 8
10 Davy Arnaud Sporting KC 2002-2011 218 10

*-denotes active MLS player

20 January 3:00 pm

The annual numbers game that occurs every offseason has begun and even though recently acquired defender Lovel Palmer's Twitter handle features the number seven (@LovelPalmer7), the Jamaican international has decided to wear the #5 shirt for the Fire this season.

Palmer joins a strong cast of Fire fives... See them below and stay tuned throughout preseason as we detail more of The Numbers Game.

Lubos Kubik (#5 from 1998-2000)

Jim Curtin (#5 from 2001-2007)

Brian Plotkin (#5 in 2008)

Tim Ward (#5 from 2009-2010)

Cory Gibbs (#5 from 2011-2012)

Egidio Arevalo Rios (#5 2013)

19 January 1:21 pm

Tottenham Hotspur rode a brace from Emmanuel Adebayor as well as an own goal to a 3-1 win over Swansea in Barclay's Premier League action on Sunday. Adebayor opened the scoring in the 35th minute off of a header served from Christian Ericksen to take Spurs into the break up 1-0.

An own goal on the other side of halftime from Swansea defender Chico made it 2-0 before Adebayor tapped in his second of the day as Danny Rose's cutback from the left in the 71st minute. 

Swansea pulled a goal back late through Wilfried Bony in the 78th but it was too little too late as Spurs manager Tim Sherwood earned his fifth win in seven Premier League matches since taking over the side on December 16. 

The result moves Spurs to fifth in the Barclay's Premier League, level on points with fourth place Liverpool as they ready to welcome second place Manchester City to White Hart Lane on Wednesday. 

Check out highlights of the match courtesy of NBC Sports below.

Tickets for the Fire's friendly vs. Tottenham Hotspur go ON SALE to the general public this Friday, January 24. For more information, please visit www.chicago-fire.com/spurs.

10 January 9:23 am

Want to see new Fire Homegrown signing Harry Shipp's body of work or just need more Harry Shipp in your life? 

Watch the below highlight reel, courtesy of MLSsoccer.com:

 

08 January 6:17 pm

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday that the Chicago Fire are one of five teams taking part in Thursday's weight lottery for Brian "Cobi" Span.

Span is a 21-year-old midfielder who was teammates with Fire defender Hunter Jumper for two years at the University of Virginia. Span left UVa after the 2011 season and signed with Swedish Allsvenskan side Djurgårdens.

Thursday's lottery will take place at 9:00am CT with the announcement shortly after.

See below the odds for each team that elected to take part. Odds are determined in reverse order of the standings from the previous 34 games, in this case, the 2013 MLS season:

Club Odds
FC Dallas 41.1%
Chicago Fire 27%
San Jose Earthquakes 18.7%
New England Revolution 12.3%
Real Salt Lake 0.9%

 

08 January 10:32 am

We already know that after a nine-year absense from U.S. Men's National team camp, Mike Magee is taking his current opportunity rather seriously

USsoccer.com caught up with Mike, Jurgen Klinsmann and a few other players after the team's first training session on Tuesday. Check out the video below and see Mike's interview beginning at about 1:20.