Blog

jeff crandall

06 January 11:36 am

Well, if that photo of Toyota Park doesn’t say it all, it’s frigid in Chicago today. Whether you headed out to work or school or took a snow day and went to the movies, we hope you took the Fire with you to stay warm!

If you did, you could win a 2014 Chicago Fire Winter Pack (4 tickets to March 23 Opening Day vs. New York + 4 Fire hats)!

Just tweet us selfies of you bundled up in #cf97 gear to @ChicagoFire AND using #Chiberia or post your selfie as a comment on this Facebook post tonight by 11:59pm CT to be entered.

We’ll announce winners tomorrow! 

A few examples so far…

 

24 December 8:25 am

Mike Magee has won a lot of awards this offseason and you probably thought he was done when he collected the MLS MVP trophy at the beginning of the month.

You'd be wrong though.

Fire fans mobilized last week, voted and garnered Magic Mike 57% of the vote to make the Fire forward and hometown hero RedEye Chicago's Sports Stud of 2013.

Now it's unlikely that his most recent honor will play any bearing one whether or not U.S. Men's National Team head coach Juergen Klinsmann selects him for January camp in LA and Brazil.

After admitting some surprise at not being called for the team's November friendlies in Europe after his MVP season, Magee did have some interesting things to say about the January camp and somewhat longshot hopes of making the World Cup roster, namely:

“I hope I get called into camp because that’s what I’m now training for,” Magee said. “I’m training to be in that camp and if I’m not, I’ll lie and say I’m getting ready for our preseason.” He added: “Of course I want to be on that World Cup roster. In the past, when I wasn’t called in, it was a little disappointing because I know what I’m capable of doing and know that I could help the team.”

Read the full article here.

WATCH: #MikeMageeMVP All-Access

23 December 9:22 am

Chicago Fire Homegrown prospect Harrison Shipp garnered another collegiate accolade Monday, as TopDrawerSoccer.com named the Notre Dame attacker its 2013 Collegiate Player of the Year

Just over a week ago, Shipp led the Fighting Irish to its first ever NCAA College Cup, tallying the game-winning assist in a 2-1 win over Maryland in Chester, Pa.

Shipp's 12 goals and 10 assists for Notre Dame also made him a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy which is set to be awarded on January 10. 

Though the club has not yet signed Shipp to a Homegrown deal, earlier this month MLS confirmed he was eligible to be signed directly by the Fire.

At a Season Ticket Holder Town Hall on December 14, the day before the College Cup final, Fire head coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop spoke highly of Shipp, comparing him to a young Mike Magee before insinuating the team would be bringing him in as a Homegrown player by saying, "We'll get him."

 

20 December 1:46 pm

As U.S. Soccer wraps up its centennial anniversary celebration in 2013, the Federation on Friday released the U.S. Men's National Team's all-time Best XI.

A voting panel of 57 former players, administrators and media were polled to determine the list which just so happens to feature three former Fire players in Carlos Bocanegra (2000-2003), Brian McBride (2008-2010) and Eric Wynalda (2001).

Wynalda and McBride, who at one point sat first and second respectively on the U.S. Men's National Team's all-time goal scoring list ran away with the two forward spots while Carlos Bocanegra finished third in the vote among defenders behind Marcelo Balboa and Eddie Pope. 

The three Fire representatives on the list have appeared in a combined eight FIFA World Cups, amassed 313 caps and tallied 78 goals for the U.S. Men's National Team. 

Notable players missing from the list or rather, those that should get Honorable Mentions include goalkeepers Kasey Keller and Tim Howard, defenders Paul Caligiuri and Thomas Dooley, midfielders Michael Bradley and Cobi Jones and forward Earnie Stewart.

See the list below... What do you think? 

19 December 10:07 am

Working hard or hardly working as you countdown the minutes till Holiday Break?

If you're doing either, set aside seven spare minutes to watch all 58 goals scored by the Fire in 2013...

WATCH: 2013 Chicago Fire Goals

11 December 7:25 pm

Iconic Mexican legend and former Fire attacker Cuauhtemoc Blanco has announced he'll retire following Lobos BUAP's finish of the Liga de Acenso's Apertura tournament next year.

Rated as perhaps the best Mexican player of all-time, Blanco became the first Designated Player in Chicago Fire history when he signed with the Men in Red in 2007. He'd go on to appear in 77 matches, tallying 19 goals and 28 assists with Chicago through the 2009 season before returning to Mexico with Veracruz.

As part of the club's 15th Anniversary in 2012, Blanco was also named as one of the Top 15 players in Chicago Fire history. 

Blanco is Mexico's second all-time leading goal scorer, tallying 39 goals across 119 appearances and represented "El Tri" at the 1998, 2002 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.

Most interestingly, the above article also states that one of his planned send off friendlies next year will be in the United States...

11 December 12:03 pm

The club announced Wednesday that Fire Original and Ring of Fire member C.J. Brown would be returning to the Men in Red as an assistant coach under Frank Yallop.

As the longest tenured Fire player of all time and the club’s appearance record holder, C.J.’s return is a special one for old and young supporters of the club. To celebrate C.J. coming back to the Windy City, we’re giving supporters three chances to win autographed C.J. Brown jerseys today via Fire Social Media.

INSTAVIDEO: Upload your best impression of the “CJ Dance” to Instavideo with #CJsBack and be entered to win… In case you forgot what that looks like, watch it here...

FACEBOOK: Simply LIKE this post by 11:59pm CT Wednesday and be entered to win.

TWITTER: Simply RT the below tweet and FOLLOW @ChicagoFire by 11:59pm CT Wednesday and be entered to win.

STAY TUNED: We'll announce the winners on Thursday morning!

05 December 1:18 pm

With his announcement as 2013 MLS MVP Thursday, Mike Magee joined an exclusive list of Chicago athletes that have won their league's Most Valuable Player awards.

Magee's name joins the likes of Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Stan Mikita, Ernie Banks and Frank Thomas in the Chicago MVP club.

UPDATE! Magee did a short conference call with local media following this afternoon in Kansas City and I had the nerve to ask him what it felt like to be included in such a club. His answer:

"When you put it that way, obviously, it’s amazing. Not by any means am I calling myself Michael Jordan or Walter Payton, but to be on a short list or any list at all with the likes of guys I grew up loving and pretending to be — to be on any list with them is a list I will certainly keep."

Check out all 20 of the city's professional MVPs from the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs and White Sox below:

05 December 10:31 am

In case you were in a meeting, devoid of a smart phone or just sleeping in under a rock, Fire forward Mike Magee was named MLS MVP Thursday morning.

In honor of Mike garnering the league's highest individual award, we're giving Fire supporters an opportunity to win a signed Magee primary jersey Thursday only.

All you have to do is Retweet the below tweet AND follow @ChicagoFire on Twitter by 11:59pm CT to be entered! Get to it...

 

04 December 7:34 pm

Since 2001, the Mock World Cup Draw has been a fixture of sorts in the Crandall Household. Let’s be real though, the scale of it was quite small and usually just consisted of me pulling names out of a hat alone in my room.

Alas, Wednesday I took advantage of the soccer constituency available around the club’s Toyota Park office and welcomed my co-workers to the 2014 Chicago Fire Mock World Cup draw in Conference Room 1...

Chicago Fire 2014 Mock World Cup draw

All of the spelled out procedures for Friday’s draw were followed, such as pulling the odd ninth team out of the European Pot. Fire Season Ticket Services Representative Emily Morris assisted with this and randomly selected England.

We also automatically placed hosts Brazil into Group A…

Chicago Fire 2014 Mock World Cup draw

And then began placing the remaining seven seeds into their groups...

Which ended up looking like this...

Then in order to place England into a group, we put the four South American teams back into a Pot, and drew....

Finally, we drew the mixed South America/Africa pot and came away with this grouping...

Emily then began to draw the mixed CONCACAF/AFC pot...With many in the room holding U.S. and Mexico cheering interests, this proved most dramatic...

 

The European pot was the last to be drawn, adding to the drama and finality of the mock draw. A proud U.S. Men's National Team supporter, Emily was left doing this face after completing the draw...

And this is why...

Suffice to say, no U.S. fan came away from this exercise doing this...

...but thankfully, I'm not Sepp Blatter and this thing was just for fun.

Do your own mock draw ahead of Friday's official event (the spelled out procedures can be found here). Then join us for our World Cup Draw Bracket Brunch Friday from 10am-noon at Fado (100 W. Grand Ave.).