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?
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
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...
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.
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.
— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) December 11, 2013
STAY TUNED: We'll announce the winners on Thursday morning!
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:
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...
— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) December 5, 2013
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...
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…
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.).
FIFA revealed the pots and procedures for the 2014 FIFA World Cup draw set to be held Friday morning in Coasta do Sauipe, Brazil.
Pot 1 (Seeds): Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay
Pot 2 (CAF/CONMEBOL): Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria
Pot 3 (AFC/CONCACAF): Australia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Iran, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, USA
Pot 4 (UEFA): Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia*
Step One: This is really the only variation from the previous wisdom on the draw. Instead of putting the lowest seeded team (in this case France) into Pot 2, FIFA will randomly draw one team out of Pot 4 to go into the mix CAF/CONMEBOL group of teams.
Step Two: Pot 1 will be drawn with Brazil automatically going into Group A. The rest of the seeded teams will be randomly drawn into Groups B-H and will also automatically take Position 1 (B1, C1, D1, etc…) in their group. This is important because there is already a set schedule which corresponds to each group position.
Step Three: With a mixed pot of three confederations, Pot 2 would run the risk of breaking FIFA’s rule of geographic separation which keeps nations from the same confederation (outside of two from UEFA) from being in the same group. In order to avoid having three European teams, there will be an additional “Pot X” featuring the four seeded South American teams. The country drawn out of this pot will automatically be grouped with the carryover UEFA team in the already established group.
Pot two will then be drawn, with all countries being pulled with a corresponding number to assign their group position. In the event that Chile or Ecuador is drawn into a South American seeded group, that group will be skipped with the country going into the next available (European seeded) group.
Step Four: Draw pots three and four.
Step Five: Celebrate or mourn your country’s prospects for next summer in Brazil.
Watch all the drama go down with your fellow lovers of the "Beautiful Game" at our World Cup Bracket Brunch this Friday from 10am-noon at Fado (100 W. Grand Avenue)! Stay tuned to Chicago-Fire.com as we'll conduct our own mock draw later on Wednesday.
Mike Magee became the first Chicago Fire player since Wilman Conde in 2009 to grab an MLS Best XI selection on Tuesday. The Chicago native joined an exclusive club of 14 players that have earned the honor while with the Men in Red, adding up to 22 total selections (third highest in MLS) since 1998.
For the record, former Fire captain Chris Armas has the most Best XI selections with the club, earning five (1998-2001, 2003) during his 10-year career with the Men in Red.
See below the club's previous MLS Best XI selections:
Two schools with Fire Academy ties will continue their quest for the 2013 NCAA College Cup in the tournament’s third round on Sunday.
Coming off the program’s first ever NCAA tournament win last Sunday vs. Akron, the #9 Marquette Golden Eagles travel to Charlottesville to take on perennial collegiate powerhouse #8 Virginia at noon CT.
Ex-Fire Academy goalkeeper Charlie Lyon made eight saves to push Marquette past the Zips in last week’s 1-0 overtime win and is joined by Fire alums Bryan Ciesulka, Brady Wahl, Louis Bennett II and Eric Pothast on the Golden Eagles squad.
Fans can catch the match LIVE via CBSSports.com beginning at noon CT.
Later that afternoon, catch much-talked about Fire Homegrown Prospect Harry Shipp as he leads #3 Notre Dame against #14 Wake Forest at 6pm CT in South Bend, Ind.
The ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Shipp tallied two goals in the Irish’s 4-0 second round win last weekend over Wisconsin to reserve Sunday’s date vs. the Demon Deacons and is joined in South Bend by fellow Fire Academy alum Danny Lojek.
Catch the game LIVE at 6pm CT on WatchND.com.