Blog

Blog

29 June 9:01 am

The annual Chicago Pride Parade is always one of the most celebratory and festive events of the year, but the 2015 edition took on extra meaning following Friday's landmark Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the United States. Just four days after hosting Pride Night at Toyota Park, representatives from the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Section 8 Chicago were on hand Sunday to join the estimated one million revelers on the city's North Side. A big thank you to all the supporters who contributed to a day (and week) to remember!

 

 

 

Photo: Alfredo Gomez
 
Photo: Alfredo Gomez
 
Photo: Alfredo Gomez

Happy Pride Parade Day!

Posted by Section 8 Chicago on Sunday, 28 June 2015

 

24 June 11:18 pm

Frank Yallop, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer

Thoughts on the match
“Obviously not a good result for us. I think the guys gave everything they had, that is an important thing for me. The quality in the end and the final third wasn’t quite there. And we got done with it, with a terrific goal. Not a loss for words but that one hurt again but our guys tried their best. I don’t make excuses but I thought we did enough to at least get a tie or a win but we didn’t. We didn’t have a final touch that is what cost us. Obviously a great goal by Doyle.”

On why it’s been difficult to win in this stretch of games
“I don’t know, I mean we are putting all our efforts into it. I think maybe having a few guys out in a time we kind of need them the most, I think hurts a little bit. Maybe if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. I don’t know, I am trying my best to turn it around. We have added some really talented players. Again I will go back to the work ethic, maybe it wasn’t there some of the games and we have let our foot off the gas in this season. We should be good enough to win games. We work hard in the training field, the guys are committed it seems, you don’t know if it really is real deep within them, but I think it is. I have been around awhile, I kind of feel for the guys right now. They are trying their best and I though tonight was a good effort. With endeavor and triumph and you can live with that. If it is just a lack of quality here, not quality but lack of final third play. I thought we defended pretty well most of the night and get with a wonder strike if you like. I don’t know, I have only been here for a year and half and you guys have been here for a little bit. We got to keep going and I feel like we have enough talent on the roster to get it going, once we get everyone healthy and feel better. If, buts, and maybes don’t get is done.”

On pulling Joevin Jones at halftime
“No, he was ill. So he was ill before the game and he said at halftime he couldn’t finish the game. So we had to pull him out, which another good player was coming out of the lineup. Maybe he didn’t play particular well the first half, usually kind of gets himself going but he was ill.”

On not using all three substitutions
“I just felt we were getting close to scoring to be honest.  I thought we were going to get something out of the game. I wanted to leave the momentum and leaving Guly back, he did a decent job with his passing. He definitely tried very hard tonight in that spot and Mike looked dangerous and I thought that was good. I thought Kennedy was doing well and so sometimes you don’t want to throw all the forwards on. I felt like we were going to get something out of the game and it wasn’t to be tonight, obviously. Again, it wasn’t a lack of effort from our guys. The coaching staff is trying their best to right the ship obviously. We are doing the best we can with what we have but I think we still could have gotten something out of the game tonight. It was just disappointing for our group.”

On the challenges of his position
“The results are showing that. No, I mean, I like a challenge. I think that this is certainly a challenge. I feel that it is not only changing certain players in and out. It is trying to get a team to work together and gel and really do well. I think that is the hardest thing. For example, D.C. is a group that sort of grinds through everything, they got some talent obviously but don’t get flustered with whatever happens in the match. I think they had one header and the goal. I don’t know what the stats were and they didn’t have a ton of chances but that didn’t really matter to them. Our group seems like they need a lot of the chances to get one goal. I think we didn’t create enough to get that one goal tonight. But I think it is just a matter of building a group that can win no matter what. That is the hardest thing in sports, is getting the right chemistry and the right balance. I feel like the group we have right now, and maybe adding a few pieces to it is going to be good. But obviously time runs out in the season and we need to start to win and I will be under pressure if we don’t win. But I don’t give up and I keep going and in the end I usually get the group to go in the right direction. I am very determined to do that here because I feel for the fans first and foremost and the people who work for the club, and the owner. He wants to do well and has given everything in his resources to help me. It was a shame we didn’t have our guys on the field tonight but hopeful we will get healthy soon. And will start to put on the team I felt that is going to do pretty well in the league. Again, the game just slipped them by and in this league it is hard to catch up. But it won’t be from lack of trying from our players and the coaching staff and the staff.”

On teams scoring off set plays or off rebounds
“It seems to fall to their guys but you got to give them credit in that spot, to hit that shot. Sometimes your fortunate sometime you’re not. We have worked on set plays for a while and I thought Eric did a great block on the shot that got deflected on. And it goes to straight to one of their players which is Doyle and he is a great striker and anticipating where it is going to end up is the hardest part in soccer. You try to think about where it is going to end up, but it ends up in a good spot, rolling back to a fellow who can strike a good ball and goes in. It’s probably the best goal he is going to score and I think tonight that was one of the better goals we have seen here. It is just frustrating when that happens, it would be nice for one of those to go in for us. Then we can get the ball rolling and the effort from the group tonight was there. We didn’t want to lose the game, the fellows gave me everything they have, they give themselves and the team, the club, and the fans a right good go trying to win the game. We might not have the final touch and final bit of play in the final third to win the match but that happens sometimes. Especially when you have a loss of confidence, we have lost four in a row now before this game is was three in a row. You get down on yourself for a little bit but again the guys did shrug all the emotion of from losing three and gave everything they have. Things happen to you when you are down there, it doesn’t seem to go your way. We will keep fighting and keep going; hopefully we can get some wins in and climb up the table pretty soon.”

Jeff Larentowicz, Chicago Fire Defender and Captain

On the match
"Certainly, the one goal did us in. I think the performance was good, I thought that for large parts of the game we were the better team. I thought we had more of the ball; I think we created more chances, I'm not sure if that's true, but it felt that way. It's about taking one chance, and they did that."

On the team’s morale
"It's difficult, but that's the job. We're 15 games into the year, and that means we have 19 left. There's plenty of time to turn things around, and everyone has to work. I think that, more than anything, we feel like we deserved something tonight. It's not a game where you get beaten down 3-0, and you just feel like you need go home with your tail between your legs. It's kind of, maybe we're on to something, but we're just not getting it all the way there."

On D.C. United’s goal
"The last two weeks, we've had some pretty good goals scored on us. But like I said, in that moment, they take it. That's skill, that's talent. Good goal, and you can't say anything more than that, they took a chance."

On the play of D.C. United
"DC is an organized team, for sure. They've been together for a couple years now, having success doing what they do. I think they have a group of guys that compete, very smart, organized tactically. When they feel pressure, they're able to stand up to it. Late on in the game, they bring another forward on as well to try and win the game, but they end up winning on a rebound and restart. They're a good team, they're at the top of the league for a reason, and I think you can see why."

On reaching a turning point in the season
"I don't think it's ever too late. You look at 2013, things turn around, it's possible. The Revolution went to the final last year losing seven straight, I think, at one point. So you have to find a way to keep the morale up. I think that having good players in the lineup is good; however, I think that we had good performances tonight and didn't get the result."

On the trajectory of the season
"It is surprising. At 3-3, we felt like we were in a pretty good spot. We're competing with teams in the league that are good teams. I thought that we've been playing well at home. That's kind of turned a bit; losing a couple at home, still not finding a way to win on the road, that's going to hurt you in the long run. We have to get tougher on the road, and obviously take advantage of home games."

 

17 June 12:20 am

Frank Yallop, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer

On the status of Shaun Maloney
“He had slight back spasms. Probably didn’t want to play him tonight but with the lack of guys we had available, we weren’t playing particularly well and didn’t look dangerous. But obviously with the trip he had, he had a long trip and I hope it is just spasms. When he settles down he should be okay.”

On the match
“I think Quincy had a great look first half. I think we pressed the fellow in the back and he coughed it up straight to Quincy, should have scored. I think it makes a difference in the match then but doesn’t. So from that, he has a few more chances, I think and doesn’t really bury them. But I will say one thing he kept going. He got his goal in the end, and that wasn’t pretty. When you play everyone who doesn’t play a lot of minutes and you put it all together. This doesn’t always come out well, we kept going. We won the game and we are into the next round. I’ve got to take the positive and that was, we kept going, we kept fighting, we kept pushing. I know the team we are playing against is a lower league team but I think with the guys we had missing and what we did on Saturday, it was a hard match for us and I think we obviously did enough to win.”

On league standings influencing Open Cup performance
“We want to do well in both tournaments, both the league and the cup. We’ve just got to sort out our league, play out. We are in 9th position but we are three points behind. We know we have a bit to do to catch up but I think the Orlando game is what really hurt us, as a club. Going to New England without a few guys, is always a tough game. I think the Orlando one is the one I am more disappointed with and didn’t win. Just need to stay in the pack and once everyone gets back from international duties. Hopefully we can straight to re gel as team. Obviously learn to win and be better, that’s the plan.”

On utilizing Matt Polster as a centerback
“He was good. Yeah, I think he was solid and we only played against one striker, Matt Fondy, who played very well and he runs hard. I thought he handled it well. They had some good situations and we could have a final ball better, that wasn’t to be. But I think Matt did fine, he thought he did adequate after playing on the weekend. I think he did okay.”

On the play of Quincy Amarikwa
“Great, I said to him as he was lying on the field getting work done, ‘you know you kept going but you missed some chances, but you kept going and you got the goal to win it for us.’ I was proud of him and I think he did great. I challenged him at half time. I didn’t think our first half was up to standards for a team trying to win the cup. This is round one but you trying to win a trophy. And I thought we were sleep walking through it and not applying ourselves. And I told him that. I think a saw a response, not in our general play but in our desire. It showed in the end, we did keep going. We did get the goal, is what we wanted in the end now. The result is all that matters.”

On taking the positives from the match and looking ahead
“I mean, getting all our players back and healthy. Getting them all on the field together. I wouldn’t judge us, we have six guys out; Mike and Patrick haven’t seen a lot of the field yet. So I am excited when we get everyone healthy and what were are going to look like. I think we obviously problems at the back, when I say the back I mean defending. It is not just the defenders it is everybody. It was nice to get a clean sheet tonight; forget the opposition. I am excited about the prospect of this team, it is an exciting team. I talked before; we wanted to make it a team that was good to watch. I don’t think you can judge us on that tonight, a lot of guys out, a lot of exciting players out. Shaun coming back not ready to go but we need to pick up point in the league.”

On Sean Johnson’s return to goal
“I thought he was good tonight, he was solid and focused. He look assured of himself in goal. I will obviously analyze it and make a decision. I thought Sean did well tonight.”

Quincy Amarikwa, Chicago Fire Forward

On the mentality during a long match
"We knew they would come to grind out a result, we knew they were going to be in it for the long haul. That's what happens in these Open Cup games. They're scrappy, the other team is looking for something to prove, and it just makes it hard to break down. We knew all we really had to do was keep going, and eventually, we'd break through. You're confident in your own abilities, you're confident in your teammates, you know what you're capable of doing. You keep doing the right things, and eventually you're going to break through. That's how we felt about it, and we knew that it would just be a matter of time before we got through, and we would end it."

On the win
"Anytime you can win, it's a positive. That's what you're trying to do every time you step on the field, regardless of if it's a league game, or a cup game, exhibition, practice; every win matters, and every win contributes to confidence for players individually, and for your team. I think we're happy to get away with a win here, and we're looking forward to carrying the momentum into the next match."

On building confidence
"That's what goals do: goals give you confidence. Winning games gives you confidence. What you try to do is take that confidence in that next game and build upon it. Learn from the mistakes throughout the game, and see how you can improve come next week."

On Coach Frank Yallop's advice during halftime 
"He thought we could be doing better in pushing the envelope a bit more. I think as a team, we were being calculating; we didn't want to throw everything at them too early, and then struggle to find answers later in the game. As a team, we buckled in and continued doing what we were doing in the first half, but looked a little bit more to get in behind."

On match fitness
"That was my first 120-minute game in a long time, and my first 90-minute game in a month and a half or two months. No matter how much you run in training or how much you train, it's not the same as match fitness. I did the best to run as much as I could to gain as much match fitness as I could today, and I'm hoping that translates into more minutes down the road."

On scoring his first competitive goal of the season
"That's the name of the game: you create enough chances, and you take enough shots on goal, eventually you'll score. That was the mentality going into the game. I've been looking to break through for a while now, and it's nice to get the monkey off your back. It's just a matter of continuing to not let the misses keep you from taking your next chance."

 

14 June 8:23 am

Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop

On the result:
“It seems it’s the story of the season, where we play well enough to be in the game, do the right things, mainly. Getting chances and not taken them. Then having a spell of lax play when we’re soft and we’re off people and they are letting them play and then the team punishes us, it’s happen actually all season to be honest, more than a couple of games. It’s a real difficult one to put your finger on because it’s a whole team thing but we got to be a lot stronger and braver in both boxes, and that’s where the game is won and lost.”

On the period right after halftime when New England scored:
“Halftime shouldn’t make a difference in the performance, we’re professional, they have been playing the game a long time, doesn’t make a difference, you got to be ready whatever they throw at you and you’ll be clued in and tuned in and we weren’t and when you give a team with the fire power like New England, obviously have good players, they are going to punish you and they did. It was a set play again, good finish, but we have guys running sort of away from the danger area when they shouldn’t be and leaving a guy like that at the edge of the box, pre-strike, he’s going to hit the target and he did, but we got to hand it to their finishers, pretty good what they did tonight and ours were poor.”

On his team playing to the end of the game despite being down two goals:
“The game was kind of, I wouldn’t say it was dead, if we would’ve scored one to get it back, pretty close to it. JJ had a couple of good chances, Jason Johnson. Guly had one I think. I think the one that was really good was Harry (Shipp) headed at the start of the game. If we score that, it makes a bit of a difference obviously, but still, we have not had a nil nil game this year. Forget scoring, we can’t defend. We have conceded I think seven or eight goals in three matches. I know the league is an attacking league but that doesn’t mean anything, so we got to figure that out for sure.”

On how his club will move forward:
“We get all our guys that are away back, still they are attacking guys they’re not defensive type players so it makes a difference to the other team. Again we just didn’t defend well at the right times and got punished.” 

Chicago Fire forward Jason Johnson

On his opportunities as a substitute:
“Pretty much unfortunate. It’s never a good sign when you try, try and keeper made good saves or unfortunate to just—for the ball to just go outside the post. Dreaded for the loss but we got to stay focused, stick together and get ready for the next game, you know?”

On whether the bye week and upcoming U.S. Open Cup game may help the team regroup:
“I think the Open Cup game coming up is a good opportunity to get back the winning way cycle. That would be good to get the momentum going even in the bye week, for the guys to get ready for the next game.”

Chicago Fire midfielder Harry Shipp

On the result:
“It was a tough one I thought overall they did a better job than we did at controlling tempo.  I think a lot of the game was played in our own defensive half which eventually you’re going probably give up goals if that’s the case and we created a couple of chances, could have snuck away with a tie but all in all we were outplayed.”

On missing some key players:
“It’s tough when you’re missing guys but we’re confident in the guys we have and that’s no excuse.  I think you expect, you’ve got a team of 26, 27 guys you expect whosever here to be able to step in and do the roles just as well as the guys who are gone so no it’s no excuse for us.”

On the team moving forward:
“It’s tough I think it’s three losses in a row now for us so it’s been tough, it’s a tough stretch, you know it’s a long season so you’re probably going to have a few stretches where you’re winless for a few games but it’s how you snap out of it and gain some confidence because right now we’re probably a little low on that.”

 

12 June 10:24 pm

A nationwide movement swept through the City of Chicago Friday -- one with a close connection to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club.

For the first time ever, Special Olympics is orchestrating a coast-to-coast relay of the Flame of Hope in preparation for the upcoming Special Olympics World Summer Games 2015 in Los Angeles (July 25-Aug. 2). In fact, the torch is traversing a trio of routes across the continental U.S., following Northern, Central and Southern passages, crossing through all 50 states over 46 days with the help of thousands of local torchbearers along the way.

As the Northern Route makes its way through the Midwest, Chicago Fire COO Atul Khosla -- flanked by Sparky, the Chicago Fire mascot -- was fortunate enough Friday to cover a half-mile leg of the journey that wound through McCormick Place and west along Cermak Road.

On Saturday, Special Olympics will host a Unified Relay Community Celebration at Navy Pier from 1-3 p.m., before continuing north to Wisconsin and on to Minnesota. Additionally, area residents wishing to support Special Olympics in a direct manner can attend this weekend's Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games at Illinois State University in Normal and Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Competition began Friday and continues Saturday (7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.) through Sunday (7:30 a.m.-Noon).

The Chicago Fire and Chicago Fire Foundation have long partnered with Special Olympics for initiatives throughout the area, but AK's involvement in the inaugural Unified Relay carried a bit of extra significance thanks to the ongoing Chicago Fire Unified Soccer Team initiative. The team, which pairs teens with and without intellectual disabilities, is part of a cornerstone program for Special Olympics as the organization seeks to break down stereotypes and foster fun, empowering athletic settings. The Fire's Unified Soccer Team is currently in training for an August match in Portland that coincides with the Chicago Fire First Team's road match against the Portland Timbers. 

For more on the Special Olympics Unified Relay and to follow its journey, visit UnifiedRelay.org

06 June 3:03 pm

2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Kaká is slated to feature for Orlando City SC in tonight's match vs. the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park (7:30 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago). With that in mind, the broadcast duo of Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan have asked Chicago Fire fans for their opinions on today's matchday poll question: 

Who is the greatest player to show in a match played at Toyota Park? Choose from the answers below and tune into the CSN Chicago pregame show at 7 p.m. CT to watch Dan and Kevin debate the question. 

 

05 June 10:38 am

The weather forecast for the Chicago Fire's Saturday night matchup with Orlando City SC (7:30 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago, ESPN Deportes 97.5 FM Chicago) calls for clear skies and warm, June-like temperatures. 

The outlook for the following morning? Not as promising. 

As a result of predicted rain and severe weather, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Friday that the annual Meet The Team event for the club's Season Ticket Holders, originally scheduled for Sunday (June 7), has been postponed to Sunday, July 26. The event, which allows Season Ticket Holders to meet and mingle with Chicago Fire First Team players and coaches at Toyota Park, will run from 12-2 p.m.

Season ticket holders with further questions should contact their dedicated account representative or call 888-MLS-FIRE for more information.

See you Saturday night!

03 June 10:27 pm

Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Yallop

On what he saw in the first half:
"If you look at the way we played it was very good and basically at half time it’s more of the same. I knew they were going to change the game with putting players on. Espindola comes on and makes a difference but we seemed to stop playing. You’ve got to credit D.C. for the forceful play but we’ve got to do better at defending and handling situations. I said they’re going to change it up and get at you so we better be ready for it and we’ve got to adjust our game and play quicker or whatever it is and when we get a chance to punish them on the break, best do it so it’s disappointing were 1-0 up and lose 3-1 away from home. You know it’s never a good feeling at all."

On the team’s first goal:
"It was a great goal for us. Good early ball by Harry, great run by Quincy, good early ball by Quincy and a good finish by David but that wasn’t the issue. For whatever reason we stopped playing in a certain part in the game and started trying to soak up pressure when we can’t do that. We were naïve a little bit tonight I think in the big picture and D.C. United kept going and were stronger than us. The set play goal was awful to concede. I haven’t seen the goals, so I have to look at them again on tape but it’s never good to concede three goals at home or away but especially when you’re away and one goal up."

On the midweek road games and the challenges that brings:
"Yeah, there are no excuses though, we’re professionals, for 45 minutes we were fine. I thought we played probably our best stuff away from home. It was good, it was clean. Without getting the second goal, Jeff missed penalty kick but obviously it maybe wouldn’t have mattered because right afterwards we scored anyway. For us conceding three goals in any match is not good so we’ve got to look at it again, dig deep and get ready for Saturday’s game because it’s a big game for us."

On what he takes away from this game heading in to Saturday:
"We’ve got to take away decent play in the first half, good goal by us but we’ve got to look at the tape and figure out what went wrong in the second half. It was forty minutes, three goals conceded which is not good. I think one of them was a bit of a ricochet but it doesn’t matter, we’ve got to be able to clear the ball. We’ve got to defend a lot better than that. I made some changes to the lineup but I don’t think that made a difference to the result and I think we should have done better than that to get a result."

Chicago Fire Goalkeeper Jon Busch

On his impressions on the game:
"The first half they didn’t have too many looks. They were organized defensively and had some good chances on the offensive side. They had the one early shot and that was about it. Second half they stepped it up a gear and unfortunately we couldn’t keep up with it. They took over the second half and we couldn’t deal with it."

On what he took away from the game:
"It’s the same thing we’ve been saying all season, we have halves that are good and we have halves that aren’t good. The first half was a real positive. Second half we weren’t sharp, we weren’t keeping the ball when we should and we weren’t dynamic enough. We got a little lackadaisical in the back and good teams will punish you. D.C. United is a good team, they’re at the top of the table for a reason and they showed it tonight."

On the difficulties of the midweek game:
"There’s no excuses. Everybody’s got to play midweek games at some point in the season. We came out with the right mentality just didn’t do it for 90 minutes and we’ve got to pick ourselves up now and get ready for Saturday. This is how the league goes and you just get on with it. You have midweek games, you’ve got bunches where you’ve got to pick up points."

Chicago Fire Forward David Accam

On the overall reaction to the game:
"For me, I think we played a good team today. So far this season this is the best team we played and it showed in that second half. Even though we were much better in the first half, we didn’t keep the tempo up and they were much better than us in the second half."

On the differences in the second half:
"I think they wanted it more than us in the second half and that’s the only difference. You can see the pressure they gave us and they were hungry to win the game."

On his goal:
"For me, I know whenever the ball is out wide then I need to get in the box. Quincy was smart enough to see me, to give me the first time pass to score."

On what he takes in to the next game against Orlando:
"How we played in the first half. There was so much positive in the first half and we have to forget about the scores today and concentrate on the next game on Saturday. We should play the way we played in the first half and we should win on Saturday."

 

03 June 4:07 pm

The CSN Chicago announcing duo of Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan are asking fans for their help prior to tonight's Chicago Fire match at DC United. 

     MORE: Match Preview

Cast your vote in the survey below and watch Dan and Kevin discuss your responses on the Chicago Fire Pregame show at 5:30 p.m. CT on CSN Chicago Plus: 

 

01 June 9:50 am

The next big Major League Soccer star may one day look back and remember the Chicago Fire as the club that offered a springboard to his pro soccer career.

A national search for undiscovered youth soccer talent that began with 1,200 total entrants across three tryout locations (Chicago, Orlando and Los Angeles) has been narrowed to four final honorees. Remarkably, three of the four were among those that emerged as winners of the Chicago-based tryout hosted in conjunction with the Chicago Fire on May 16-17.

The four finalists were announced Sunday at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles -- where the 18 total winners from each regional tryout lived and trained as professionals for one week -- during a live broadcast on Univision's Republica Deportiva.

Eduardo Munoz, a Lafayette, Ind. native who emerged from the Chicago tryout, claimed the Portero Allstate honor as the top goalkeeper in the competition. He'll head to the Sueño MLS final in Miami next week along with three finalists from among the field players: Baltazar Duran of Cicero, Ill., Miguel Acosta of San Diego, and Isaac Arellano of Las Vegas, who came through the Chicago-area tryout.

On the line in Miami will be one spot in a Major League Soccer Academy program and a veritable path to an MLS First Team.

For more on the Sueño MLS program and each of the four finalists, visit MLSsoccer.com/Sueño.