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:
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:
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:
Select shots from the Fire's loss to the Red Bulls
Select shots from the Fire's 1-0 win over Toronto FC.
CREDIT: Brian Kersey, Chicago Fire
Select shots from the Fire's 3-2 win over FC Dallas, presented by MiAllstate.
CREDIT: USA Today Sports Images
Select shots from the club's 16th anniversary party and #cf97ThirdKit unveiling.
CREDIT: Nick Sintich, Chicago Fire
Select shots from the Fire's win over D.C. United presented by MiAllstate
CREDIT: USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES
Select shots from the Fire's 2-2 draw with the Impact.
Select shots from the Fire's loss to the Crew.
PHOTO CREDIT: USA Today Sports Images