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02 January 12:14 pm

In this edition of Burning Questions, we sat down with Fire left back Gonzalo Segares. A native of San Jose, Costa Rica, Gonzalo has been capped 19 times for Los Ticos. The club's Defender of the Year in 2007, Gonzalo returns in 2013 for his ninth season with the Men in Red. The newlywed took the time to answer our Burning Questions about wedding themed movies, his infamous sweet tooth and the worst actor in Hollywood.

Always on the Inside: You got married this past December. What is the best movie that features a wedding: “Wedding Crashers”, “The Wedding Singer”, “The Hangover” or “Bridesmaids”?

Gonzalo Segares: Definitely the first “Hangover”.


Gonzalo and Rusti married December 15

AOTI: It’s pretty well documented that you’re a fan of baked goods. If you could only choose to have one pastry for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

GS: Can it be chocolate? Chocolate bars. Like Crunch, Kit Kat or Snickers. I like chocolate with stuff in it, especially almonds or any kind of nut, except for peanuts.

AOTI: What do you miss most about Costa Rica?

GS: The weather. I love it here in Chicago during the summer but in the winter, I just hate the cold weather. Back home we only have two seasons, which is summer and winter, and the winter is only rainy. The temperature doesn’t change that much. The average is usually in the 70s or 80s.

AOTI: How often do you use the phrase “pura vida?”

GS: I use it a lot if I’m talking to Costa Ricans when I’m home. I don’t use it that often in Chicago because when the guys speak Spanish, it’s not part of their slang.

AOTI: You attended Virginia Commonwealth University with current Fire teammate Dominic Oduro. What’s one thing that people don’t know about Dom?

GS: He was very, very, very shy. And now all of a sudden, he’s not shy.

AOTI: Do you have any phobias?

GS: When it starts shaking on the plane, I definitely get nervous.


Gonzalo's not a fan of John C. Reilly

AOTI: Who is the worst actor in Hollywood?

GS: There are a lot of them. I would say maybe the guy that’s in movies with Will Ferrell. He usually has a mustache. He’s in the cartoon movie where he doesn’t want to be a bad guy anymore, “Wreck it Ralph”. In “Talladega Nights” he’s the friend and he’s also in “Step Brothers” with Will Ferrell. I think he’s very, very bad.

Editors Note: As Gonzalo provides very good clues, we have deducted that he is referring to John C. Reilly.

AOTI: You can invite any three people to dinner. Who receives an exclusive invitation?

GS: I would definitely invite Messi. And also Michael Jordan and President Obama.

 

 

 

31 December 10:44 am

Well its the last day of the year and we're aptly left remembering all that went down in the Fire world during 2012. 

A new jersey sponsor, a Ring of Fire induction, a 15th Anniversary, playoff qualification and a Rookie of the Year winner are just some of the highlights. 

Take a photographic look back on the club's memorable 15th season:

officialfiresoccer's 2012 In Review album on Photobucket

Stay tuned on Tuesday as I give my New Year's Resolutions for the Fire in 2013!

28 December 12:35 pm

One of the final pieces of business for Section 8 Chicago every calendar year is to finalize the candidate listing for the board elections which take place at the ISA’s Annual General Meeting set for the last weekend of January every year.

Much like American presidential candidates have a deadline to declare candidacy in order to receive federal funding, Section 8 board candidates had to declare their intention to run by posting to the ISA’s forums by midnight on Thursday.

The deadline came and went Thursday night with all eight positions having at least one candidate running. While most are unopposed, two positions, Director of Finance and Director of Marketing will have election races.

Don’t like the American style two-party system? An interesting play in the Section 8 board elections is that candidates also list their group affiliation.

Though there are a number of different supporters groups that make up the umbrella of Section 8 Chicago, three (Ultras Red Side, Whiskey Brothers Aught Five and Westmont Ultras) are represented along with a number of folks who have no group affiliation (Independents).

In the coming weeks, candidates will lay out the plans they have for their positions via the Section 8 forums ahead of the AGM to be held January 26 (location to be confirmed). ALL Fire supporters are encouraged to attend the AGM and allowed to vote on board positions. 

Find below the list of candidacies as well as their group affiliations and follow the race via the Section 8 forum:

Chair: Joel Biden * / Independent
Vice-Chair: Jeffrey Marinacci * / Independent
Communications: Nick Fedora / Whiskey Brothers ‘05
Events: Annie West / Independent
Finance: 1) Merrie Bunt / Ultras Red Side  2) Josue Gomez ** /  Westmont Ultras
Operations: Eric Kekeis / Ultras Red Side
Marketing: 1) Frank Cardenas / Whiskey Brothers ‘05   2) Marty Groark * / Independent
Merchandise: Freddy Coba / Ultras Red Side

* - Incumbent    ** - Current Board Member, new position

Good luck to all candidates!
 

23 December 5:29 pm

Well you heard a bit about Jalil Anibaba and Austin Berry spending time at Atletico Madrid last month. Our friends at Kick TV followed the Fire's defensive pair during their stay at the Calderon... Check out the video below!

19 December 10:14 am

Want to learn to play like a pro? Then train like a pro on one of the Chicago Fires Regional Talent Schools this winter. The RTS is an individual training program specifically designed for advanced travel soccer players looking to take their game to the next level.

The program consists of 90 minutes of instructional coaching over an 8 week period and presents a fantastic opportunity for soccer players aged 8-14 (Boys & Girls) to participate in an integrated supplementary training program beyond their club practices.

The Regional Talent Schools start the week of January 14th, in Waukegan, Naperville, Glendale Heights and Chicago, for more information go to http://www.chicago-fire.com/youth/rts

18 December 6:05 pm

The beginning of MLS scheduling season came and went today with the announcement of all team’s First Kick and Home Opening matches for the 2013 campaign.

Praise to the heavens, for the first time in four years, the Fire won’t be charged with opening up a new stadium but that’s likely only because no new MLS grounds are set to open until 2014. See you then, San Jose.

In case you missed it, the Fire open up at two-time defending MLS Cup champions on Sunday, March 3 before returning home to host the New England Revolution for Opening Day at Toyota Park on Saturday, March 9.

Because Sporting KC opens up their first two matches on the road, we also found out that the Fire will be their opponent when they open their third season at LiveStrong Sporting Park on March 16.

Some interesting things you should know about the team’s first three games and opponents…

·         If you felt a slight frost come over you with today’s announcement, it’s because both the March 3 First Kick match and March 9 Opening Day game will be the earliest competitive matches in club history.

·         The earliest game in Fire history came in a CONCACAF Champions Cup match on March 16, 2002 at Guatemalan side CSD Municipal as the Men in Red used a 55th minute goal from Dema Kovalenko to take the first leg 1-0.

·         The earliest home game in Fire history also came in the return leg four days later when Ante Razov and Carlos Bocanegra scored to give the Fire a 3-0 aggregate win and push them to the next round of the tournament.

·         The Fire have actually played four of the team’s previous 15 home openers against New England, going 3-0-1 against the Revolution (2003: 1-1 draw, 2006: 3-3 draw, 2007: 1-0 win, 2008: 4-0 win)

·         The Fire have faced at least one of their three opening opponents in 2013 in their first three matches 10 times out of 15 seasons.

·         Much like the team opened up at home three years in a row against New England, they also had a spell between 1998-2000 that saw them face Kansas City in one of their first three matches of the year. In total, they’ve played Kansas City six times (1998, '99, '00, '03, '04, '11) inside their first three games of the season, going 3-2-1 in those instances.

·         The First Kick match on March 3 marks the first time the Fire will open up a season against the LA Galaxy.  It also marks the first time in club history the Fire will kickoff against the previous season’s MLS Cup champion.

·         Overall, the Fire are a combined 5-3-4 when facing the three sides in their first three regular season matches of a campaign.

So what do you think of the first three matchups? What date are you picking in the “Full Schedule Release” pool?

18 December 12:11 pm

With today's league-wide announcement of MLS First Kick and Home Opening matches, we wanted to take a photgraphic look back at some of the team's previous matches to open their season...

Fire First Kick and Opening Day in Photos

A look back at the club's previous opening matches...

Storified by Chicago Fire Soccer Club · Tue, Dec 18 2012 09:07:09

1998_FirstKickChicago Fire Soccer Club
Polish striker Roman Kosecki scored the first goal in Fire history, tallying what would stand as the game winner in the 76th minute of a 2-0 victory at the Miami Fusion on March 21, 1998.
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Hristo Stoitchkov celebrates the first of two goals in his Fire debut, which came in a 4-2 First Kick loss at the Dallas Burn on March 18, 2000.
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John Wolyniec celebrates after tallying in the 16th minute of the Fire's 1-1 First Kick draw at Columbus on April 7, 2001.
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Damani Ralph makes his Fire debut in the teams 1-1 First Kick and Home Opening draw with the New England Revolution on April 13, 2003 at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Ill. 
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Goalkeeper Henry Ring makes four saves en route to earning his first career MLS shutout in a 0-0 First Kick draw with the Kansas City Wizards on April 13, 2004.
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Fire players celebrate Thiago's 90th minute winner in the team's 2-1 home opening victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on April 16, 2005.
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Fire players celebrate the first-ever goal scored in Toyota Park by Nate Jaqua, tallied in the 39th minute of the team's 3-3 draw vs. new England on June 11, 2006.
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The Grand Opening of Toyota Park comes with a 2-0 Fire win over the New York Red Bulls on June 25, 2006.
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Gonzalo Segares battles New England's Taylor Twellman in the Fire's 1-0 home opening victory over the New England Revolution on April 7, 2007 at Toyota Park. 
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Logan Pause celebrates his first-career MLS goal, the game winner in the team's 1-0 Opening Night victory over New England on April 7, 2007 at Toyota Park. 
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Cuauhtemoc Blanco celebrates his stoppage time equalizer in the Fire's 1-1 away draw at Real Salt Lake in First Kick 2008.
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Tomasz Frankowski scores one of his two goals in the Fire's 4-0 Opening Night victory over New England on April 3, 2008 at Toyota Park.
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Marco Pappa tallies his first career Fire goal in the 33rd minute of the team's 1-0 Opening Day victory over the New York Red Bulls on April 5, 2009.
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Section 8 Chicago tifo ahead of the sold-out Opening Night match vs. San Jose Earthquakes on April 10, 2010.
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Diego Chaves tallies his first goal in his Fire debut in the 17th minute of the team's 1-1 First Kick draw at FC Dallas on March 19, 2011.
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Gaston Puerari puts the Fire ahead 2-0 in the 40th minute of the team's 3-2 Opening Day victory over Sporting KC on March 26, 2011.
ting_KanChicago Fire Soccer Club
Section 8 Chicago celebrates the team's 3-2 Opening Day victory over Sporting KC on March 26, 2011.
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Dominic Oduro equalizes for the Fire in the team's 1-1 First Kick draw with the Montreal Impact on March 17, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium. 
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Section 8 Chicago tifo ahead of the team's 1-0 Opening Night win over the Philadelphia Union on March 24, 2012
140307457DB005Chicago Fire Soccer Club
Dominic Oduro heads home the eventual game winner in the Fire's 1-0 Opening Night victory over the Philadelphia Union on March 24, 2012.

17 December 10:56 am

While the MLS offseason continues to grow shorter and shorter, at times it can be slightly boring compared to the fast-paced nature of what comes from January to October (and hopefully November).

With #cf97withdrawals inhabiting my brain as I await the very big schedule announcement that will allow me to figure out what away cities I’d like to visit, I did have one thought and request from Major League Soccer…

 

WATCH: Nyarko's Blast from Distance (10/27/2012)

Over the last three seasons, MLS has found a way to schedule a match between the Fire and D.C. United in October and whether deserved or not, to their credit those games have always been memorable…

In 2010, the Fire’s last home game came against United, with perhaps the 0-0 draw being overshadowed by American soccer legend Brian McBride taking his final bow in his hometown of Chicago.

In 2011, who could forget the Fire’s incredible, “Capitol Comeback” which saw the team score two stoppage time goals to win the match after just conceding a Dwayne DeRosario penalty kick at RFK? 

The 1-1 draw between the teams this past October was less memorable because of the result but still provided some excellent moments. Among them, Patrick Nyarko’s stunning goal from distance in the first half as well as the Fire’s late barrage on United goalkeeper Bill Hamid with playoff positioning on the line.

Maybe it’s just dumb luck or the MLS scheduling computer has psychic powers but each instance has provided moments that fans of at least one team won’t forget.

With that in mind, my request to the MLS league office as well as United:

Keep things going for 2013 and have the Fire host D.C. on Friday, October 25 to mark the 15 year anniversary of MLS Cup 1998. Why not package it as one of NBC Sports Network’s Friday night broadcasts?

With both teams showing reinvigorated form this past season, coupled with the famous Austin Berry/Nick DeLeon Rookie of the Year battle, perhaps the flames of rivalry that waned over recent years have been fanned once again.

Even better, Frank Klopas and Ben Olsen both played against each other in the match as did Josh Wolff who now serves as an assistant in D.C.

The storylines going in would be as good as any and if there’s as much to play for as when the two sides met this past October, it would have all the makings of being another memorable game, one that the Fire would hopefully win 2-0.

The openers are set to be announced any day now but there's plenty of time to make something like this happen before the full schedule release. 

Hopefully we can see it happen.

WATCH: The Run to MLS Cup '98

14 December 5:27 pm
Select shots from day 1 of the Chicago Fire open tryouts at the Bridgeview Soccer and Sports Dome.
 
14 December 9:21 am


 

After Day 1 of the 2012 Chicago Fire Open Tryouts, below is the final list of players selected to participate in Day 2 on Saturday. Thanks to all the participants!

8:00 AM
Zachary Richter
Matt Preyss
Mintesnot Beyecha
Ramsin Orahim
Eljhan Alimi
Ryan Coffman
Michael Dietze
Hector Marquez
Robert Bless

9:00 AM
Sadik Balarabe
Miguel Lopez Varela
Randall Richter
Celso De La Luz Machuca

10:00 AM
Abe Konbloa
Wagner Colodette
Amjed Alashoor
Samuel Archer
Joshua Boone
Ali Aledi

11:00 AM
Wojciech Smarduch
Franck Doumbe
Ben Truax
Mario Perez

12:00 PM
Justin Chavez
Krystian Nowak
Leon Fabio Zapata
Yury Kolikov
Shawn Buric
Omar Abdifatah
Wilfred Tagbo
Cesar Castanon
Ilmi Mehmeti

1:00 PM
Christian Fragoso
Milano Filipovic
Uriel Macias
David Dunlop