Important Dates

December 17, 1993
In fulfillment of U.S. Soccer’s promise to FIFA, Alan Rothenberg announces the formation of Major League Soccer (MLS).

April 9, 1997
Chicago is announced as one of the two MLS expansion teams for the ‘98 MLS season.

April 9, 1997
Philip F. Anschutz becomes the Investor/Operator of the Chicago MLS franchise.

June 24, 1997
Peter Wilt is named the first General Manager of the Chicago Fire.

October 8, 1997
Coinciding with the 126th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the team unveils its name, logo, uniform and colors at Navy Pier’s Gateway Park.

October 30, 1997
The Chicago Fire names former D.C. United assistant coach Bob Bradley as its first Head Coach.

November 6, 1997
The Fire selects its first 12 players during the 1997 MLS Expansion Draft in the Signature Room of the John Hancock Center.

December 16, 1997
Polish national team captain Peter Nowak is allocated by MLS and joins the Fire as the team’s first international player.

January 5, 1998
The Fire completes its first trade, acquiring D.C. United midfielder Jesse March in exchange for forward A.J. Wood.

January 27, 1998
The Fire acquires Mexican World Cup veteran Jorge Campos and midfielder Chris Armas via a trade with Los Angeles for Kevin Hartman and Danny Peña.

February 1, 1998
In the 1998 MLS Supplemental Draft, Chicago selects San Francisco Bay Seals (USL) defender C.J. Brown.

March 21, 1998
The Fire takes the field for the first time against fellow expansion team Miami Fusion at Lockhart Stadium, defeating the Fusion 2-0 on goals by Roman Kosecki and Ritchie Kotschau.

April 4, 1998
A crowd of 36,444 witness the Fire’s inaugural home match at Soldier Field against the Tampa Bay Mutiny as local hero Frank Klopas scores both goals for Chicago in the historic 2-0 win.

October 16, 1998
Chicago heads to Pasadena, CA for MLS Cup ‘98 after sweeping the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference finals.

October 25, 1998
The Fire is crowned the MLS Cup ‘98 champion, dethroning two-time champion D.C. United with a 2-0 win before 51,350 fans at the Rose Bowl.

October 30, 1998
The Fire becomes the second MLS team to win “The Double,” defeating the Columbus Crew 2-1 in the U.S. Open Cup Final at Soldier Field after Frank Klopas tallies the game-winner in overtime.

October 3, 1999
The Fire battles MLS rival D.C. United in the third-place game of the FC Champions Cup, but the teams draw 2-2 and receive third-place accolades.

February 6, 2000
In the first-ever MLS SuperDraft, Chicago selects Carlos Bocanegra from UCLA and U.S. U-17 international sensation DaMarcus Beasley via trade with Los Angeles.

March 15, 2000
MLS allocates former Barcelona superstar and Bulgarian World Cup legend Hristo Stoitchkov to Chicago.

May 6, 2000
Ante Razov records the Fire’s first-ever hat trick as Chicago blanks Miami 3-0 at Lockhart Stadium.

August 9, 2000
Josh Wolff becomes the first Fire player ever to score four goals in a game as Chicago defeats Dallas 5-1 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.

August 23, 2000
Chicago advances to its second Open Cup Final after Ante Razov and Josh Wolff tally in the Fire’s 2-1 win over the Galaxy.

September 6, 2000
Chicago defeats Columbus 3-1 at Soldier Field and is crowned the 2000 MLS Central Division Champion.

October 6, 2000
Chicago earns its second trip to an MLS Cup Final after defeating the MetroStars 3-2 in Game 3 of the MLS Cup Playoff semifinals.

October 15, 2000
Kansas City defeats the Fire 1-0 at MLS Cup 2000 in RFK Stadium despite a 22-6 shot advantage.

October 21, 2000
The Fire is crowned the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champion for the second time in three years, defeating the Miami Fusion 2-1 at Soldier Field.

May 3, 2001
Chicago acquires U.S. National Team all-time leading scorer Eric Wynalda in a trade with New England for John Wolyniec.

July 4, 2001
Chicago crushes defending champ Kansas City 7-0 at Arrowhead Stadium, marking the most lopsided win in team history.  The win marked the largest shutout in MLS history and equaled the mark for largest margin of victory.  Forward Jamar Beasley’s goal 27 seconds into the match marked the fastest in team history.

August 22, 2001
Chicago drops a gut-wrenching 1-0 overtime result to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals.

September 1, 2001
The Fire captures its second consecutive Central Division title with a 1-0 win over the MetroStars.

October 17, 2001
The Fire is eliminated from the 2001 MLS Cup Playoffs, falling 2-1 to Los Angeles in the semifinals.

February 5, 2002
The Naperville City Council officially approves an agreement allowing the Fire to play at North Central College’s Cardinal Stadium in 2002 and 2003 while Soldier Field undergoes renovations.

March 20, 2002
The Fire plays its first match at Cardinal Stadium before a sold-out crowd, defeating Municipal of Guatemala 2-0 in the second leg of the Round of 16 of the FC Champions Cup, advancing to the quarterfinals.

July 10, 2002
Chicago defeats Monarcas Morelia of Mexico in the second leg of the Champions Cup quarterfinals 2-1 at Cardinal Stadium but is eliminated from the tournament on goal differential (3-2).

September 22, 2002
The Fire defeats Columbus 2-1, advancing to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.

October 2, 2002
The Fire loses 2-0 to New England in the MLS Cup quarterfinals.

October 30, 2002
The Fire inks a partnership with Monarcas Morelia, marking the first time an MLS team partners with a team from Mexico’s Division I League (Federacion Mexicana de Futbol).

November 4, 2002
The Fire names U.S. National Team top assistant coach Dave Sarachan as its second Head Coach.

December 26, 2002
Chicago acquires Justin Mapp from D.C. United in exchange for Dema Kovalenko.

January 3, 2003
Chicago trades Peter Nowak to New England.

April 26, 2003
The Fire announces the formation of the Chicago Fire Juniors.

June 28, 2003
Former Fire captain Peter Nowak becomes the Fire’s first inductee into the “Ring of Fire.”

September 23, 2003
The Fire advances to its third Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final in six years after defeating the L.A. Galaxy 3-2 in the semifinals at Cardinal Stadium.

October 2, 2003
The Fire is named the 2003 Fan Friendliest MLS Team by the Sports Fans of America Association, becoming the first-ever MLS team to receive such honor.

October 10, 2003
In the Fire’s Soldier Field homecoming, 30,845 fans gather at the renovated lakefront venue to watch the “Men in Red” defeat Columbus 2-0.

October 15, 2003
For the third time in team history, the Fire is crowned the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champion, defeating the MetroStars 1-0 on a goal by rookie forward Damani Ralph at Giants Stadium.

October 18, 2003
The Fire wins its first-ever MLS Supporters Shield after defeating the Colorado Rapids 4-3 in the team’s regular season home finale at Soldier Field. 

November 14, 2003
Chicago is crowned Eastern Conference Champion and advances to its third MLS Cup Final after defeating New England 1-0 at Soldier Field on Chris Armas’ “Golden Goal” in the 101st minute.

November 23, 2003
The Fire falls 4-2 to the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS Cup 2003 at The Home Depot Center.

January 25, 2004
The Fire, AEG and the Village of Bridgeview announce an agreement to build a world-class soccer stadium for the Fire by the year 2006.

March 24, 2004
Chicago defeats Trinidad’s San Juan Jabloteh 4-0 at Soldier Field, giving the Fire a 6-5 aggregate goals series win, advancing the club to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

April 21, 2004
The Fire defeats Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa 2-1 at Soldier Field, but is eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions Cup on aggregate goals 3-2.

May 3, 2004
 
The Fire announces the formation of the Chicago Fire Players Alumni Association.

May 5, 2004
Former forward Eric Wynalda becomes the first ex-Fire player to be elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.  Wynalda elects to enter the Hall representing the Fire.

May 11, 2004
Former Fire player and local hero Frank Klopas is selected as the second inductee into the “Ring of Fire.”

September 22, 2004
The Kansas City Wizards deny the Fire the chance at back-to-back U.S. Open Cup titles, defeating Chicago 1-0 in overtime in the 2004 Final at Arrowhead Stadium.

October 16, 2004
The Fire’s postseason hopes are dashed by New England after dropping a 2-1 decision in Foxborough, MA, marking the first time the club misses the MLS Cup Playoffs.

November 30, 2004
The Fire breaks ground for its new stadium on 71st Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, IL.

January 30, 2005
Chicago sends all-time scoring leader Ante Razov to the Columbus Crew in exchange for defender and U.S. international Tony Sanneh.

February 8, 2005
Honduran and former English Premiership defender Ivan Guerrero signs with the Fire.

February 17, 2005
Chicago area standout and Canadian U-20 National Team forward Will Johnson signs with the Fire as a Discovery Player.

July 16, 2005
The Fire hosts a soccer doubleheader that sets a new all-time attendance mark, as 54,432 fans see the Fire tie Columbus 1-1 and Spanish power Real Madrid defeat legendary Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara 3-1.

July 27, 2005
Chicago is defeated by Italian giant A.C. Milan 3-1 in the most high-profile international friendly in club history at Soldier Field.

November 29, 2005
The sod is installed at the Fire’s new home in Bridgeview.

January 11, 2006
The Fire re-acquires “Fire Original” Diego Gutierrez via a trade with Kansas City; Chicago sends midfielder Will John and its 19th overall pick at the 2006 SuperDraft to the Wizards.

April 1, 2006
The Fire begins its MLS record nine-game road trip with a 3-2 loss at FC Dallas in the first match of the 2006 MLS season.

June 9, 2006
The Fire announces a 10-year naming rights deal for its brand-new home, TOYOTA PARK.

June 11, 2006
The Fire opens the doors to TOYOTA PARK to a limited audience for the team’s first game in Bridgeview, as 12,941 season ticket holders, Bridgeview residents and VIP’s see the Fire and New England Revolution fight to a thrilling 3-3 draw.

June 25, 2006
In the Grand Opening match at TOYOTA PARK, an overflow crowd of 20,133 sees the “Men in Red” use goals by captain Chris Armas and midfielder Thiago to notch a 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls.

July 12, 2006
In the first-ever international friendly at TOYOTA PARK, Mexican powerhouse Club América scores late to record a 2-1 victory over the “Men in Red.”

August 5, 2006
A record crowd descends upon TOYOTA PARK for the 2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game.  Two-time defending Premiership champion Chelsea FC’s cache of stars is not enough, as Dwayne DeRosario’s second half goal lifts the MLS All-Stars to a 1-0 victory in front of 21,210 spectators in Bridgeview.

September 6, 2006
A dominating 3-0 win over D.C. United in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals sends Chicago to the tournament’s championship match for the fifth time in just nine appearances.

September 23, 2006
Goals from Nate Jaqua, Andy Herron and Thiago propel the Fire to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, giving the “Men in Red” their fourth victory in U.S. Soccer’s national championship tournament.

October 22, 2006
A national television audience sees the Fire defeat New England 1-0 in the first MLS Cup Playoff game in TOYOTA PARK history.

October 28, 2006
The Fire sees its season end in dramatic fashion at New England, as the Revolution’s 2-1 win in Game Two forces the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series into extra time, then penalty kicks.  Chicago fell 4-2 in PK’s, marking the third straight year the Fire’s season ended at the hands of the Revolution.

January 12, 2007
The Fire heats up the MLS SuperDraft by making a draft-day deal that sends 2006 Fire/Budweiser Golden Boot winner Andy Herron to the Columbus Crew in exchange for the draft’s second overall pick and forward Ryan Coiner.  Chicago selects six players on the day, headed by Virginia defender Bakary Soumare.

April 3, 2007
The Fire use their Designated Player spot to sign Mexican International Cuauhtémoc Blanco, a striker from Club América of the Mexican Primera División. 

June 20, 2007
Fire head coach Dave Sarachan is relieved of coaching duties. Assistant coach Denis Hamlett is appointed as interim head coach.

July 3, 2007
The Fire announce the formation of the Chicago Fire Soccer Academy, an elite player development initiative designed to identify and develop the best young talent within the Chicagoland area.  The two Academy teams, U16 and U18, will participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League.

July 6, 2007
 
Juan Carlos Osorio is appointed as the third head coach in club history.  Osorio joins the Fire after serving as head coach of the Colombian side, Millonarios. 

August 4, 2007
Former Fire head coach Bob Bradley is inducted into the prestigious “Ring of Fire”.  A halftime ceremony included fellow inductees Peter Wilt, Peter Nowak, and Frank Klopas presenting Bradley with a ring and unveiling his jersey flag inside TOYOTA PARK.

September 6, 2007
Andell Holdings, a Los Angeles-based private investment firm with global business and investment interests controlled by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hauptman, announce the closing of the transaction for Andell to acquire AEG’s interests in the Fire.  Hauptman becomes the 13th investor/operator in Major League Soccer history.

October 21, 2007
 
In front of 21,374 fans at TOYOTA PARK, the Fire defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 off a goal from John Thorrington to clinch their ninth playoff berth in team history.

November 8, 2007
 The Fire once again see their season ended by the New England Revolution as the “Men in Red” fall 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Championship Final at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

November 13, 2007
Five-year Fire captain and Fire/MLS Original Chris Armas announces his retirement from Major League Soccer after twelve seasons in the league. 

December 10, 2007
Fire head coach Juan Carlos Osorio resigns.

January 11, 2008
Long time Fire assistant coach Denis Hamlett is introduced as the new head coach of the Chicago Fire.

January 15, 2008
Best Buy is announced as the presenting sponsor and first-ever jersey sponsor for the Chicago Fire.

January 18, 2008
Frank Klopas is named Technical Director of the Chicago Fire.  Mike Jeffries and Chris Armas join Daryl Shore as assistant coaches for the Fire.

January 19, 2008
The Fire use two first round draft picks to bring in forward Patrick Nyarko of Virginia Tech University (seventh overall) and goalkeeper Dominic Cervi of the University of Tulsa (12th overall).

April 12, 2008
John Guppy is relieved of his position as president of the Fire organization.

May 21, 2008
Fire play Wisla Krakow to a 0-0 tie as Frankowski wears the captain’s armband against his former team.

July 1, 2008
Mike Banner scores two goals in the Fire’s 4-1 win over the Cleveland City Stars in the third round of the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at TOYOTA PARK.

July 8, 2008
After two overtime periods, the Fire fall to D.C. United 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the Open Cup.

July 30, 2008
Fire trade Chad Barrett and the club’s 2009 first round draft choice and conditional future considerations to Toronto FC for U.S. Soccer star Brian McBride.

July 30, 2008
Fire acquire midfielder Marco Pappa on loan from CD Municipal of Guatemala

July 30, 2008
Fire down Everton FC 2-0 during an international exhibition match at TOYOTA PARK. 

August 16, 2008
McBride makes his Fire debut coming off the bench in the second half of the 1-0 loss to D.C. United at TOYOTA PARK.

August 24, 2008
Fire fall to los Tiburones Rojos in an international exhibition match played at Luis Pirata Stadium in Veracruz, Mexico.

August 26, 2008
Dave Greeley is named president of the Fire.

October 23, 2008
Chris Rolfe scores his first career hat trick in a 5-2 win over New York.

November 6, 2008
Fire advance to the Eastern Conference Final after defeating New England 3-0 at TOYOTA PARK.

November 12, 2008
The Fire fall in the Eastern Conference Final for the second consecutive season, suffering a 2-1 loss in Columbus against the Crew.

January 9, 2009
The Fire pick up their option for designated player Cuauhtemoc Blanco

January 15, 2009
At the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, Fire select Baggio Husidic (20th overall), David Sias (43rd Pick overall), Jokull Elisabetarson (52nd overall), and Richard Jata (58th overall)

January 20, 2009
Assistant coach Chris Armas departs club after spending eleven seasons with the Fire as a player and coach.

January 24, 2009
Mike Matkovich is named assistant coach.

April 29, 2009
Fire fall 2-1 to Club America in an international exhibition match played at TOYOTA PARK.

June 9, 2009
Defender Brandon Prideaux announces retirement effective at the end of the season.

June 30, 2009
Fire fall to USL Second Division’s Wilmington Hammerheads, 1-0 in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

August 6, 2009
After advancing through the group stage and semifinals of their first SuperLiga tournament, the Fire fall 4-3 in penalty kicks to Tigres UANL in the final at TOYOTA Park.

October 22, 2009
Fire secure a postseason berth for the 11th time in 12 seasons with a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA at Toyota Park.

November 14, 2009
Fire fall on penalty kicks to Real Salt Lake in Eastern Conference Final, after playing to a scoreless draw over 120 minutes.

November 24, 2009
Fire part ways with head coach Denis Hamlett after two seasons.

January 11, 2010
Mexican coach Carlos de los Cobos is named the fifth head coach in Fire history.

January 14, 2010
Fire select five players in the MLS SuperDraft midfielder Corben Bone (13th overall), defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe (26th overall), midfielder Drew Yates (29th overall), defender Steven Kinney (45th overall) and goalkeeper Sean Johnson (52nd overall).

May 8, 2010
Last remaining “Fire Original”, defender C.J. Brown plays his 350th match across all competitions as the Fire draw FC Dallas 1-1 at Toyota Park.

May 30, 2010
The Fire welcome Italian power A.C. Milan to Toyota Park for the first time, falling 1-0 to the Rossoneri in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,356.

July 16, 2010
The Chicago Fire U15/16 Academy team wins U.S. Soccer’s Developmental Academy National Championship, drawing 1-1 with Cal Odyssey before besting the side 5-3 on penalties at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. The result made the Chicago Fire the first MLS club to see it’s Academy win a national championship since the inception of the USDA in 2007.

July 17, 2010
The Chicago Fire unveil Mexican international Nery Castillo as the club’s second-ever Designated Player between games of the SuperLiga doubleheader at Toyota Park. Castillo joined the club on loan from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

July 30, 2010
The Fire acquire Freddie Ljungberg from Seattle Sounders FC for a conditional selection in the 2011 or 2012 MLS SuperDraft. The transaction is the first trade of a Designated Player in MLS history.

August 8, 2010
The Fire and New York Red Bulls make MLS history with a combined five Designated Players playing in one match. The Fire started Freddie Ljungberg and saw Nery Castillo make his club debut in the 61st minute while New York’s Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez and Juan Pablo Angel made up the numbers.

September 3, 2010
Fire striker and U.S. Men’s National Team legend Brian McBride announces his intention to retire at the end of the 2010 MLS season.

September 16, 2010
Former Hoy and Café Media boss Julian Posada is named the club’s fifth president, becoming the first-ever Latino president in Major League Soccer.

October 8, 2010
Midfielder Peter Lowry scores the 600th regular season goal in Chicago Fire history on the club’s 13th anniversary in the 30th minute of a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew at Toyota Park.

October 22, 2010
Last remaining “Fire Original” defender C.J. Brown announces he will retire following the club’s regular season finale against Chivas USA the following day. Brown ended his illustrious 13-year career in Chicago having played 372 matches across all competitions – third among players with one MLS team behind only Cobi Jones (392 with LA Galaxy) and Jaime Moreno (424 with DC United).

October 28, 2010
Assistant Coach Mike Matkovich and Strength & Conditioning Coach Alvaro Briones depart the club.

January 12, 2011
The Fire name former Uruguayan international Leo Percovich as first assistant coach. Percovich previous served as an assistant coach with Toronto FC, Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids.

January 13, 2011
The Fire select defender Jalil Anibaba (9th overall) and strikers Jason Herrick (45th overall) and Davis Paul (51st overall) in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft held in Baltimore, MD.

January 19, 2011
The Fire name former Louisville University Fitness specialist Tony Jouaux as the club’s new Strength & Conditioning coach.

May 24, 2011
The Fire defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 5-4 on penalty kicks after playing to a 2-2 draw over 120 minutes in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in match at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. With the victory, the Fire become the first MLS club to participate in 14 consecutive Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournaments.

May 30, 2011
The club parts ways with head coach Carlos de los Cobos, naming Technical Director Frank Klopas interim head coach through the remainder of the 2011 season. De los Cobos finished with a 12-18-17 record across all competitions.

July 23, 2011
The Fire returns to Soldier Field for the first time since 2005 to take on Manchester United. Cory Gibbs puts the home side ahead with a 13th minute header before three second half goals from the Red Devils end the match with a 3-1 score line. A sold-out crowd of 61,308 set the all-time stadium attendance record for an international club match.

August 30, 2011
The Chicago Fire use goals from Sebastian Grazzini and Dominic Oduro to defeat USL-Pro side Richmond Kickers 2-1 at Toyota Park to advance to an MLS record sixth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.

September 17, 2011
Dominic Oduro becomes the first Fire player since Damani Ralph in 2004 to tally double digit regular season goals, scoring an 85th minute winner to give the Fire a 3-2 victory over Chivas USA.

October 4, 2011
Playing in front of a tournament-record crowd of 36,615 at CenturyLink Field, the Chicago Fire fall 2-0 to Seattle Sounders FC in the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.

November 3, 2011
Fire owner Andrew Hauptman removes the interim tag from Frank Klopas’ title, naming the “Fire Original” the club’s sixth head coach. Having finished with a 7-2-1 MLS league record while leading the side to the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, Klopas becomes the first former Fire player to become head coach.

January 12, 2012
The Fire select Austin Berry (ninth overall), Lucky Mkosana (23rd overall) and Hunter Jumper (28th overall) in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft

January 17, 2012
The club announces Chicago-based Quaker Oats as the club’s new jersey partner official Breakfast Foods & Nutritious Snacks Partner of the Chicago Fire.

April 16, 2012
The team reacquires second all-time leading scorer, forward Chris Rolfe from Danish Superliga side Aalborg BK.

April 28, 2012
The Fire eunveil the Second Star Club, a premier, all-inclusive club at Toyota Park.

September 15, 2012
The Fire record their 200th regular season win with a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Impact at Toyota Park.

October 7, 2012
The Fire qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time since 2009.

October 8, 2012
The club celebrates its 15th anniversary with a supporter-driven gala at the Chicago History Museum.

October 27, 2012
Forward Chris Rolfe is named 2012 Chicago Fire MVP and Golden Boot winner while two-time German World Cup veteran Arne Friedrich is named the club's 2012 Defender of the Year.

January 17, 2013
The Fire select Yazid Atouba (30th overall) in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.