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04 February 8:07 am

The Numbers Game rolls on Tuesday with the latest contestants being the center back duo of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Patrick Ianni, who were recently acquired from the Seattle Sounders in a trade that sent Jalil Anibaba the other way.

Let’s start with the Hurtado. The 29-year-old center back will continue to don the same #34 he wore for five seasons in Cascadia. Asked why he’s chosen a somewhat “off the beaten path” soccer number, Hurtado explained 34 was the number he was given when trialing with AC Milan in early 2009.

“The opportunity was a special one and it’s stayed with me ever since,” he told Chicago-Fire.com last week.

Though 34 isn’t the most common soccer number, two Fire players have worn it before. Former Trinidad & Tobago international Osei Telesford was the club’s #34 in 2007 while Austin Washington wore it from 2008-2009.

Meanwhile, Ianni has chosen to suit up wearing the #6 for the Fire this season. Interestingly, Ianni and Anibaba weren’t just in part swapped for each other but they’ve also taken one another’s number at their new club as the former Fire defender will suit up as Seattle’s #4 this season.

Asked about the choice of #6, Ianni said, “I just wanted a lower, defender’s number,” but the only two digits that fit the criteria for the Fire were #2 and #6.

Althought the #2 is free for anyone to choose, Ianni says he took into account the legacy of assistant coach C.J. Brown’s 13 years wearing  #2 for the Men in Red and the fact that it’s only been worn one other time for 27 minutes by another Fire player (Wells Thompson in 2012). 

C.J. Brown wore the number 2 for the Chicago Fire for 13 seasons from 1998-2010

In the end, the choice was simple.

“I have a ton of respect for what C.J. did here wearing that number and what that means to Fire supporters. The six shirt suits me just fine.”

QUESTION: Ianni becomes the ninth player in Fire history to wear #6 for the Men in Red. How many of the other eight can you name? (SCROLL BELOW FOR THE ANSWER).

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANSWER: Brian Bates (1998), Tom Soehn (1998-2000), Sergi Daniv (2001), Kelly Gray (2002-2005), Brandon Prideaux (2008-2009), Julio Martinez (2010), Peter Lowry (2010), Jalil Anibaba (2011-2013).

03 February 10:43 am

On the first day of full training in Ave Maria last week, we mic'd up head coach Frank Yallop for a forthcoming preseason documentary. 

What he hadn't planned on was the Ave Maria groundskeeper doing us a solid by mis-timing the sprinklers... 

Watch Frank's reaction below and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos throughout 2014 preseason 

19 January 1:21 pm

Tottenham Hotspur rode a brace from Emmanuel Adebayor as well as an own goal to a 3-1 win over Swansea in Barclay's Premier League action on Sunday. Adebayor opened the scoring in the 35th minute off of a header served from Christian Ericksen to take Spurs into the break up 1-0.

An own goal on the other side of halftime from Swansea defender Chico made it 2-0 before Adebayor tapped in his second of the day as Danny Rose's cutback from the left in the 71st minute. 

Swansea pulled a goal back late through Wilfried Bony in the 78th but it was too little too late as Spurs manager Tim Sherwood earned his fifth win in seven Premier League matches since taking over the side on December 16. 

The result moves Spurs to fifth in the Barclay's Premier League, level on points with fourth place Liverpool as they ready to welcome second place Manchester City to White Hart Lane on Wednesday. 

Check out highlights of the match courtesy of NBC Sports below.

Tickets for the Fire's friendly vs. Tottenham Hotspur go ON SALE to the general public this Friday, January 24. For more information, please visit www.chicago-fire.com/spurs.

17 January 12:49 pm

Who is Marco Franco? What's his playing style?

Re-live the 2014 MLS SuperDraft with this exclusive, not seen on TV interview with the Fire's draft pick Marco Franco.

10 January 9:23 am

Want to see new Fire Homegrown signing Harry Shipp's body of work or just need more Harry Shipp in your life? 

Watch the below highlight reel, courtesy of MLSsoccer.com:

 

08 January 6:17 pm

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday that the Chicago Fire are one of five teams taking part in Thursday's weight lottery for Brian "Cobi" Span.

Span is a 21-year-old midfielder who was teammates with Fire defender Hunter Jumper for two years at the University of Virginia. Span left UVa after the 2011 season and signed with Swedish Allsvenskan side Djurgårdens.

Thursday's lottery will take place at 9:00am CT with the announcement shortly after.

See below the odds for each team that elected to take part. Odds are determined in reverse order of the standings from the previous 34 games, in this case, the 2013 MLS season:

Club Odds
FC Dallas 41.1%
Chicago Fire 27%
San Jose Earthquakes 18.7%
New England Revolution 12.3%
Real Salt Lake 0.9%

 

11 December 7:25 pm

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...