When you go on preseason with the Chicago Fire, there are just certain things you get used to...
- All the soccer you can handle
- All the Chicago Fire training gear you can handle
- Three minute drives to Ave Maria's North Park
- A drink or three at the local Queen Mary Pub
- Animals at training...
Yes, those that remember our run-in with Charlie the Alligator during training camp last year in Charleston, would be happy to know that we had a cow, who I'm calling Merle, pull up and watch our small-sided games today.
Merle obviously reads Always on the Inside because when I went to switch my camera to record video, she quickly moved along for fear of becoming what some know as "Charlie the Alligator-famous".. Alas, all I got was this photo:
I'll still keep you posted if she comes back this week...
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:
The players are back and it's time for pre-season, take a look at some of the shots from today's festivities!
Miss Friday's "pre-preseason" press conference with Frank Yallop, Brian Bliss and C.J. Brown?
Catch the whole thing in its entirety below, and see their individual remarks broken up further down:
Frank Yallop's Remarks:
C.J. Brown's Remarks:
Brian Bliss's Remarks:
A third round pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft, Chicago Fire midfielder Logan Pause had already capped off a decade with the Men in Red last year before extending his deal to come back for a 12th season with the club in 2014 on Friday.
Logan's longevity got me thinking about players that held the longest consecutive tenures in terms of both years and games played ith one MLS club. After some research, I found that Fire legend and new assistant coach C.J. Brown holds the record for consecutive seasons with one team at 13, while Logan will tie Cobi Jones (LA Galaxy) and Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids) when he makes his first appearance for the Fire in 2014.
A look at the Top 10 players with the most consecutive seasons at one MLS club...
|Rank||Player||Club||Years||Consecutive Seasons||Games Played|
|1||C.J. Brown||Chicago Fire||1998-2010||13||296|
|2||Cobi Jones||LA Galaxy||1996-2007||12||306|
|3||Pablo Mastroeni||Colorado Rapids||2002-2013||12||216|
|4||Logan Pause||Chicago Fire||2003-present||11*||274|
|5||Shalrie Joseph||New England Revolution||2003-2012||10||261|
|6||Davy Arnaud||Sporting KC||2002-2011||10||218|
|7||Jason Kreis||Dallas Burn||1996-2004||9||247|
|8||Kerry Zavagnin||Kansas City Wizards||2000-2008||9||237|
|9||Landon Donovan||LA Galaxy||2005-present||9*||216|
|10||Jay Heaps||New England Revolution||2001-2009||8||228|
*-denotes active MLS player
You may be wondering where are Jaime Moreno and Ramiro Corrales? Good question. Moreno holds the MLS record for most seasons with one club, spending 14 years with D.C. United but he did have one stint with the MetroStars that broke up his two long stints in the nation's capital.
In Corrales' case, while he never played for another MLS club other than San Jose after being traded back to the Quakes in 2001, he did spend a few years abroad in Norway with HamKam that keep him out of the consecutive seasons count. Corrales spent a total of 12 seasons in San Jose over three stints (1996-97, 2001-04, 2008-13)
Just for fun, a look at the record number for consecutive appearances for MLS club is below too:
|Rank||Player||Club||Years||Consecutive Games Played||Seasons|
|1||Cobi Jones||LA Galaxy||1996-2007||306||12|
|2||C.J. Brown||Chicago Fire||1998-2010||296||13|
|3||Logan Pause||Chicago Fire||2003-present||274*||11|
|4||Shalrie Joseph||New England Revolution||2003-2012||261||10|
|5||Jason Kreis||Dallas Burn||1996-2004||247||9|
|6||Kerry Zavagnin||Kansas City Wizards||2000-2008||237||9|
|7||Jay Heaps||New England Revolution||2001-2009||228||8|
|8||Ramiro Corrales||San Jose Earthquakes||
|9||Nick Garcia||Kansas City Wizards||2000-2007||224||8|
|10||Davy Arnaud||Sporting KC||2002-2011||218||10|
*-denotes active MLS player
The annual numbers game that occurs every offseason has begun and even though recently acquired defender Lovel Palmer's Twitter handle features the number seven (@LovelPalmer7), the Jamaican international has decided to wear the #5 shirt for the Fire this season.
Palmer joins a strong cast of Fire fives... See them below and stay tuned throughout preseason as we detail more of The Numbers Game.
Lubos Kubik (#5 from 1998-2000)
Jim Curtin (#5 from 2001-2007)
Brian Plotkin (#5 in 2008)
Tim Ward (#5 from 2009-2010)
Cory Gibbs (#5 from 2011-2012)
Egidio Arevalo Rios (#5 2013)
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.
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.
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:
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:
|San Jose Earthquakes||18.7%|
|New England Revolution||12.3%|
|Real Salt Lake||0.9%|