Fire Alumni Abroad
There’s a lot going on in the Fire alumni abroad world, as most teams and leagues have recently returned from winter breaks. In today’s update, we have news from seven different countries…
Since returning to Poland from Chicago in December, former Fire left back Krzysztof Krol has joined Ekstraklasa bottom-dwellers Cracovia Krakow (2-11-2; 8 points) on loan from the league’s table topping side Jagiellonia Bialystok.
Krol will hope to be in action for Pasy when they return from the Polish winter break on February 25 vs. Lech Poznan.
Speaking of Jagiellonia, the club went into the winter break at 9-3-3 (30 points), three points ahead of Wisla Krakow and Legia Warszawa. Former Fire striker Tomasz Frankowski also went in as joint top scorer at 8 goals, with Korona Kielce’s Andrzej Niedzielan.
Jagiellonia has friendlies scheduled over the next few weeks with Ukranian, Czech, Romanian and Belarusian club teams before returning the Ekstraklasa schedule on February 26 when they host ninth place Slask Wroclaw.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco helped keep Irapuato undefeated in their 2011 Liga de Ascenso CLausura campaign, scoring what would stand up as the winner in a 3-2 come-from-behind win at Durango on Saturday.
Los Freseros went down early when Durango’s Edgar Garcia tallied and went into the break behind 1-0. Irapuato responded after the break, getting three goals in the span of four minutes from Arturo Alvarado (47th), Oscar Gonzalez (49th) and Blanco (51st), who tallied his first goal of the 2011 Clausura.
Durango’s Daniel Duarte pulled one back for the home side, but Irapuato hung up for the 3-2 win.
The victory moves the club to second place( 2-0-1; 7 points) on the new campaign. They’ll host sixth place Orizaba (1-1-1; 4 points) on Saturday.
Wilman Conde started and went the full 90 minutes, drawing a fifth minute yellow card in Atlas’ 1-0 win at Necaxa on Friday night in Aguasclientes.
Argentine striker Alfredo Moreno found the winner in the 75th minute.
Atlas currently sit top of the Primera Division’s Group B with a perfect 3-0-0 record. They’ll welcome Group B bottom-dwellers Club America to Guadalajara this Saturday.
Also in Clasura Group B, Paraguayan defender Lider Marmol went 90 minutes and picked up a 69th minute yellow card in Atlante’s 1-0 loss at Monterrey on Saturday. The Cancun-based club are 1-2-0 and sit fifth in Primera Division Group B. They’ll host Puebla (1-1-1; 4 points) on Saturday.
Swedish winger Freddie Ljungberg entered Celtic’s match vs. Aberdeen for Patrick McCourt in the 75th minute, helping secure the 1-0 win for the home side on Saturday. Irish striker Anthony Stokes tallied the winner in the 27th minute.
Currently top of the Scottish Premier League table with a 16-2-4 record (52 points), Celtic have a five point lead on arch rival Rangers, who have two games in hand over their cross town rivals. Ljungberg and Celtic are back in action on Wednesday when they host third place Hearts.
Bakary Soumare and U.S. Boulogne fell 1-0 to French fourth division side vs. Drancy in the Coupe de France on Saturday.
Drancy’s Kerim Herouat scored the 90th minute winner to send the visitors through.
Soumare and Boulogne can now solely focus on their Ligue 2 campaign, where they currently sit 12th with 5-4-11 record (26 points). They’ll look to move up the table when they visit ninth place Nimes (7-7-6) on Saturday.
Midfielder Ivan Guerrero went 90 minutes in Motagua’s 0-0 draw at Hispano on Saturday.
The Honduran power sit 0-0-2 (2 points) and sit seventh in the 10-team Liga Nacional Clausura table.
They’ll look for their first victory of 2011 when they visit winless Marathon this Sunday.
In South Africa…
Botswanan international Dipsy Selolwane went 90 minutes in SuperSport United’s 1-0 win vs. second place Mamelodi Sundowns in South African Premier League action.The result takes Selolwane and United (5-6-5; 20 points) to 10th place in the 16-team league.
SuperSport will host last place Mpumalanga Black Aces on Wednesday.
Striker Nery Castillo joined Aris Thessaloniki on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk last Thursday. The Mexican international will play out the 2010-11 season with the club, with the Fire holding the right to purchase him outright at the end of the loan period.
Aris (7-9-3; 24 points) currently sit 10th in the Greek Super League. They’ll host a derby match with PAOK Thessaloniki on Sunday.
Jeff Crandall is the Team Writer for the Chicago Fire. Follow him on Twitter @JefeCrandall.