Fire Player Development Update

Fire academy teams go 3-1-0 in weekend play

The Chicago Fire U-18 and U-16 Developmental Academy teams went 3-1-0 this past weekend in U.S. Soccer Development Academy Great Lakes Division play. The U-18s defeated the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves (MI) 4-1 on Saturday and Vardar SC Freiburg (MI) 6-2 on Sunday. The U-16s were victorious in their first game with a 1-0 win over the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves on Saturday and dropped their second game, a 1-0 defeat to Vardar SC Freiburg. All four matches were played on the Toyota Park Turf Field.

The Fire U-18s kicked off Saturday, May 5 against the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves and went ahead with Victor Pineda’s goal in the 29th minute. Chisom Ogbonna doubled the lead in the 40th. The Wolves pulled one back in the 51st minute when Wolves’ Jack Brown scored, ending the Fire’s shutout streak that dated back to April 14. The Fire’s lead kept growing when Ibrahim Konbloa knocked in an own goal in the 58th minute and Charlie Oliver tallied a goal in the 86th minute, giving the Fire the 4-1 win.

In the second match of the day, the Fire U-16’s Marcus Epps scored the only goal of the match in the 24th minute and Kyle Anthony Dal Santo started in goal and recorded the shutout.

The next day the Fire U-18s welcomed Vardar and saw the visitors go ahead 2-0 with goals from Russell Cicerone in the 34th minute and Jeffery Adkins in the 40th, before Victor Pineda was able to pull one back for the Fire in the 45th minute. After the break, the Fire came out and had a dominant second half. Joey Calistri tallied his first goal in the 50th minute. In quick succession, Pineda and Joey Calisitri notched their second goals of the game in the 63rd and 65th minute, and Drew Conner added to the count with his goal in the 68th. The Fire weren’t done however as Manny Rios scored in the 90th minute to give the Fire a decisive 6-2 victory.

In the afternoon fixture, the Fire U-16s fell 1-0 to Vardar SC Freiburg. Alexander Tzonev scored in the 17th minute and the Fire went down a man in the 60th minute when A.J. Jeffries was shown a red card in the 60th minute for a reckless challenge as Vardar hung on for the 1-0 victory. This was the U-16s first loss since a 3-1 defeat to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club on March 17.

The U-18s (13-2-1) maintain their position at the top of the standings with an 8-0-1 record in the Great Lakes Division. Despite the loss, the U-16s (11-3-2) moved into first place in the Great Lakes Division with a 7-1-1 record.

The Chicago Fire Developmental Academy teams return to action on Sunday, May 13 when the U-18 and U-16 teams take on local rivals Chicago Magic PSG on the College of Dupage Stadium Field in Glen Ellyn, Ill.
 

CHICAGO FIRE EXPAND FULLY FUNDED ACADEMY PROGRAM TO INCLUDE U-10 THROUGH U-18 AGE GROUPS

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Wednesday that the club has expanded the Chicago Fire Academy program to include a fully funded program for youth soccer players ranging from Under-10 to Under-18. The new Chicago Fire Academy is the only comprehensive, fully funded player development program in Major League Soccer encompassing players from U-18 down to U-10.

The Chicago Fire Academy program is designed to maximize the frequency of training and give players access to the top soccer development facilities in the Midwest. The Academy will utilize MLS programming and competition platforms that are currently the highest standard of play in the United States, and will provide players with access to the most professional training environment of its kind in Chicago.

The Fire player development program has grown from 400 youths to over 10,000 across seven states, and will expand the Chicago Fire Academy program to new age groups with Academy teams now being operated at U10, U11, U12, U13, U14 & U15 in addition to the U16 and U18 age groups that participate in the USSF Development Academy. All players selected for this program will be eligible for inclusion on the club’s Homegrown Player List.

Players in the new Academy program will undergo the highest level of instruction from Fire coaches, as the Fire staff are all certified with a United States Soccer Federation “A” coaching license. In addition, the Chicago Fire Academy provides a foray into to the club’s “Team for the World’ alliance with eight international clubs including Atletico Madrid (Spain), Club America (Mexico) and Internacional (Brazil).

Tryout Information:

AGE GROUP

DAY/DATE

TIME

LOCATION

U 10

FRIDAY MAY 11th   

5:00PM

TOYOTA PARK | BRIDGEVIEW

U 11

FRIDAY MAY 11TH

5:00PM

TOYOTA PARK | BRIDGEVIEW

U 12

FRIDAY MAY 11TH

6:30PM

TOYOTA PARK | BRIDGEVIEW

U 13

MONDAY MAY 14TH

5:30PM

BRIDGEVIEW SPORTSDOME

BRIDGEVIEW

U 14

MONDAY MAY 14TH

7:00PM

BRIDGEVIEW SPORTSDOME

BRIDGEVIEW

U 15

MONDAY MAY 14TH

8:30pm

BRIDGEVIEW SPORTSDOME

BRIDGEVIEW

The Chicago Fire Academy provides an elite player development environment designed to identify and develop the best young talent within the Chicago area, with the ultimate goal of cultivating the elite player who aspires to be a professional or top level collegiate player.

For more information on Chicago Fire Academy tryouts: Visit www.chicago-fire.com, email academy@chicago-fire.com or by phone at 708.496.6640.
 

FIRE PREMIER PLAYER AUSTIN BERRY SCORES IN FIRST MLS START

Fire rookie and Chicago Fire Premier product Austin Berry scored his first professional goal in his first MLS start in the Fire’s 2-1 win over Chivas USA on Friday.

Drafted ninth overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Louisville, Berry appeared in all 16 matches and scored one goal as a member of the Chicago Fire Premier during the 2010 USL Premier Development League campaign.

Starting in place of the suspended Jalil Anibaba, Berry opened his goal scoring account in the 25th minute when Sebastian Grazzini chipped a perfect ball in into Berry’s path allowing him to volley the ball inside the left post. With his goal, Berry became the third rookie in Fire history and the first since 1998 to score in his debut MLS appearance. Both Ritchie Kotschau and Josh Wolff tallied in their rookie debuts for the Fire in the club's inaugural 1998 campaign.

Berry earned his second start in the Fire’s 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake on May 9. Berry went the full 90 and was awarded Man of the Match honors for his defensive contributions in preserving the shutout.
 

THREE MEMBERS OF FIRE ACADEMY TEAM RANKED IN NATION’S TOP 150

Three members of the Chicago Fire Academy squads were named to the Top Drawer Soccer’s Boys Club Soccer Players To Watch™ Top 150 Rankings.

Collin Fernandez and Michael Jimenez from the U-15 squad were ranked 27th and 56th respectively. U-14 goalkeeper Jacob Rooth was ranked 132nd. The list was chosen based on input from scouts, staff and coaches at various levels.

The full list of rankings can be found here.