Chicago Fire Soccer Club Weekly Update

A weekly account of all things Fire

Jalil Anibaba

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JALIL ANIBABA EXTENDS TRAINING STINT WITH ATLETICO MADRID
Chicago Fire defender Jalil Anibaba will extend his stay in Spain by one week. The second-year defender, currently training with Spanish La Liga side and 2012 Europa League Champions Atlético Madrid, was initially scheduled to train with El Atléti from Nov. 18 through Dec. 2 but will now stay with the side through Dec. 9.
 
Anibaba is joined in Spain by 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry, who will train with the side from Nov. 25 through Dec. 9.
 
In 2011, the Fire formed a strategic alliance with Atlético Madrid, Club América and Sport Club Internacional and five other clubs on a total of five continents in an effort to bring clubs together in the spirit of creating synergy as it relates to the growth of soccer, on-the-field-and-off.
 
Berry and Anibaba, both 24, were instrumental to the Fire defense that held opponents to just 41 goals this season, tied for second best in the Eastern Conference. In 2012, the Men in Red went 17-11-6 and earned 57 points, tied with the 2000 season for the highest point total in club history, and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 12th time in the club’s 15-year history.
 
CHICAGO FIRE DECLINE OPTIONS ON THREE PLAYERS
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Monday that the club has declined options on midfielder Corben Bone, defender Gonzalo Segares and goalkeeper Jay Nolly.
 
Segares was the Fire’s third round selection (35th overall) in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft. The Costa Rican international has played 178 games over eight seasons for the Men in Red, scoring 11 goals and adding 13 assists. The 2007 Chicago Fire Defender of the Year, Segares has made 13 postseason appearances for the Fire, scoring the insurance goal in the second leg of a 3-0 win over the New England Revolution Nov. 6, 2008.
 
Bone was the Fire’s first round selection (13th overall) in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. The Plano, Texas native made 17 appearances in three seasons with the Men in Red. Bone’s lone assist in a Fire shirt came May 14, 2011 when he assisted on Orr Barouch’s game-tying goal in a 2-2 draw at Toronto FC. In 2012, Bone started all 10 of the Fire’s Reserve League matches and score one goal and tallied two assists across 897 minutes.
 
Nolly was acquired by the Fire on Dec. 2, 2011 in a trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The veteran ‘keeper did not appear in a first team match for the Fire but made six appearances in MLS Reserve League play. The Littleton, Colo. native started and played the first half of the Fire’s 1-0 loss to English Premier League side Aston Villa July 21.
 
Bone, Segares and Nolly are now eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Process. The first round of the MLS Re-Entry Draft is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7 with the second round taking place the following Friday, Dec. 14.
 
Both Stage One and Stage Two drafts will be conducted in the same order as the traditional Waiver Draft.
 
Clubs must exercise the option for, or extend a Bona Fide Offer to, all players selected in Stage 1.  Players that were out of contract may either accept or reject the Bona Fide Offer. Should a player reject the offer, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Players with option years left on their contract will automatically be added to the drafting club’s roster.
 

  • CLICK HERE for a Re-Entry Process Information and Player Eligibility Rules

 
TICKETS FOR 2013 CAROLINA CHALLENGE CUP NOW ON SALE
Tickets for the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup, hosted by the United Soccer Leagues’ Charleston Battery and set to be played from February 16 through February 23 are now on sale.
 
Hosted at Blackbaud Stadium, the Fire will open up the tournament with an MLS Cup playoff rematch when they face the Houston Dynamo on February 16 at 4:00 p.m. CT. They’ll continue with a match against hosts Charleston Battery on February 20 at 6:15 p.m. CT before rounding out the tournament against fellow MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps F.C. February 23 at 4:00 p.m. CT.
 
In the 2012 edition, the Men in Red went 1-1-0 in the round robin competition, falling 1-0 to D.C. United before defeating the Columbus Crew 1-0. The third match against the Charleston Battery was cancelled due to severe thunderstorms.
 
The Fire previously played two close Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup encounters with the third division side, downing the Battery 1-0 in extra time on August 25, 2004 at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Ill. before drawing 0-0 and eventually falling on penalties on June 30, 2010. The Battery were crowned 2012 USL Pro champions with a 1-0 win against the Wilmington Hammerheads Sept. 8.
 
Tickets are available at (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or www.charlestonbattery.com.
 
2013 Carolina Challenge Cup tournament schedule
 
Saturday, Feb. 16
Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo, 4:00 p.m. CT
Charleston Battery vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 6:15 p.m. CT
 
Wednesday, Feb. 20
Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 4:00  p.m. CT
Charleston Battery vs. Chicago Fire, 6:15 p.m. CT
 
Saturday, Feb. 23
Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 4:00 p.m. CT
Charleston Battery vs. Houston Dynamo, 6:15 p.m. CT
 
CHICAGO FIRE TO HOLD FIFTH ANNUAL OPEN TRYOUTS DECEMBER 14-15 AT BRIDGEVIEW SPORTS DOME
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will hold its Fifth Annual Open Tryouts on Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Bridgeview Soccer & Sports Dome at 8900 S. 77th Ave. in Bridgeview, IL 60455. A map to the Bridgeview Soccer & Sports Dome can be found here. The tryout is open to male soccer players ages 18 and older who believe they can succeed at the Major League Soccer level. Members of the Fire Technical Staff will be on hand at the tryouts to observe and rank players and the winner of the Open Tryout will be awarded the chance to train with the Fire first team during the club’s preseason camp.
 
At the Fire’s Third Annual Open Tryout in January 2011, Chicago Fire defender Pari Pantazopoulos emerged from a group of over 200 participants from 19 different countries to win the club’s Open Tryout and a spot on the first team’s preseason roster. The Mt. Prospect, IL product advanced through all three phases of the club’s preseason camp to sign on as a member of the Chicago Fire. Pantazopoulos made his first team debut on June 28, 2011 in a U.S. Open Cup match vs. the Rochester Rhinos and went on to appear in the club’s midseason friendly against English giants Manchester United at Soldier Field on July 23.
 
Tryout registration is $150 (non-refundable plus processing fees) with each player guaranteed an hour of playing time. Space at the tryout is limited. All interested players must register online by visiting Chicago-Fire.com: http://www.chicago-fire.com/opentryout. Applications must be submitted online and applicants must have a valid e-mail address as registration forms will not be accepted via fax or over the phone.  All registrants will be contacted with a schedule via e-mail on or before Tuesday, Dec. 11.
 
The registration deadline is Monday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. CT.  No registration forms will be accepted after that date.
 
Questions can be answered by e-mailing opentryout@Chicago-Fire.com. For more information visit the club’s official website www.chicago-fire.com.
 
TRYOUT FORMAT*:
The first round of tryouts will take place on Friday, Dec. 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT. Each player is required to attend the first round of tryouts and is guaranteed one hour of playing time. Each registrant will receive their time slot via email on or before Tuesday, Dec. 11. All players will be notified on site if they are to return for Day Two of the tryouts on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 9:00 a.m. CT
 
Day 1           December 14 (All Participants)
Day 2           December 15 (Call backs from previous day)
 
Day (1)
Players will be placed into teams of (7) v (7) + goalkeepers and each team will be allocated a one hour time slot. Players will be notified on site if they have been selected for the next stage.
 
DAY (2)
Players will be placed into teams of (11) v (11) and each team will be allocated a one hour time slot. Systematically players will be selected to move onto the next stage or notified if they have been cut.
 
*Information is subject to change.
 
CHICAGO FIRE HOLIDAY PACKS NOW ON SALE
The Chicago Fire holiday pack gives fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action in their first match of the 2013 season at a discounted price. This limited time offer includes four (4) Corner Kick tickets ($112 value) to Opening Night at Toyota Park, 4 Fire hats, and 4 Fire gloves all for just $99. Chicago Fire Holiday Packs are available through Ticketmaster or by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE.
 
2012 Holiday Pack - $99 Includes:

  • Four (4) Corner Kick tickets to the Fire’s Opening Night at TOYOTA PARK
  • Four (4) Fire Hats
  • Four (4) pairs of Fire gloves

 
Click here to order a Holiday Pack.
 
FIRE IN THE NEWS
 
Fire’s Gibbs brings 12-year career to a close - Chicago Tribune - November 26, 2012
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/chi-fire-gibbs-retires-20121...
 
Latest knee injury the last straw for the Fire’s Cory Gibbs, who retires - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - November 26, 2012
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/16642207-626/latest-knee-inju...
 
Fire’s Gibbs announces retirement - Orrin Schwarz - Daily Herald - November 26, 2012
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20121126/sports/711269836/
 
Chicago soccer notes: Gibbs retires, Red Stars attempting comeback - Len Ziehm - CSNChicago.com - November 26, 2012
http://www.csnchicago.com/soccer-chicago-fire/news/Chicago-soccer-notes-...
 
And the Winner… - Ben Berger - Footiebusiness.com - November 27, 2012
http://footiebusiness.com/2012/11/27/and-the-winner/
 
Alum retires from 12 years in pro soccer - Alexandra Conway - The Brown Daily Herald - December 3, 2012
http://www.browndailyherald.com/alum-retires-from-12-years-in-pro-soccer...
 
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM

 
Josh Wolff Caps Successful 15-Year Career That All Began in Chicago – November 29, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/11/josh-wolff-caps-successful-15-y...
 
More Fire in Madrid – November 28, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/11/28/more-fire-madrid
 
Fan Voting, Popularity and the Pappa Phenomenon – November 28, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/11/28/fan-voting-popularity-a...
 
The All-In Podcast – November 28, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/11/all-podcast