The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that it has partnered with Soccer Specific Development to oversee the management and operations of its Chicago Fire Premier teams. Chicago Fire Premier will remain under the umbrella of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club with technical supervision by Chicago Fire Player Development, under the direction of SSD and its President Todd Short. In his first move as President of Chicago Fire Premier FC, Short named Mark Spooner as Head Coach of the Chicago Fire’s USL Premier Development League team.
“We are excited to bring Soccer Specific Development on to manage Chicago Fire Premier,” said Fire Player Development Director John Dorn. “We are confident that Todd and his group will continue to build the Chicago Fire Premier brand, the final proving ground for college age soccer players in the United States, as the CFP has done for the past ten years.”
Chicago Fire Premier, considered Zone 3 in the U.S. Soccer player development pyramid, is comprised of players between the ages of 19-23 and includes four teams in this age bracket. The flagship of Fire Premier is the USL’s Premier Development League (PDL) squad. The PDL is made up of elite collegiate athletes who are committed to the sport of soccer and have aspirations to play professionally in the U.S. The Fire PDL has compiled the best regular season record of any PDL franchise over the past ten years while moving 84 players to the professional ranks in the U.S. and beyond, including 45 players selected in the MLS SuperDraft. The Fire NPSL team is a key feature of the Chicago Fire Premier program and is an integral part of the club's long term player development pyramid, having just won the U-23 U.S. National Championship in 2010. To focus on the development of players just entering the collegiate ranks, the Fire fields a USL Super-20 team, which over four seasons of play has captured one National Championship (2008), four national finalist appearances and a record of 45-5-5. In addition, at the U-19 age level in three seasons of play, the U-19 Fire Premier team have captured the Illinois State Cup each of the three seasons.
“The 19-23 age bracket is one the most crucial development stages for soccer in the United States,” said Short. “The mission of Chicago Fire Premier is to provide a competitive environment that is structured and technically sound so that our developing athletes can fulfill their potential. We plan to be at the forefront of creating America’s top professional players.”
To learn more about Chicago Fire Premier, visit the official web site at www.chicagofirepremier.com
About Soccer Specific Development
Founded in 2009, Soccer Specific Development (SSD) is committed to the development of soccer in the United States. A significant factor in the development of U.S. players is the availability of quality, regulation-size fields. By working at the grass-roots level, SSD reaches out to communities, schools, park districts and private ventures in order to bring ideas from concept to reality. SSD is at the forefront of artificial grass technology, sports facility design,