After months of planning and anticipation, the nation's largest annual gathering of soccer coaches in America has finally arrived in Chicago! The 2019 United Soccer Coaches Convention is underway at McCormick Place in Chicago, allowing more than 15,000 attendees to gather and share the latest trends and ideas for coaching and growing the game at all levels.
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club is excited to play a small part in hosting one of the largest-attended Conventions in the organization's history. Below are just a few helpful tips for attendees to assist in maximizing their stay in the Windy City.
As part of the United Soccer Coaches Convention, MLS and the Chicago Fire will together host a Coaches Lounge on the third floor of McCormick Place, located outside of the Skyline Ballroom. Convention attendees are welcomed to stop by the Coaches Lounge throughout the week for access to charging and work stations, informal meeting spaces and lounge seating, FIFA gaming, an interactive photo booth, giveaways and more.
Also, be among the first 1,000 Convention attendees to visit the Chicago Fire lounge and receive a free Chicago Fire powerbank, to keep your mobile devices charged while you're on the go this week!
FREE Bus Shuttle
Need a ride from the Convention to downtown Chicago, or vice versa? The Chicago Fire will be sponsoring a FREE shuttle bus from Wednesday (Jan. 9) through Saturday (Jan. 12) for all United Soccer Coaches Convention and MLS SuperDraft attendees. The bus will depart at the top of the hour from The Wrigley Building (400 N Michigan Ave.) and at the bottom of the hour from McCormick Place West's Gate 40.
While you're at The Wrigley Building, stop into Fire On The Mile to shop exclusive Chicago Fire and international soccer apparel! The experiential soccer pop-up shop is open Mon.-Sat. from 10am-8pm to Sunday from 12pm-6pm.
Chicago Fire Player and Technical Staff Appearances
The Chicago Fire first team and youth development staff will be well-represented throughout this week's Convention. Check out a few of their scheduled appearances and education sessions below:
- Wednesday, Jan. 9 (6:15 PM) — A field session based on the Chicago Fire Soccer Academy Methodology, Presented by Chicago Fire and led by Chicago Fire Academy coaches Selim Talbi and Ross Brady
- Friday, Jan. 11 (4 PM) — 1-on-1 with Chicago Fire Head Coach Veljko Paunovic
- Saturday, Jan. 12 (1-4 PM) — Dax McCarty appearance at High School All-America Awards Ceremony
- Saturday, Jan. 12 (4-5 PM) — An Insight into the Holistic Approach to Player Development at Chicago Fire Soccer Academy, led by Chicago Fire Academy Director Cedric Cattenoy and Chicago Fire Academy Manager Brian Roberts
Youth Soccer HQ
Visit the Exhibit Hall floor to check out the Chicago Fire's Youth Soccer HQ! Learn more about the Chicago Fire's tailored programs and gameday experiences, available to all youth soccer organizations across Chicagoland and the Midwest!
United Soccer Coaches Podcast
Check out an interview with Chicago Fire President and GM Nelson Rodríguez on the pre-Convention edition of the United Soccer Coaches Podcast, hosted by Dean Linke. Catch his interview beginning at the 2:40 mark of the podcast below as Rodríguez speaks on the value provided by the United Soccer Coaches and its Convention as it descends on Chicago.