The Chicago Fire currently roster a few players born in odd soccer states.
Justin Mapp’s ties to Mississippi have been well documented, while Fire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra challenges Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching as another Hawaiian-born player in Major League Soccer.
Hailing from Montana, Fire midfielder Peter Lowry may have them both beat. He’s certainly the most famous soccer player with ties to the Treasure State.
“Most definitely,” said Lowry when asked the question. “To be fair I only spent my early years there before moving to California. I’ve gone back to visit a number of times though.”
Lowry’s ties go back a ways. His grandfather was a professor at the University of Montana, and his parents Tom and Colleen are both Grizzly alumni. Eventually the family moved to Fair Oaks, CA where Lowry would become a standout with Bella Vista high school, impressing enough to make his way to Santa Clara University.
Lowry played for the Broncos from 2004-07, making 87 appearances while tallying 22 goals and 15 assists. During his collegiate time, he also prepared for the professional ranks by spending three summers in the USL’s Premier Development League with the Boulder Rapids Reserve (2005-06) and San Jose Frogs (2007).
“The PDL worked well to prepare me for the jump to Major League Soccer,” said Lowry. “With both teams I played with top quality players who had the goal of making the next step and at the same time experienced what clubs expect of players at the professional level.”
Lowry’s collegiate and PDL play saw him selected 26th overall by the Fire in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. While he saw little action during his rookie season, the central midfielder carved out a place in the team last year, appearing in 10 matches and scoring three goals. His past performances carried into preseason with new Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos employing Lowry in the midfield during a number exhibition matches in preparation for last Saturday’s season opener against the New York Red Bulls.
Slotting in next to long-time Fire veteran Logan Pause in
the center of the park, Lowry did well to help control the midfield and breakup
Red Bull attacks. Though the team fell 1-0 at Red Bull Arena, the Fair Oaks, CA
product took a lot away from the match.
“It was an interesting game. I thought we possessed the ball well and created a number of good scoring chances, but we couldn’t find the back of the net. Playing in the new stadium provided a tremendous atmosphere for us, especially as the game it went on, it became louder and louder on the field. As a player, you feed off of that environment, even if it’s not your home crowd, but a number of our supporters came out and did great work to help us through the match.”
As the team preps for this weekend’s match with the Colorado Rapids this week, Lowry recognizes the things that need to be worked on for the club to earn its first three points of the season.
“At the end of the day, the game against New York wasn’t a bad performance for us, but there are obviously things we need to improve upon. While created good opportunities, we need to make more and our finishing in front of goal needs to be better. If we keep creating chances, one will go in and we’ll be on our way. We’re working hard this week to make sure we get the victory in Colorado.”
The Fire will take on Colorado this Saturday, April 3 at 3pm CT live on Telefutura.