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Why Klopas Needs to Stay

Klopas v Chivas USA

I can't resist... We're in good hands

We can all agree that Carlos de los Cobos did a lousy job as Fire head coach. So much so, that probably any replacement would look great in comparison. But the fact that Frank Klopas is not Carlos de los Cobos is not the only reason why I like him. He managed to bring the Fire back from the bottom of the table to genuine playoff hopefuls. Yes, there are still a few teams to beat for us to grab the last playoff spot, but there’s still time. And if our recent performance is any indication (3 wins and 7 goals in the last 4 regular season matches), I think we actually have a chance – albeit small. Continue reading

Fire Announce New “Strategic Alliance”

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced this afternoon that they have formed a new partnership with Atletico Madrid, Club América and Sport Club Internacional. The whole press release can be read here.

This partnership will be instrumental in growing the popularity of the club outside the borders of the United States. In partnering with these other clubs, the Fire will hopefully be able to gain valuable insight into how to turn the club into a more well known club outside the CONCACAF region. The knowledge they will gain about various aspects of how these other clubs run will be huge – the player development aspect of it alone will be a big step forward for the Fire.

MLS is really a league of two types of teams. The teams that are well known outside the US, where big name players from other areas of the world want to come play – the LA’s and New York’s. And then there’s the teams that are content with operating like smaller market teams and don’t necessarily have the huge recognition worldwide. As much as I love the fact that the Fire players, staff, and overall team are so accessible to the fan base and interact with their supporters, I would love for the club to get more recognized around the world. It will lead to bigger things for both the Chicago Fire and MLS.

Fire Move Up Power Rankings, More Anelka Transfer Rumors, and Looking Ahead to the Last Few Weeks

This celebratory site has becoming more and more common lately - propelling the Fire up the power rankings

Well, the latest Soccer By Ives version of the MLS power rankings are out and the Fire have jumped three spots. Coming in at number 14, your Chicago Fire sit just ahead of Chivas USA and just behind Toronto FC. Power rankings are what they are, they can be arbitrary and vary from source to source, but it is nice to see the Fire moving up the list – they’ve been stuck at the bottom for far too long.

With this recent push up the rankings the one thing that Fire supporters can’t stop talking about it the possibility for the tenth and final playoff spot. Is it possible? What do they have to do to get in? Can they go anywhere in the playoffs? Does this team have what it takes to get there?

Continue reading

Gibbs Uses His Head (Before losing it) To Give Fire Early Lead – Fire Scramble Late to Come Away with 3 Points

Cory Gibbs heads to the dressing room after being sent off with a straight red card

Cory Gibbs started the scoring the way we’ve seen him do it on a few occasions this year – with his head. Before most people even found their seats the Fire defender redirected a beautiful cross from Sebastian Grazzini into the back of the net. Of course, 35 minutes later Gibbs lost his head and was sent off after receiving a straight red card for his tackle on Michael Lahoud. The straight red might have been a little harsh, but it was a rough tackle and that’s the risk you run when you make a tackle like that.

The straight red to Gibbs forced the Fire (up 2-0 at the time) to play the remaining 55+ minutes down a man. Frank Klopas tried to preserve the lead after halftime by choosing to remove midfielder Sebastian Grazzini and bring on defender Yamith Cuesta to help shore up the depleted back line. (In addition to losing Gibbs, they were playing without Dan Gargan who was suspended for the match) The second half started out nicely and it looked like the Fire were certainly marching towards another three points – until disaster struck again in the 63rd minute. After having given up a goal just minutes before, the men in red gave up the equalizer to Nick LaBrocca and all of a sudden we were living an all-too-familiar story. Continue reading

MLS Player Salaries

Here we go. The updated list of player salaries for 2011. According to Guaranteed Compensation, the top Fire players are: Cristian Nazarit ($302,500), Patrick Nyarko ($190,000), Logan Pause ($184,125), and Gonzalo Segares ($167,750). The complete list of Fire players is shown below, sorted by Guaranteed Compensation. Continue reading