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Chicago Fire (soccer)

Chicago Fire (soccer)
Chicago Fire Fire Ultras ’98, Ultras Red-Side, Sector Latino, The Last Ward, Mike Ditka Street Crew, Arsonists, Ladder 97 Honors MLS Cup (1) Supporters’ Shield (1) U.S. Open Cup (4)

Full name Nickname(s)

Chicago Fire The Fire La Maquina Roja, Men in Red, CF97, Strażacy (Firemen) 1997 Toyota Park Bridgeview, IL (Capacity: 20,000) Andrew Hauptman Denis Hamlett Major League Soccer Eastern Conference: 2nd Overall: 3rd Playoffs: Conference Finals Chicago Fire 2–0 Miami Fusion (Lockhart Stadium; March 21, 1998) 7–0 vs Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium; July 4, 2001) 1–5 vs NE Revs (Gillette Stadium; August 30, 2003) 2–6 vs Columbus Crew (Crew Stadium; October 26, 2003) Ante Razov (76) Section 8 Chicago Barn Burners 1871, Home colors Away colors

Founded Stadium

Chairman Coach League 2008

First game

Largest win

Largest defeat

Current season

All-time top scorer Supporters groups

The Chicago Fire is an American professional soccer club based in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, Illinois that participates in Major League Soccer. The team was founded on October 8, 1997, on the 126th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1998,


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
their inaugural league season, the Fire won the MLS Cup as well as the U.S. Open Cup (the "double"). They have also won the 2000, 2003, and 2006 U.S. Open Cups. The Fire feature a complete developmental system consisting of the Chicago Fire Premier (a Premier Development League team and a Super-20 League team), the Chicago Fire Development Academy, and the Chicago Fire Juniors youth teams. The club also administers a charitable community organization, the Chicago Fire Foundation (formerly the FireWorks for Kids Foundation). As of 2009, they have a strategic partnership with Club América of Mexico, replacing a previous agreement with Monarcas Morelia.[1] The official club colors are red and white. Over its history, the Fire have also employed navy blue, sky blue, and black as alternate or accent colors.

Chicago Fire (soccer)
Ralph, Ivan Guerrero, Bakary Soumare, and Patrick Nyarko.

Foundation and Success
Founded on the anniversary of the Great Fire in a 1997 ceremony at Navy Pier, the Fire immediately tapped into Chicago’s diverse ethnic makeup, bringing in Polish players Piotr Nowak, Jerzy Podbrozny, and Roman Kosecki; Mexican Jorge Campos; and Czech Lubos Kubik. While all showed their talent while playing for Chicago (Nowak in particular, the captain for 5 years), it was the young American players that proved most successful and integral to the Fire’s continued success. The club, against all expectation, completed the double in its first competitive year: beating D.C. United in MLS Cup 1998 at the Rose Bowl, and a week later defeating the Columbus Crew in Chicago to win the 1998 U.S. Open Cup. Success continued, reaching the MLS Cup 2000 (losing to Kansas City) and winning the 2000 U.S. Open Cup. Both internationally experienced players like Hristo Stoitchkov, and young American talents such as DaMarcus Beasley competed for the club’s first head coach, Bob Bradley to quickly establish the Fire as one of the league’s preeminent teams.

Founded on October 8, 1997, the club was originally based at Soldier Field. Since 2006, they reside in their own stadium, Toyota Park at 71st and Harlem Avenue. The owners of the Fire are Andell Holdings, who purchased the club in 2007. Andrew Hauptman, director of Andell Holdings, acts as chairman while the current president is Dave Greeley. They are most successful, historically, in the U.S. Open Cup; winning championships in 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2006. Chicago’s chief rivals are the New England Revolution and FC Dallas. The Fire keeps a close connection with the Chicago Sting (its predecessor team in the NASL) by holding frequent commemorative events, reunions, and wearing Sting-inspired shirts. A number of famous players wore the Fire shirt, including U.S. internationals Chris Armas, Frank Klopas, Eric Wynalda, DaMarcus Beasley, Josh Wolff, Tony Sanneh, Carlos Bocanegra, and Justin Mapp; and other Americans like Jesse Marsch, C.J. Brown, Ante Razov, Zach Thornton, and Chris Rolfe. Chicago has also imported both established international talent such as Peter Nowak, Lubos Kubik, Hristo Stoichkov, Tomasz Frankowski, and Cuauhtémoc Blanco; and younger developmental players like Damani

Nomadic Existence
The Fire were exiled to the western Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois in 2002, while Soldier Field underwent massive renovations. That year, Bob Bradley left unexpectedly to lead the MetroStars of his home state of New Jersey. The club then selected Dave Sarachan, the U.S. men’s national team’s top assistant, to assume the vacant post. Returning to Soldier Field in 2003, Chicago qualified for the league final, while also capturing the Supporters’ Shield and 2003 U.S. Open Cup along the way. Longtime captain Piotr Nowak retired to take a position in the front office, only to depart a year later to become D.C. United manager. New talents emerged in this period, including Jamaican striker Damani Ralph and Justin Mapp. The growing strength of the Eastern Conference made Chicago’s league position ever more tenuous, and in 2004 they missed the league playoffs for the first time in their history.


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Chicago Fire (soccer)
and Toyota Park. While not officially disclosed, reports estimated the purchase price to be upwards of $35 million. [3] Behind Blanco and Wilman Conde, Osorio’s central defender at Millionarios, the Fire went on an extended unbeaten run to close the season. While qualifying for the playoffs they again fell to New England, in the Eastern Conference Final at Gillette Stadium. The club announced the resignation of Juan Carlos Osorio not long afterward on December 10, 2007. Osorio was named manager of the New York Red Bulls eight days later. While the Fire were compensated by the Red Bulls with draft picks and cash for Osorio’s hiring, Chairman Andrew Hauptman filed tampering charges with the league in protest. [4] Changes came quickly in Osorio’s wake that offseason. On January 17, 2008, former Fire star Frank Klopas was named Technical Director in charge of player personnel, and longtime assistant Denis Hamlett was appointed manager. Former Fire assistant and FC Dallas manager Mike Jeffries and retired Fire legend Chris Armas were hired as assistants. In preparation for the 2008 season, Chicago signed Poland forward Tomasz Frankowski and Líder Mármol. Both saw limited playing time and departed after one season. Also in 2008, Chairman Andrew Hauptman relieved president John Guppy of his duties. The dismissal was directly related to the mishandling of Juan Carlos Osorio’s departure [5]. Javier León was appointed interim president until Dave Greeley was named the Fire’s fifth club president on August 26, 2008[6]. Strangely, Greeley has been cited by former Fire executives as being both dismissive and insulting to the club and the sport of soccer in his previous role with the Chicago Bears[7]. On the field, the Fire struggled at home all year while finding unusual success on the road. In a long-anticipated move, they signed Chicago native Brian McBride on a free transfer in July 2007; having to trade Chad Barrett to Toronto for his league rights. After disposing of the Red Bulls 5-2 in the season’s final game, they conquered New England in the playoffs with an emphatic 3-0 second leg victory at Toyota Park. The triumph only lasted for a week, as they missed the league final again in their 2-1 loss to McBride’s former club and eventual champion Columbus.

Upheaval and New Home
The 2005 season began abruptly with the unexpected dismissal of popular club president Peter Wilt by then-owners AEG despite the brokering of a $100m stadium deal in Bridgeview. He was immediately replaced by Metrostars executive John Guppy; a move decried by fans, many players, and club staff. [2] The year was notable for the blockbuster visit of Milan from Italy’s Serie A and the shocking 4-0 away defeat of D.C. United in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In 2006 the Fire moved from Soldier Field into its own $100m stadium on the southwest side of Chicago: Toyota Park in Bridgeview, at the corner of 71st Street and Harlem Avenue. The first season saw an unspectacular league campaign, but won the 2006 U.S. Open Cup to continue their cup success. However, the anxiety to win another league title continued to grow. Sarachan entered 2007, his fifth season in charge, under intense pressure from fans and the club to produce a league championship. It mounted further on April 3, 2007, when the Fire signed Mexico and América star Cuauhtémoc Blanco to a Designated Player contract. After a promising start, winning their first three, they won only one of their next eight resulting in Sarachan’s dismissal. After a brief search, Millionarios manager Juan Carlos Osorio was named the club’s third head coach.

The Hauptman Era

A home game at Toyota Park during 2007 season On September 6, 2007, Andell Holdings, a Los Angeles-based private investment firm controlled by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hauptman, acquired AEG’s interests in both Chicago Fire Soccer Club


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Years 1998–2002 2003–2005 2006– Years 1998-1999 2000–2007 2008– Kit Supplier Nike Puma adidas Sponsor All Sport (Back) Honda (Back) Best Buy (Front)

Chicago Fire (soccer)

For 2009, Chicago has made few alterations to the previous season’s roster. With the departures of Mármol and Frankowski, and the retirement of Diego Gutiérrez, additional finances were made available for current players like Jon Busch and Logan Pause[8].

Club logo and colors
The Chicago Fire logo is derived from the standard style of a fire department’s crest (also shown by the Chicago Fire Department). Known as a Florian’s cross, the shape is often confused with the Maltese cross. Original GM Peter Wilt chose the shape in part to create an image that was both timeless (as those of the NHL Original Six) and evocative of European soccer. In the center is a stylized ’C’ (representing Chicago) similar to the logos of the Bears and Cubs. The six points in a ring around the center reference the six-pointed stars in the Municipal Flag of Chicago. The four stars on the flag represent four monumental events in the history of the city—the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the 1893 World’s Fair, the 1933 World’s Fair, and the Fort Dearborn Massacre. Nike, the original club uniform supplier, wanted the team to be named Chicago Rhythm featuring a turqouise, black and green color scheme and a cobra adorned logo. Team officials ignored these wishes and developed the Fire identity.[9] The original Fire shirts were chosen because of their resemblance to a Chicago fireman’s coat, featuring broad horizontal stripes across the torso and sleeves. The home jerseys were red and white with a "FIRE" wordmark on the front in silver. The away shirts were white and black in this same style. The home shirt remains constant since then, allred with a white horizontal chest stripe; even

though the uniform manufacturer has changed from Nike in 1998, to Puma in 2003, and then adidas in 2006. Away/secondary shirts have changed over the years from the aforementioned white with black in 1998, to white with navy, and the white with red style currently used. In 2005 a popular light blue third shirt based on the Municipal Flag of Chicago was worn but discontinued during the change in manufacturer to Adidas. As a show of pride, the club and their fans frequently use additional civic symbolism in the materials they produce. The six-pointed Chicago stars are prominently employed but the light blue color, municipal device (Ycircle), and skyline appear frequently—on the team website or scarves and banners in the stadium. The municipal flag of Chicago is also favored for display by fans of the club; somewhat akin to the use of the flag of Catalonia for FC Barcelona fans—but without the associated nationalism. On January 11, 2008, the team reached a deal with Best Buy to become their first jersey sponsor.[10]

Chicago Fire Logo (1997-present)

Chicago Fire Alternate Logo (1998-2006)

Kit Manufacturers Shirt Sponsors


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Chicago Fire (soccer)
14 16 17 FW MF FW Patrick Nyarko Marco Pappa Chris Rolfe 29 32 34 40 MF DF DF GK

There is a notable ultras culture for the club, an uncommon phenomenon in the United States. Ultras groups and fan clubs occupy a standing area directly behind the north goal in the Harlem End of Toyota Park (Sections 117 and 118) that is referred to as Section 8. This term originates in the numbering of their section at Soldier Field, as well as the American military designation of soldiers declared mentally unfit. Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters’ Association for the Fire, oversees the activities of the many groups. Though incorporating a variety of support styles from both Chicago and throughout the world, groups as part of Section 8 are allied and generally fall under the ultras designation. The Section 8 Chicago ISA is also a non-profit organization recognized by the state of Illinois. Aside the supporters’ groups, the club is well known for its stadium wide vocal and visual support, particularly for matches of great competitive importance. Call-and-response cheering amongst the crowd is commonplace. Fans at Toyota Park for Fire matches periodically engage in acts of tifo to show their pride and inspire the players on the field, one of the few American environments to do so.

Notable former players
This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time. • Chris Armas • Luboš Kubík (1998—2007) (1998–2000) • Chad Barrett • Piotr Nowak (2005—2008) (1998–2002) • DaMarcus • Jerzy Beasley Podbrożny (2000–2004) (1998–1999) • Carlos • Damani Ralph Bocanegra (2003–2005) (2000–2003) • Ante Razov • Jorge Campos (1998–2000; (1998) 2001–2004) • Tomasz • Tony Sanneh Frankowski (2008) (2005-2006) • Iván Guerrero • Hristo (2005–2007) Stoichkov Position Player • Diego (2000–2002) MF Gutiérrez Mike • Zach Banner (1998-2001; Thornton FW 2006-2008) Brian (1998–2003; McBride • Frank Klopas 2005—2007) (captain) (1998–1999) • Paulo MF Justin • Roman Wanchope (2007) Mapp Kosecki • Josh Wolff DF (1998–1999) Wilman (1998–2002) Conde • Dema • Eric Wynalda FW Kovalenko Stefan (2001) Dimitrov (1999–2002) • DF See also All-time Chicago Fire roster Daniel Woolard Head coaches DF Gonzalo Segares • Bob Bradley (1998–2002) • Dave Sarachan (2003—2007) GK Nick Noble

Players and coaches
Current roster
As of May 9, 2009.[11] No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 Position Player GK Jon Busch DF FW DF DF DF MF MF MF MF C. J. Brown Calen Carr Bakary Soumare Tim Ward Brandon Prideaux Logan Pause Baggio Husidić Cuauhtémoc Blanco John Thorrington 20 No. 18

21 22 23 24 25 28


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• • Juan Carlos Osorio (2007) Denis Hamlett (2008–)

Chicago Fire (soccer)

• • • • • • • • • Winner (1): 1998 Runner-up (2): 2000, 2003 Winner (1): 2003 Runner-up (2): 2000, 2001 Winner (4): 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006 Runner-up (1): 2004

Front Office
Club Presidents
• • • • • Robert Sanderman (1997–2000) Peter Wilt (2001–2005) John Guppy (2005–2008) Javier León (2008, interim) Dave Greeley (2008—present)

• • Third-place (2): 1999, 2004

General Managers
• Peter Wilt (1997–2005) • John Guppy (2005–2008) • Frank Klopas (2008–present)

* Won MLS Supporters’ Shield * Bold means MLS Cup victory

Assistant Coaches
• Mike Jeffries (1998–2000; 2008–) • Daryl Shore (2000—

Club records
• Games: C.J. Brown, 253 • Goals: Ante Razov, 76 • Assists: Peter Nowak, 48 • Shutouts: Zach Thornton, 57 • Minutes Played: CJ Brown 21,958 MLS regular season only, through 2009 • All-Time regular season record: 143-108-54 (Through 2007 regular season)

Team Physicians
• Preston Wolin (1998—) • Gilberto Muñoz (1999—)

Ring of Fire
The "Ring of Fire" was established in 2003 by Chicago Fire Soccer Club and the Chicago Fire Alumni Association as permanent tribute to honor those who have made the club proud and successful over its history. Aside from the initial member Piotr Nowak, only "Ring of Fire" members can select new inductees, and no more than one can be selected any year. Names and numbers (if applicable) are prominently displayed inside Toyota Park. In 2008, there was no inductee for the first time. The members voted to honor two recently deceased fans (supporter leaders Dan Parry and Brandon Kitchens) but were overruled by club Chairman Andrew Hauptman. [12] • 10 Piotr Nowak (inducted 2003) • 41 Frank Klopas (inducted 2004) • • 3 Luboš Kubík (inducted 2005) Former General Manager & Club President Peter Wilt (inducted 2006) • Former Head Coach Bob Bradley (inducted 2007)

Team MVP Fire Golden Boot Winner
The Golden Boot Winner is the leading goal scorer at the end of the season (only goals in MLS count).

Home stadiums
• Soldier Field (1998–2001, 2004–2005) • Cardinal Stadium (2002–2003) • Toyota Park (2006—)

Average attendance
regular season/playoffs • 1998: 17,887/22,677 • 1999: 16,016/8,197 • 2000: 13,387/8,431 • 2001: 16,388/11,239 • 2002: 12,922/9,434 • 2003: 14,005/14,961 • 2004: 17,153/missed playoffs • 2005: 17,238/11,493 • 2006: 14,088/10,217 • 2007: 16,490/17,834 • 2008: 17,034/17,312


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Year Reg. Points Playoffs Season 1998 2nd, West 56 Won Conference Semifinals (Colorado 2-0) Won Conference Finals (Los Angeles 2-0) Won MLS Cup 1998 (D.C. United 2-0) Lost Conference Semifinals (Dallas 1-2) Won Quarterfinals (New England 2-1) Won Semifinals (MetroStars 2-1) Lost MLS Cup 2000 (Kansas City 0-1) Open Cup

Chicago Fire (soccer)
CONCACAF SuperLiga Champions’ Cup Did not qualify Started in 2007


1999 3rd, West


Round of 16 Champions

3rd place Did not qualify

2000 1st, 57 Central

2001 1st, 53 Central

Won Quarterfinals (Dallas Quarterfinals Not held 2-1) Lost Semifinals (Los Angeles 0-2) Lost Quarterfinals (New Eng- Round of 16 land 1-2) Won Conference Semifinals Champions (D.C. United 2-0) Won Conference Finals (New England 1-0) Lost MLS Cup 2003 (San Jose 2-4) Did not qualify Final Quarterfinals Did not qualify

2002 3rd, East 2003 1st, East*

37 53

2004 5th, East 2005 3rd, East

33 49

Semifinals Did not qualify

Won Conference Semifinals Semifinals (D.C. United 4-0) Lost Conference Finals (New England 0-1) Lost Conference Semifinals (New England 2-4) Champions

2006 3rd, East 2007 4th, East

47 40

Did not qualify Did not qualify Did not participate

Won Conference Semifinals Round of 16 (D.C. United 2-0) Lost Conference Finals (New England 0-1) Won Conference Semifinals (New England 2-0) Lost Conference Finals (Columbus 1-2)

2008 2nd, East


Quarterfinals Did not qualify

Did not qualify

2009 • All-Time: 15,717

Club system
• Chicago Fire — MLS (First Team)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Year 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 Year 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 Name Jon Busch Cuauhtémoc Blanco Andy Herron Ivan Guerrero Henry Ring Chris Armas Zach Thornton Peter Nowak Peter Nowak Luboš Kubík Peter Nowak Name Chris Rolfe Chad Barrett Andy Herron Chris Rolfe Damani Ralph Ante Razov Ante Razov Eric Wynalda Ante Razov Ante Razov Ante Razov Country United States United States Costa Rica United States Jamaica United States United States United States United States United States United States Country

Chicago Fire (soccer)

United States Mexico Costa Rica Honduras United States United States United States Poland Poland Czech Republic Poland Goals 9 7 9 8 11 14 14 10 18 14 10

• Chicago Fire Premier — USL Premier Development League (4th division) (U20 and U23 Collegiate Amateur Select Teams) • Chicago Fire Academy — Statewide (U14 to U18 Youth Select Teams); run in conjunction with Illinois ODP • Chicago Fire Juniors — Local (U8 to U23 Youth Club); satellite clubs in Milwaukee, Western Michigan and Mississippi.

On radio, the Fire have matches broadcast in Spanish by "La Tremenda" WRTO-AM; Oscar Guzman, Adrian Camacho and Enrique Fernandez handle the announcers duties. Matches broadcast in Polish by WNVR with announcer Jacek Zielinski and Leszek Dorosz on commentary have apparently been discontinued.


Television and radio
Matches are televised locally by WPWR Channel 50 and WFLD Channel 32. Announcers are Fred Huebner and Chris Doran, with Amy Freeze responsible for sideline reporting duties. Select matches are also nationally broadcast on either TeleFutura, ESPN, or Fox Soccer Channel via the league’s television agreements.

[1] "Fire, Club America Launch Collaboration". team_news.jsp?ymd=20090427&content_id=244744 Retrieved on April 27 2009. [2] "Fire Fire Peter Wilt, Fans Protest". 2005/04/19/ fire_fire_peter_wilt_fans_protest_at_season_opener.p Retrieved on December 31 2007. [3] Hauptman to Purchase Chicago Fire


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Chicago Fire (soccer)

[4] "The owner that won’t let go". [11] index.jsp?club=t100 [12] soccer_by_ives/2008/04/fire-just-wont/ component/option,com_myblog/ comments/page/2/. show,Wrong-of-Fire.html/Itemid,96/ [5] "Fire dismisses Guppy as president". • Chicago Fire official club website sports/soccer/fire/cs-080411-chicago• Chicago Fire - History official club history fire-gm-john-guppy,1,4716447.story. (with photos and uniforms) [6] "Fire name Greeley club president". • Section 8 Chicago ISA Independent Supporters’ Association website • Official Fire Message Board, courtesy of team_news.jsp?ymd=20080826&content_id=183469&vkey=news_chf&fext=.jsp&team=t100. BigSoccer [7] "We meet again...". • Chicago Fire Premier, PDL (amateur) and Super-20 Affiliate Club 2008/08/we-meet-again.html. • Chicago Fire Juniors, Chicago-based Youth [8] [asfunction:com.bamnet.utils.LinkUtils.trackLaunchLink,/ Affiliate Club news/ • West Michigan Fire Juniors, Michiganteam_news.jsp?ymd=20090402&content_id=234561&vkey=pr_chf&fext=.jsp&team=t100 based Youth Affiliate Club "We meet again..."]. • Elm Grove asfunction:com.bamnet.utils.LinkUtils.trackLaunchLink,/ Soccer, Milwaukee-based Youth Affiliate Club news/ • Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi, team_news.jsp?ymd=20090402&content_id=234561&vkey=pr_chf&fext=.jsp&team=t100. Mississippi-based Youth Affiliate Club [9] USSP: "Sounders Already Scoring" [10] Red Card | ChicagoSports | Blog

External links

Retrieved from "" Categories: Chicago Fire, Soccer clubs in the United States, Football (soccer) clubs established in 1997, Sports in Chicago, Illinois This page was last modified on 23 May 2009, at 17:11 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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