From the idle mind of Fred

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Chicago Fire Ready to Take On 2010!

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Fred Huebner

Much more than a sports guy, a big fan of tv, movies and music, (classic rock). TV play-by-play man for the Chicago Fire. Between Sports Phone and The Score, I have covered and talked sports for 32 years in this town.

Last season ended on penalty kicks.  The Fire lost and Real Salt Lake advanced to MLS Cup where they beat the L.A. Galaxy to become league Champs.

This season, the Fire will look a little different...possibly a lot different, but they are excited to get the new season started.  The team gathered Wednesday morning for their second day of workouts at the MAX complex in McCook.  It is a wonderful facility, with numerous soccer fields, basketball and volleyball courts, as well as a few batting cages.  The players have nothing against the facility, but they can not wait to get into the fresh air of Tempe, Arizona, the first of their preseason stops, which they depart for tomorrow.  They will also make their way to Mexico and Mississippi, before the season opener, March 27 in New York at the new Red Bull Arena.

New head coach, Carlos de los Cobos, along with new fitness coach, Alvaro Briones, got the players into a good workout before a good half hour of a couple of 6V6 battles. 
The squad was led in fitness drills by the ageless Brian McBride.  The Arlington Heights native is as good as ever after last season's shoulder surgery.  The Fire will need another good start from the veteran goal scorer as they grasp de los Cobos' new system.

Blanco, Rolfe, Prideaux, Soumare, Segares are among those that are not with the team this season, (who knows if Blanco will return late in the year?).  Among the new faces are Salvadoran National Team midfielder, Julio Martinez, (who played for de los Cobos on the national squad), Polish defender Krzysztof Krol, who will meet up with the team in Arizona, former Fulham forward, Collins John, (getting a look-see up top), as well as the recent draft picks.  Technical Director, Frank Klopas expects 36 players in workouts once they get to Arizona.  The team will be cut down to 24 by opening day. 

Calen Carr is back healthy and ready to go.  He has been working with some MLS players and former Cal teammates in the Bay area getting ready for the start of the preseason.

Another Bay area guy, C.J. Brown is back for another season.

Who would have thought, with all the talk over the last 16 months, that Wilman Conde would return on the backline for the Fire.  Since Juan Carlos Osorio left, there had been rumors that Conde wanted to leave.  Apparently, not!

Jon Busch will be back in the goal for the "Men In Red".  It was just day two of practice, but the keeper thinks draft pick, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, (6'3 from Connecticut), could be something special on defense.

When de los Cobos was introduced as head coach, he promised an attractive style of soccer.  A bit more passing and controlling the ball.  The players will get the full de los Cobos treatment once they take to the field under the sun in Arizona.

The entire 2010 schedule was released today by Major League Soccer.  You can check out the Fire schedule on their website at Chicago-fire.com.

The home opener is Saturday night, April 10 versus San Jose, with the L.A. Galaxy not coming to Toyota Park til September 4.


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2 Comments

milicz said:

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Thanks for the update Fred! What are the odds that you and Chris do games for My50 again this year? What are the odds of them being in HD? Most importantly, who gained the most weight during the offseason? My money is on CJ.

Huebs said:

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The league is pushing for all their broadcasts to be in HD. I don't think they will be for Telefutura games, but FSC is turning over March 1. Chris and I hope to be fortunate again this year to call the games for the Men in Red. We will keep you posted.

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