From the idle mind of Fred

soccer Archives

Random Sports Thoughts for you to Ponder!

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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.

My head is pounding with far too many things rolling through it, I had to dump them out somewhere!

  • The Chicago Bears have started 3-0 just 4 times now in the last 21 seasons.  They went to the post season in '90, '91 & '06, and hope to do it again this year.
  • It DEFINITELY is better to be lucky than good!
  • Bears fans will say they played better than the Packers and deserved the win.  Keep believing that.
  • The only stats the Bears led in Monday night were most takeaways, third down efficiency, and, believe it or not, rushing yards!
  • I usually use the phrase, "He outkicked his coverage", when discussing a guy with an extremely hot wife or girlfriend, but last night, that is exactly what the Green Bay punter did on Devin Hester's 62 yard return for a touchdown.

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Chicago Fire-Mania...Catch It!

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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.

If you have been waiting to get into Chicago Fire soccer, now is the time!

The squad, under new coach Carlos de los Cobos, got off to a slow start this season and stand 5-5-5 half way through the season.

Technical Director, Frank Klopas has been busy, (technical director is soccer speak for general manager).


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Brouwer Got Second Chance, USA & Ricardo Clark Didn't

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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.

In Game One of the First Round of the NHL playoffs, the Blackhawks Troy Brouwer, at the end of a long shift, tried to skate the puck out of the Hawks zone.  The puck was stolen and that led to the Nashville Predators scoring the go-ahead goal, leading to a 4-1 victory at the United Center.

Saturday in South Africa, Ricardo Clark tried to make a move around a Ghanain player at midfield.  He lost the ball and Ghana charged up field with Kevin Prince Boateng scoring the first goal of the game, just five minutes into the Round of 16 match-up with the USA.  Clark compounded his problems by making a sloppy tackle soon afterwards meaning that he would miss the next game, if the US were able to come back.  That didn't happen.

Coach Bob Bradley pulled Clark in the 30th minute, ending his evening!  With the US losing, 2-1 in extra time, that will stay with Clark for the foreseeable future, possibly for the rest of his career. 

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That's Why We Love The Game!!!

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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.

For years, I have heard people talk about how dull and boring soccer is.

I hope those people had a chance to see the USA-Algeria this morning!  Bob Bradley's guys swarmed the attacking zone throughout the match, and FINALLY were able to put one into the rather large net to advance to the Round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup.

Landon Donovan has gone through the ringer as a member of the US National squad.  People have known for years that he has had the talent, but it rarely showed itself on the biggest stage.

It has in South Africa!

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Hey, Soccer Haters...Just Leave Us Alone!

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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.

If you see some sleepy eyes and weary souls at work in the next few weeks, there is a good chance you are looking at a fan of the "Beautiful Game"!

The 2010 World Cup got underway last Friday and for the next two weeks, there are three games each day, beginning at 6:30 Chicago Time. 

I am writing this after watching the Netherlands beat Denmark, 2-0.  Now I don't work until this evening, so could have slept in, but the soccer gods were calling as the alarm went off just before the opening kick.

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Catching My First Fire Game of the Season!

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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.

For the past two plus years, I was fortunate enough to broadcast the Chicago Fire soccer games over My50 Chicago.  In doing so, I had my run of Toyota Park.  That press pass, and of course, the suit I was wearing, make me look important.  I could get just about anywhere I wanted, except, "STAY OFF THE GRASS!!!".

After being replaced this season, I am attending my first Fire home game of the season this evening against F.C. Dallas

Both teams are struggling, with the Fire having gone winless in their last three matches.  The Brimstone Cup, a trophy the two teams supporters groups came up with, is up for grabs again this season.  The award goes to the team who beats the other in the season series.  If it is tied for the year, it stays with the current Cup holder.  The Fire haven't had control of the trophy for quite some time. 


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Give the 2010 Soccer World Cup a Chance!

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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.

I was one of you.  I thought soccer was just a game for the foreigners to play.  Boy, was I mistaken!

When you don't understand a sport, really understand the intricacies or get to know the rules and the people of a sport, you don't know what you are missing.

I was one of those people.  Hated the game of soccer.  Wouldn't watch it.  Wouldn't give it the time of day.  Then, in 1990, I gave it a chance.  I watched the 1990 World Cup, learned the sport, read about some of the stars of the games and the stories of the event.  I was hooked.

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Something for Everyone!!!

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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.

What a weekend!  No rain expected.  Temps in the upper 50's.  And sports galore. 

All the excitement and anticipation of the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs...and we get that from the Blackhawks!  A Troy Brouwer miscue in his own zone allowing Nashville to take a 2-1 lead was the one point that fans will harp on after the Predators 4-1 win in Game One on Friday night, but there was more than just that to be concerned about.

The Hawks were trying too hard to make something happen instead of waiting for their game to develop.  Coach Joel Quenneville said aftr the loss that the team has to remain patient against the Predators, and that they would in Game Two on Saturday afternoon.
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Butler, W. VA. win, Fire lose!

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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.

Early last week, I heard some sports talkers say that upsets were fine in the first two days of the NCAA Tournament, but those teams should then go away and let the big boys play.

BULL!

I could not be happier that Butler knocked off Kansas State, and who doesn't love the fact that Calipari and Kentucky won't be at the Final Four...except maybe Ashley Judd!

Saturday, The Bulldogs and Mountaineers may not have showed that defense wins championships, but it sure helps you get there.  Butler shut down the K. State guards until they woke up in the second half.  West Virginia threw out a 1-3-1 defense and told Kentucky to put up their threes.  They did...missing their first 20 before going just 4 for 32 for the game.  Kentucky will just have to cheat to get more "one and done" recruits for next season.

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What's Going On With The Fire?

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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.

For the past two plus seasons, I have been fortunate enough to broadcast Chicago Fire Soccer games on My50, along with one of the more knowledgeable soccer guys I know, Chris Doran.  I was recently told the team was going in a "different direction", and my services would not be needed, but that doesn't mean I won't be following the "Men In Red".

I fell in love with the sport of soccer in 1990.  Like so many others in the Midwest, and around the country, I thought it was just a sport for the foreigners to play, not a sport that would catch on in this country.  My high school, Morton East, had gone to the state finals, but for me, it was just a time to hop on a bus, and party, while then having to sit in the cold and watch a sport I didn't understand.

In 1990, I gave it a chance.  I sat in front of the television and watched the World Cup, being played in Italy.  The broadcasters on TBS, Bob Neal and Mick Luckhurst, (former placekicker for the Atlanta Falcons), explained the game.  The offside trap.  The tactics.  They explained what I should be looking for.
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Weekend Starts Early for Hoop Fans...Will There Be Soccer?

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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.

What a wonderful time of year...if you are a sports fan!

The NCAA Tournament starts this afternoon. The IHSA State Tournament crowns two more basketball Champions in Peoria Saturday night.  The Blackhawks are playing the role of "crash test dummies" for the rest of the league and continue their struggles on the West Coast.  The Bulls still have a chance for the post season, despite losing nine in a row.  The opening day of baseball is less than a month away.  And Major League Soccer...ah...oh ...we will talk about that in a bit.

I got online this morning and put together a few brackets for the NCAA Tournament.  Will I win?  Doubtful, but you MUST be in a tournament to get the full enjoyment of the tourney.

I am making my yearly pilgrimage to Peoria to catch the 3A and 4A semifinals and championship games this weekend.  Last year, I missed my first tourney in more than 25 years and I hope this weekend begins another 25 year stretch.
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USA has work to do before World Cup begins

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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.

Wednesday, the USA men's National team wrapped up it's play on foreign soil before the start of the 2010 World Cup, to be played in South Africa.  The one month long tournament begins Friday, June 11, with the USA playing their first match against England on day two of the tournament.

The USA knew facing the Netherlands would not be easy, but it proved to be a good test for the Red, White and Blue.  The Netherlands, also known as Holland, are currently third ranked in the world, and came away with a 2-1 win.

Watching the broadcast on ESPN2, the one thing that stood out was the crawl on the bottom of the screen with all of the injured players that the US has on the mend.  Onyewu, Davies, Dempsey, Feilhaber, the list seemed to go on forever.
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A few Random Thoughts going into Weekend

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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.

Another weekend is upon us.  I'm interested to see who replaces Bill Leff on the Saturday, Chicago Now radio show on WGN.  I tossed my hat into the ring.  Still waiting for a call.  I'll be ready if it comes.

After watching the way Canada destroyed the Russians on Wednesday, does the USA have a chance if these two meet again, in the Gold Medal game?  Can Ryan Miller stand on his head, yet again?

I can't believe it, and I won't admit it if you ask me, but I actually watched some of the ice dancing on Thursday night.  I don't understand...my feminine side is apparently beginning to take over. 


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Forced to Watch Curling...Really!

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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.

I had a chance to watch some of the USA mens hockey debut in these 2010 Olympics Tuesday, but my attention was definitely split.

You see, the UEFA Champions League is down to the knockout stage.  In case you don't know what I am talking about, it's soccer.

Every year, the top teams in all of the European Leagues get involved in a tournament, and they are know down to the final eight teams.  Tuesday, Manchester United traveled to Milan, Italy to face David Beckham and AC Milan.

Man U's, Wayne Rooney scored a pair of headers as United took the match, 3-2.  They will meet in Manchester, England in three weeks.  It is a home and home series, with the team scoring the most goals winning and advancing.
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Sports Fans Can Take A Lesson from Section 8

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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.

Saturday afternoon, I traveled to Toyota Park.  No, the Chicago Fire were not practicing, they are in the sun of Arizona getting ready for the start of the 2010 campaign.

The Fire supporters' group, Section 8, was having their Annual General Meeting.

About one hundred or so fans turned out, enjoyed socializing with their fellow fans, and enjoyed a beer or three before they got down to business.

Section 8 is a not for profit, independent supporter's association for the Chicago Fire soccer club.  Saturday was their day to elect and re-elect the Board of Directors for the upcoming season.


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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. 
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How is Chicago Not in US Bid for World Cup

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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.

Soccer fans in Chicago are up in arms after American organizers for the World Cup bid in 2018 or 2022, did not include our city.  I am hoping the US doesn't get the Cup for either of those years.

I was fortunate enough to attend ten days of World Cup action in Germany back in 2006, traveling to Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich.  The experience is one of the greatest I have been lucky enough to enjoy.  Getting around Germany and England and most European countries is quite simply with the train systems they have. 

It is much more difficult to get around this huge country of ours.  If you are living in Chicago, how expensive would it be to check out games in say, New York, Dallas, and then, Los Angeles? 
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