Training Camp Set To Open This Week

Training Camp Set To Open This Week

The Fire announced their pre-season schedule today.  Players are due to report to Toyota Park on Thursday before starting training next week at the Bridgeview Sports Dome.  Among the players reporting will be new additions Cory Gibbs, Daniel Paladini, Josip Mikulic, Jalil Anibaba, Jason Herrick, Jon Conway, Davis Paul, Yannick Salmon, Amani Walker, Sam Arthur, and Open Try-Out winner Pari Pantazopoulos.  The Fire are also expected to announce additional player signings within the next few days.  As we discussed in the comments section last week it's likely that at least two South American players will be added, at least one of which will definitely be another forward.  It doesn't sound like the any of the newest acquistions will be of the Designated Player variety but they apparently are younger players who have had some success in their domestic leagues. 

Alumni Update

Check this out for an update on the post-Fire careers of Ljungberg, Blanco, Soumare, and Conde.  The latter was in a familiar spot this weekend. 

Here's the Full Pre-Season Schedule


Jan. 27: Players report to TOYOTA PARK

Jan. 28 - Jan. 31: Fitness and Medical Examinations at TOYOTA PARK

Jan. 31 - Feb. 5: Training at the Bridgeview Soccer & Sports Dome

Feb. 6: Players off in Chicago, IL

Feb. 7-11: Training at the Bridgeview Soccer & Sports Dome

Feb. 12 - Feb. 13: Players off in Chicago

Feb. 14: Travel to Ave Maria, FL

Feb. 15- Feb. 26: Training in Ave Maria, FL

Feb. 17: Match vs. Florida Gulf Coast University

Feb. 20: Match vs. TBD (TBA)

Feb. 23: Match vs. New York Red Bulls (10 and noon)

Feb. 26: Match vs. TBD (TBA)

Feb. 27: Return to Chicago

Feb. 28: Players off in Chicago

March 1: Travel to Charleston, SC

March 5: Match vs. Toronto FC (4:00 PM)

March 9: Match vs. D.C. United (4:00 PM)

March 12: Match vs. Charleston Battery (6:15)

March 14: 2011 Season Kickoff Luncheon at Hyatt Regency Chicago

March 14 - March 18: Training at TOYOTA PARK

March 19: First Kick match on the road against FC Dallas (7:30 PM)

March 26: Opening Day at TOYOTA PARK versus Sporting KC (3:00 PM)


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  • So you only have to be with the club for six month to be considered an alumni? Way to go Freddie!!

  • The Chicago Fire need to report on the present and future plans
    of the team and keep us Fans better informed than what they are currently doing.
    Who cares about their alumni were they are playing now wether
    in Poland, Scotland,France or elsewhere. The long and short of it is those players are no longer with the Fire.
    We care about what we have to look forward to in 2011 if anything at all. Not looking very promising under Klopas and De los Cobas.

  • Are you suggesting they train in Hell, Michigan?

  • Leave a comment...

  • So going into preseason will the Fire still have Best Buy on their training apparel? Put tape over it? scratch it out with magic marker? Wear them inside out?

  • @tigerJMS They did features or audio/video interviews with the following players in the last week alone: Anibaba, Johnson, Paul and Paladini. They've done a good job of stayiing connected with players via Skype interviews and podcasts over the offseason...haven't seen many other MLS teams do as much as they've done in this regard.

    They said on their Facebook the Alumni Abroad is a popular feature and with so many new ones, they should have plenty of material. Its one story in the face of 4-5 you're asking for and it is interesting to me at least to see what those guys are up to.

    They're doing it because it gets a lot of hits...certainly wouldn't think it'd be popular to highlight that Freddie and Conde are having success away from the Fire but it seems people want to read that, in addition to the stuff about new players they're producing.

  • perhaps to a jaundiced eye all is yellow, but the Fire seem to make less news, have less tumors or hints, indeed sign less players before training camp is upon us, than most other teams. The offseason is a wasteland for fire news, or perhaps I am just suffering from soccer deprivation, at least of the Fire variety.

  • Thank God for less tumors. That is rumors of course

  • They could put "For Rent" on their jerseys if they don't find a sponsor before the start of the season.

  • On a more serious note I wonder if the reason we haven't heard more about new players is due to the fact that a sponsor hasn't been located that would be willing to help underwrite the Fire.
    A 2mil. loss is hard to make up and could detirmine what players the team can afford to sign.
    The current ownership may have deep pockets but not that deep to cover lack of revenue year after year.
    Normally, it would seem that there shouldn't be a lack of sponsorship given the size of the greater Chicagoland area and the number of major corporations having their headquaters located in the region.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    but maybe it is a chicken and egg type of question.. last tim ewe got best buy because of blanco, maybe we need that marketable dp to get a good sponsor

  • In reply to lijien:

    philly has no dp's and they scored big with their sponsor. maybe the fire's staff has no negotiation skills? or maybe it's the lack of season tickets sold?

  • In reply to lijien:

    also, will you (GR) be able to tell us who will be in camp on trial?

  • In reply to firefan1998:

    Yes....I'm hoping to get out to the Sports Dome next week.

  • In reply to firefan1998:

    @penapirata The Fire have already sold more season tickets this offseason than any other season at Toyota Park...oh and they reported it:

    Don't let facts get in the way of your baseless argument.

    @celt There have been rumors this offseason about the Fire signing a Maltese player, Guadaloupean, someone from the Orient, players from Serbia, players from South America.... Many were probably baseless, but most were reported here. I've noticed that most clubs generally don't respond to rumors, this isn't unique to the Fire.

    Re: signing less players, with rosters expanded, I have a feeling if you did an analysis around the league of players that are actually signed, you'd see similar numbers among most teams. The rosters are bigger, teams are going to look to college players mostly to fill out the remaining spots...Like the Fire, they're going to use training camp to see who's the best fit.

    No reason to "sign" someone for 32K a year who hasn't played a professional matcb and has yet to step foot in training camp.

    I may sound like an apologist and no I'm not happy with all things Fire, but they have been reporting and doing a lot of stuff with players in the offseason. All may not be right with them, but this is one area that people are being harsh, IMO.

  • In reply to seaside:

    baseless arguement? compare how many fire season tickets are sold this year to philly a second year team that got a lucrative sponsor deal. compare to vacouver and portland who have sponsors and season ticket sales are almost at the same level as our attendance average for last year and they both have sponsors without even playing an mls game yet. maybe a sponsor like bimbo would have been interested in giving the fire $3mil per year if we had over 12k season tickets sold.

  • In reply to seaside:

    Looks like Chivas USA has a new jersey sponsor in Corona Extra.

  • In reply to seaside:

    Why does it seem so hard for the Fire to get a sponsor?

    We are at Toyota Park, you'd think at least Toyota would be a sponsor! :-)

    If we don't have a sponsor do the players wear "FIRE" jerseys again like the old days instead of Best Buy?
    I'm not a big fan of the white stripe across the chest, looks like a school gym shirt and can sharpie a name on it! :-)

  • In reply to lijien:

    There is some logic there, maybe there needs to be a quality team fielded first. What sponsor in their right mind would associate itself with a boat anchor of a team. (boat anchor companies maybe...) There were a lot of empty seats last year at TP, fill those by fielding a respectable team and maybe you will have a chance at a decent sponsor.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    The Best Buy relationship simply ran it's course. It doesn't appear to me that they were unhappy with the Fire but the initial agreement was spurred by having Blanco in a Fire shirt. Sponsors come and happens. I'm fairly certain the Fire will have a jersey sponsor to start the season. If not, then we can start really start questioning what's going on.

  • In reply to lijien:

    "As we discussed in the comments section last week it's likely that at least two South American players will be added, at least one of which will definitely be another forward. It doesn't sound like the any of the newest acquistions will be of the Designated Player variety but they apparently are younger players who have had some success in their domestic leagues."

    i think this is fine - just signing DP players for the sake of having a DP player really backfired last year - sure Freddie was a good pickup, but i only remember about 4 or 5 games where he really shined. get a bunch of young players & see what develops. you never know when one of em is a hidden gem

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Colorado and Dallas had no Designated Players in the final last year......just sayin'

  • In reply to cesba:

    Important to also note, no team has ever won MLS Cup with a Designated Player on their roster.

    It seems they're going the young and promising route, maybe picking up another veteran along the way. One thing's for sure, with McBride, CJ, Freddie, even Thorrington gone, the average age of this team is going to go way down... Might not be the worst thing.

    DP's and big names get people excited, they often times bring baggage as well. It looks like the club has shifted its philosophy to bringing in younger players with something to prove in MLS. Will it work? Possibly. I'm willing to see the full roster before I completely knock the offseason work that's been done.

  • In reply to seaside:

    i just hope one of the guys they bring in can shoot from range - right now the only player i ever see shoot from outside the box is pappa. if you have players that are dangerous from range, the defenders have to close down and can leave space for faster players to make runs.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    a fullback or winger that can put in a decent cross would be nice too

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    One of the names tossed around for the Fire is Edison Fonseca, would be a good pick up,
    much better than the alleged Garduno. Age 26, 6 ft., averages a goal for every two games.
    Currently unhappy in Iran, seems like it would be a quality addition. Scored 6 goals in 14 games
    for Columbia.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    According to Ives, Edison Fonseca has also been tied to Portland.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Are you speaking about Francisco Fonseca from Mexico or Edison Fonseca
    from Columbia, apparently both are eyeing the MLS.
    Either one would work.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I was referring to Edison from Colombia. I saw a report today that Kikin was interested but DLC was asked about him a few weeks ago and he didn't sound too interested.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Another premium STH benefit......

  • In reply to cesba:

    What was the meaning when Julius Caesar given the citizens of Rome bread and circuses everyday? I gotta a feeling it's happening right now.

  • In reply to cesba:

    No surprise here...the Fire re-sign the out of contract Dasan Robinson.

  • In reply to cesba:

    New All-in podcast with Section 8's Tom Dunmore......

  • In reply to cesba:

    Definition of a moron:
    A soccer executive who lets go of a substitute midfielder who scores 5 goals in 24 games earning
    $40,000 and getting nothing in return, yets spends $1.8 mil for a striker who scores 6 goals in 20
    games in 2007, but yet still gets nothing in return.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I'm not sure what the point of power rankings is at this point in the season since alot of teams (not just the Fire) haven't completely filled out their rosters yet. I read this anyways.....

  • In reply to cesba:

    With all of the names that we lost... and no big names gained, we had to expect such a low ranking

  • In reply to cesba:

    Would probably place Portland ahead of the Fire especially if they get Edison Foseca,
    can't see the point about Thornington, didn't play that much last year, probably wouldn't be missed at all if we still had Lowry. But it's still early to project what will be the top teams when the rosters havn't been set. I feel the core group of the Fire is fairly decent, but they lack several skilled players to make them competative. The power rankings pretty much reflect what many Fire fans are seeing.
    Most MLS teams have been making efforts to improve, but as of yet, the Fire hasn't addressed the loss of offensive players from last year. We can remain hopeful, but questions and doubts abound.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Is Columbus really better than the Fire at this point?

  • In reply to cesba:

    yes, right now there is no focused direction of this club. We are floating down the river Styx.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Columbus is really better than the Fire.....Answer: Not really. They will have the same problems like the Fire had gone through in 2010 and Warzycha should be on the hot seat.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Trying to confirm this.......

  • In reply to cesba:

    I have no idea who this is. Anybody heard of him?

  • In reply to WBO5ElGuapo:

    It appears this report is not accurate. He's also got a Best Buy training shirt on - which should be a dead give away that the report is bogus.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I checked on and Fire website and their is no indication that they signed this center back.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    That's because it's not true.

  • In reply to WBO5ElGuapo:

    What's wrong with these guys (DLC/Klopas) getting another defender?
    Given the above they would have been better getting Will Bruin in the draft.
    What about the offense, we still need one or two quality forwards and one
    attacking central midfielder.
    They must be paranoid, worrying so much about the defense, last year's collapse
    in large part due to an inconsistent offense. Pappa and Nyarko are not talented or strong
    enough to do it on their own.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    That report is bogus from what I've been told. There is at least one more forward signing on the way.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I appreciate your comments and insight to some of these posts
    including mine. I believe everyone on this site wants nothing more
    than for The Chicago Fire to field a good competetive team that
    plays attractive Soccer. Chicago has a huge base of people who love
    soccer with the largest in the USA. This is something the Fire can
    work on towards attracting them to Toyota Park. Years ago I was at
    Soldiers Field and Wrigley Field when The Sting played the New York
    Cosmos and San Diego Soccers where the the attendance at times was
    in the "Forty Thousand Plus range. Many of those who were in attendance back then are still around and Soccer has grown in the Chicago Area since then as well. Lets tap into this huge Soccer
    Fan Base by The Fire fielding a good team.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:,19528,12874_6699367,00.html

    Collins John find a club.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Season Kickoff Luncheon Info.......

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