Open Tryout Winner & More

This year's open tryout winner is Peruvian born midfielder Fabrizio Pittaluga .  Unlike last year's winner Pari Pantazopoulos who is a local product, Pittaluga is based out of Miami, Florida and travelled 1300 miles to participate in last month's open tryout camp. 

The 6 foot, 22 year old midfielder has some experience via training stints with Serie A's Cagliari, Miami Kendall FC in the US Soccer Development Academy, and Peruvian clubs Sport Boys Association and Universidad Cesarvallejo.  He'll still need to impress enough during training camp to make the final roster like Pantazopoulos did in 2011.

Conde Wants Back In?

A recent report on MLSsoccer.com quoted Wilman Conde as saying he would be interested in returning to MLS and Chicago.  The Fire still hold Conde's MLS playing rights should he re-sign with the league.  According to the report Conde is weighing an offer from Millonarios in Colombia but is waiting for an MLS offer to be finalized before making a decision.  The Fire could theoretically trade his rights within the league if he returns stateside. 

MLS Schedule This Week?

Various outlets are reporting that the complete MLS schedule will be available this week and some details are starting to leak.  This site claims that Toronto FC will be playing the Fire on April 21 and July 21 in Toronto, and the Reds will travel here on August 4. 

Releasing the schedule earlier than ever before will be a welcome bonus for the thousands of travelling fans throughout the league.

Filed under: 2012 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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    Why would we trade his rights? They way our CB's look, we could definitely use his experience in the middle with Gibbs. That would bolster our interior defense wouldn't you think?

  • In reply to waam:

    For a few reasons......he would take up an international spot, cap/budget space, and the fact that his effort and his play were far less than stellar during the latter part of his last season here. It's tempting to have him in the mix with Gibbs, Mikulic, and Anibaba but I think exporing what they could get in trade would be wise too.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    You're going to want that international spot when Ronnie comes to town! ;)

  • On a more serious note, in my humble opinion the departure of Wilman Conde was welcome and a long-time-coming. He became more petulant that a child having to give his/her candy to his/her cousin when he wasn't allowed to follow Juan Carlos Osorio to NYRB. His lack of effort in his last season with the Men in Red was woefully apparent. If I could have one CB from that era it would be Bakary Soumare because I think if it ever came down to a JCO encounter, Frankie Klopas would take him.

  • http://www.mlssoccer.com/es/news/article/2012/01/04/el-m%C3%A1gico-grazzini-se-pone-grandes-metas-para-2012

    Q and A with Grazzini. Any way we can get a translation. the online translaton didnt make much sense. thanks

  • In reply to KChance:

    Here ya go....

    Grazzini has big goals for 2012.....wants the Fire to win a championship and an all-star game call

    "I finished with 4 assists and 5 goals in 11 games with the team. I felt great, all of my teammates and the people who work for the club welcomed me. For that, I'm happy because they're all comfortable with what we did and hopefully we can fight for important things (in 2012)."

    "We had a great group of guys that were trying to establish themselves and we fell a few point short of the playoffs. It would have been well deserved because in order to qualify we would have had to have beaten everybody we played. We fell a little short but it was a good season given where we were before."

    How did you adapt so quicklly to the Fire?
    "The coach and my teammates made me feel welcome/important and I got off to a good start so that made it easier to get accustomed. When the group accepts you and gets you the ball with ownership of the team, in my position that is very important. I'm very happy because unlike going to one of the big clubs, I went to a team without a big (ego) guy and everybody got along."

    Diego Chaves mentioned the importance of your arrival along with that of Pavel Pardo.....
    "We fit in well but it's not so easy to get here and fit into the system right away. In my case the coach told me when I got here that he had followed my play and wanted me to push the play from the middle forward in order to help the forwards and get close to goal myself. I had a lot of passes to Oduro that led to a bunch of goals," he said smiling.

    How do you compare the play from Argentina to MLS?
    "The rhythm in the US is much faster. In Argentina it a little slower but you pressure a lot more. The US is more similar to Europe where all the teams come out to win and there's more space, from my position that works well because I got the ball with more space. In Argentina they'll put two defenders on you and there's less room. The play in the US surprised me a lot. There are some great players and MLS grows day by day...there's a reason why they're beating the Mexican teams."

    Did you have a pre-conceived notion of the league?
    "I tell everyone, before arriving in MLS and had seen very little of it and arriving from Argentina you think it's going to be inferior but that's not true at all. I've talked to some of my friends and told them an American team can play on an even level with an Arentinian team and will pass them in terms of physical ability."

    After your finish, Chicago looks to be a favorite in 2012....
    "We'll see....the team wants to be a winner. With the roster we have and some reinforcements we can get better. Hopefully we can get enough points in order to get into the playoffs and win something important. It's been a while since Chicago has won the championship."

    What are your personal expectations?
    "I hope to get better this year and I have some goals in mind. For example, I'd love to play in the All Star game. I'm a person that's never satisfied and always want more. I'll go into preseason and hopefully I'll be better than last year."

    How have you taken the rumors about Pappa to Holland?
    "Honestly, I hope he doesn't go because he's a good friend, person, and player. We're very comfortable playing together. At first we butted heads because he said I didn't give him the ball and he wasn't going to pass it to me (smiling apparently joking) but little by little we got to know each other. Like myself, he's part of the team and I'd be sad to see him go."

    Interesting....
    "Guillermo Barros Schelloto told me that Chicago wanted me and I was going to a great organizationand that I wouldn't regret it and that he would have liked to have directed me as a player."
    "I wasn't able to meet up with GBS in the United States, but he is a huge person in Argentine football and I'm very greatful that he was able to explain what US football was all about and he helped me decide on MLS."

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    i thought we needed some impact players?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    not montreal players either.

  • tim howard scores a goal today for Everton against Bolton. unfortunately he also has given up 2 goals, looks like they are gonna lose today. pretty poor attack when your lone goal against the bottom team in the league comes from your keeper :p

  • Fire season ticket holders received an email today with a sneak peek at the schedule:
    Saturday 3/24 vs Philadelphia
    Saturday 4/28 vs Seattle
    Saturday 5/26 at Columbus
    Sunday 7/8 vs Los Angeles
    Saturday 9/15 vs Montreal
    Saturday 10/27 vs DC

    Also word has leaked from north of the border that the Fire will be opening yet another stadium in Montreal on 3/17.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Opening Montreal. It's settled, MLS hates the Chicago Fire.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    The Tribune just posted the 2012 schedule.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/chi-fire-to-begin-34game-mls-test-march-17-at-montreal-20120105,0,3642807.story

  • You might be right Jeff.
    Now we know and can prepare and beet Montreal.
    We have the time and the Players to acquire to get the Win.
    Frank and Hauptman have to prove the 2012 Chicago Fire Will
    a Better Team than the 2011 Version.

  • In reply to Juergen:

    they do have to prove they will have a better team, but as of right now i don't see a better team. people can say "didn't you see how they finished? the team will be better than last year". well every team gets a streak once and a while. lets see if they can have consistency throughout the entire season because if not then we will have to go through a personel overhaul yet again next offseason.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    They'll be better than last year for the sole reason that they'll have Grazzini and Pardo to start the season. That being said they still need another striker.

  • The lack of Pardo news is making me nervous. However, I haven't detected any sign of other clubs trying to sign him away from us.

  • In reply to iron81:

    My fears are eased somewhat by this article. Apparently, Pardo called a Uruguayan player to try to lure him to Chicago. Unfortunately, Pardo was unsuccessful.

    http://cambiodefrente.com/futbol-local/item/7886-olivera-seguir%C3%A1-en-la-viola.html

  • In reply to iron81:

    He also met Klopas in Europe last month to chip in with his contacts......Pardo will be back. He wants to be here and they want him back.

  • okay so they'll have grazzini and pardo to start the season. assume that is their first choice. what happens if grazzini and/or pardo has an injury and misses time, whats their second choice? it showed in the games that grazzini missed(most notably open cup final) that there is no one on the roster to fill his spot. right now there is no depth at CM. pappa can't fill the spot we already tried that.

  • A report out of Colombia claims the Fire have signed Millonarios midfielder Rafael Robayo........

    http://bit.ly/wimRFc

    Robayo tweeted today, "Thank God for this great opportunity to play in MLS, and thanks to the Chicago Fire for having interest in me."

    "It hurts to leave Millonarios, but we couldn't come to an agreement and I have to think about my future and my family."

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    a midfielder huh? to replace pappa???

  • In reply to Drew:

    I don't have much info on him yet but he appears to be more of a center mid.

  • It’s been a pleasure reading this article. It’s hard to find great stories to read today so it’s nice to find good content to read. Thank you!

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