Mid week notes

The Fire returned to training yesterday in preparation for another critically important match against Sporting Kansas City. Also returning to practice were vital parts of the club's attack and depth, Patrick Nyarko and Chris Rolfe. Nyarko has missed the last two games due to concussion symptoms and Rolfe missed the New England game after coming on as a substitute the previous week versus Montreal. Both participated fully but may not start on Friday. Nyarko in particular is very important as a creator especially if they continue to play with two holding midfielders in the middle forcing Mike Magee deeper into midfield to retrieve the ball like he did on Saturday in New England.

No official final word has crept out yet on the status of two key cogs in the Sporting attack as of yet. Graham Zusi and Kei Kamara were absent in their 1-0 loss in San Jose this past weekend. Zusi has resumed full training but Kamara looks likely to miss his second straight match. Striker Claudio Bieler was taken out of the Earthquakes game in the 56th minute but it didn't appear to be injury related. Bieler has nine goals on the season but is currently in the midst of a five game drought. Sporting has lost three of its last four MLS match-ups.

The Fire dropped a 2-1 decision to Kansas City on July 7 at Toyota Park and didn't play badly in the first half of that game although the substitutions of Rolfe and Nyarko hampered the attack in the second half. Zusi scored on what was probably an unintentional shot that was meant to be a cross and Benny Feilhaber provided the difference after some sloppy set piece defending.

Without Bakary Soumare in this match it seems that Hunter Jumper is the current favorite to get the start in the middle with Jalil Anibaba staying out wide. Jumper has played in the middle during reserve and friendly matches and has actually looked better at that spot than he has at left back. Soumare was red carded at the conclusion of the Revs match for an altercation with New England's trainer. There is no word yet on whether or not the MLS Disciplinary Committee will take further action.

Frank Klopas and Leo Percovich were tossed from the New England game and won't be on the sideline for this match. Mike Matkovich will take over the in-game duties for Klopas.

Third kit contest

According to Jeff Crandall via twitter the Fire are "in the process of identifying finalists" and the five top designs "should be revealed next week."

Around the league

There are two west coast matches tonight and one of them is a marquee match up. Chivas USA hosts FC Dallas in a game featuring the 8th and 9th place clubs in the West but the one to watch will be Real Salt Lake at Portland. A Timbers win would tie them with RSL at the top of the table in the Western Conference.


Chivas USA 2 FC Dallas 1

Portland 2 Real Salt Lake 1

Season record 107/228 47%



Filed under: 2013 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • 47% ? Ouch!

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Ha! That's actually higher than every MLS editor.

    50% is excellent when it comes to picking MLS games.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Well then you get an A.....since we are grading on a curve :)

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    on that note, I went 0 for 2 last night

  • I'm still trying to lift my jaw from the floor after reading this......


  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I would guess this means we are getting to the final stages of demise. They've officially appealed for support out of sympathy. Why don't they just merge with the Cubs?

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Yeah, that was really something.

    To his credit, I hear a lot of fans complaining that they don't hear anything from the FO, and feel left in the dark about club decisions. This doesn't quite bridge that gap, but it does pull the curtain back a bit... Maybe a bit too far.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    He shouldn't have said he's from Detroit, that was his biggest mistake. Came off as a very young and inexperienced. #1 rule in sports mgmt.. never bash your customers.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    A suburb of Detroit no doubt.

  • WTF, in someways I can appreciate his frustration, hopefully, he understands what Fire fans suffer, but I'm wondering the appropriateness of this on the team blog. Kind of sets a negative tone with a team surrounded with negativity.

  • I'm not a heckler I go and watch the game and don't pay heed to those around me i could watch a game in silence. I can't say this year anyone had really been obnoxious by me...don't condone it but its probably what every team goes through and part of the job. I'm pretty sure lions fans have been equally insulting. Anyway the whole not settling for failure simply isn't true because they are failing and not making changes hence they are accepting of it

  • That piece should've never, ever, ever been published.

  • He didnt say anything of any importance. Just moaned because he works for the Fire and he can moan. "I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about soccer, the Fire or MLS." Saying that just makes him look like an idiot. He works for the Fire, who play soccer in MLS. He should know just about everything about the sport, the club and the league. I dont understand how the Fire could let this go public...

  • The more I think about it, the madder I get, mainly about the Fire family, what bullshit. I remember when the FIre had several young ladies as customer service reps who actually understood soccer, were highly competent, energetic, went out of their way to help Fire fans, friendly, and lived and died with the Fire. What happened to these outstanding members of the great Fire Family?
    They summarily dismissed by the new owner. For what, being too competent? (Guillermo, you probably remember this) Now to read this crap written by someone who doesn't know about much about soccer or the team history is disheartening. If this new hire is typical of the quality of personnel the team is looking to bring to the Fire family, we're looking a very gloomy future.
    Hey, when you come to the big leagues, you're expected to play hard ball.
    However, this doesn't give fans the right to be obnoxious and shout
    obscenities at the owner, team officials, or players.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    The father of the original Fire Family is Peter Wilt, since he and the Fire have been divorced we have step daddy Andrew Hauptmann and his children (current employees) the rest of us are just a bunch of unwanted red headed step children. We should eat the leftovers and wear the hand me downs and like it. The Fire family is one dysfunctional family indeed.

  • Here's where he's right: people shouldn't act in a way that detracts from others' experience of the game.

    Pretty much everything else is a joke.

  • Based on the interview On The Fire did with Lobring a while back, I thought he seemed forthcoming and open, which I appreciated. His two most recent editorials (this one and the DP piece a few weeks ago), while certainly frank, have been counterproductive. I like the idea, but this is a misuse of the platform. This piece is petulant and unprofessional and, as Jeff said, should never, ever have been published. People like us will say all kinds of crap on the internet; we're fans and we like to talk about our team, whether things are good or bad. Players, coaches, staff, and owners shouldn't read it if they can't brush it off and focus on improving their own work.

  • I don't get it. First, rip fans for conduct, apparently only a few. But at the end talk about how thousands of fans are supporting him. Which is it?

    I found the article a little self-indulgent. I am sure the job is frustrating and tough. Not every one is going to be happy.

    I was at the Open Cup game, and I was extremely disappointed at the way the Fire played the game. That game was there for the taking and the Fire gave it away. I have been disappointed at Fire games before, but the Open Cup semi-final has to be at or near the top. I didn't go to the game because of $2 hot dogs, free parking, etc. I went to the game to see the Fire perform as a team committed to winning. Wrong game to discuss frustrated fans.

  • His criticism of fan behavior doesn't bother me too much, although his choice of forum to address that issue was probably poor.

    It's the attempted defense of Hauptman that's the worst thing about the piece. If Hauptman wants to show us he really cares he has to do at least two things:

    1. Explain the utter failure to develop any academy players. Teams around the league are seeing major contributions from home-grown guys like Yedlin, Salcedo, Zardes, Villareal, O'Neill, Trapp, Fagundez, Henry, Morgan, Acosta, etc. We've gotten absolutely nothing. Not even a single league minute. We need some recognition that this is unacceptable and a concrete plan to fix the problem.

    2. The inability to evaluate and bring in foreign talent. Other teams either spend big for can't-miss superstars, or at least find lesser lights that become legit MLS stars as their DPs. Instead, we bring in the fifth iteration of Federico Puppo.

    Once Hauptman publicly recognizes that the state of the franchise is unacceptable and presents his plan to field a competitive product, I'll take seriously any claims that he cares at all about the Fire's success.

  • First time I've seen a story about the Fire on the front page of the Trib, and not for a good reason. This guy is probably updating his resume as we speak.

  • I don't even know who this guy is to bemoan his hiring. Anyhow I don't think they teach rag on your fans on your companies website in Director of communications school. I'm sure every owner every where has gone been heckled or ridiculed. Sports ownership and management requires a little thicker skin IMO. At the end of the day Hauptmann doesn't owe us anything and we aren't obligated to buy what he sells if we don't like it. However heckling is included in the price of the ticket. Throwing things is not.

  • The best thing is that the team executives all said they signed off on the article which means they thought it was worth putting on the site. All I can say is, if that is not evidence of a need in change in management/ownership, I don't know what else we need. Maybe the fact that they hired a guy who admits he knows nothing about Chicago, soccer, and apparently razors. Is there anybody out there that thinks that this team would be playing as poorly if Dom Kinnear coached them? So...that means find a coach who can do what Dom does, bring the best out of what he has. I think that Eric Wynalda has shown he can do it at the lower levels. I say bring him in when the season is over. If I have to go through another season of waiting until July to sign a player for a half season I will let our communications director really know what rhymes with "witty".

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Hopefully the backlash will create the need for a fall guy, since higher ups have openly stated that they signed off on it, multiple people will be replaced.

  • Is this guy related to Lee Elia?

  • Why is this guy still collecting a pay check?

    Explains a lot about the downward spiral of the club.

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