Union 1 Fire 0 - USOC semifinal flame out

With a near full complement of players, the season on the line, and a chance to host the US Open Cup Final at home, one would have expected this match to feature an all-out effort worthy of carrying or at least acknowledging the weight of this match from the Fire. That wasn't the case.

Despite what appeared to be a first choice starting line-up that included the debut of new Designated Player Gilberto, what was actually put forward on display was an aggregate of everything that is wrong with the Fire on the pitch. Failed and underperforming DPs, lack of creativity from the middle of the park, chances upon chances given up at alarming rates, and little done in terms of correcting what isn't working were laid bare once again. Because the Union were almost as incompetent as the Fire in front of goal the score was level at the half. The home team took some comfort in at least creating the opportunities.

The same could not be said for the Fire, whose first shot on goal came in the 45th minute when David Accam managed to get to a loose ball and forced Philadelphia 'keeper John McCarthy into a save. Accam was substituted in the 58th minute and looked to be missing that final gear which has made him so dangerous when he has been on the field and fit this season. The residual effect of the hamstring tweak suffered in the Portland game last Friday obviously hampered him in this match. The fact that he was replaced by Jason Johnson, who was as bad in this game as he was in Portland and not Patrick Nyarko is another story.

By the time Sebastien LeToux gave the Union the lead in the 74th minute it had become all too obvious what the outcome would be. After a give away by Matt Polster, Jeff Larentowicz and Razvan Cocis couldn't close LeToux down fast enough and just like that, the Fire's 2015 season became another bitter disappointment. The playoffs remain a mathematical possibility but anyone with two eyes and an objective perspective knows that the final twelve games of yet another debacle of a campaign are nothing but formality.

There was little in redeeming quality about this match. No one can come away happy with the effort, save the 100-plus hopeful souls who traveled to Philadelphia to watch a disjointed repeat of the Portland match on Friday. The Fire couldn't string together passes, failed to generate anything cohesive offensively, while looking like eleven men who had just been introduced to each other before kick off.

There are a few points of interest remaining in the season but none are particularly positive. Does Frank Yallop now entertain increased offers from Hull City for Shaun Maloney? How long will Yallop be around to field those offers?  What will change if he's not? What of Gilberto, who left the match with a leg injury after an auspicious 20 minute debut?

The questions surrounding yet another rebuild of sorts can't be avoided.

The Fire had a chance to take a huge step in redeeming a season and perhaps the club but once again failed miserably.

Line up

GK S. Johnson

D Palmer, Gehrig, Larentowicz, Jones

M Shipp, Polster (Magee 77'), Cocis, Accam (J. Johnson 67')

F Maloney, Gilberto (Igboananike 21')

Not used: Busch, Nyarko, Stephens, Watson


Filed under: 2015 US Open Cup

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • This is literally as underwhelming a performance as they could have put forth on the field. No sense of urgency, and it was immediately worrisome when the Union got repeated chances in their final third during the first half. At no point did the Fire seem like a team that wanted to win, or had the will to do so.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    I know some people are not too happy about starting over with a new staff and "rebuilding" yet again, but how can anyone justify what they saw from the whole team. The preparation and motivation comes from the coach. If they weren't ready and weren't motivated enough to go down with HONOR and showing a little PASSION, then there is no one else to blame but the coach. Listening to his post game comments just further cements my opinion that #Yallopout is not and was never the right man for this team.
    Anytime a coach insists that his team was prepared and insists that they had good practices and then seems flabbergasted at the end results, just shows that he either doesn't know his team or has just lost the team. His players played like a team that knows their coach is about to get the boot. There was no HONOR or PASSION on display and pretty soon our TRADITION will be replaced by the legacy of the current regime. This is neither a threat or a result of this game, but if Yallop is still the coach after October, I will not be renewing my STH spots for 2016. I will just have to find other ways to support the team. This was shambolic, painful to watch, and embarrassing to explain to my kids. SMH!

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    The lack of focus is a recurring theme this year. I don't seem to recall it being this bad under Klopas, but I could just have selective memory on that particular detail.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    The lack of focus has been there for the last three managers - DLC, Klopas & Yallop.

  • And Yallop's comments once again sound like a passive bystander who just can't believe what he's watching.

  • Amazing that we are going through yet another year of epic failure. When will it end?

  • So what shall we look forward to?
    Another 12 new players next year, or a new coach who tears this team apart and brings in 12 players who he likes?
    Another 2 years of disappointment to look forward to either way...

  • No ratings for this game? ;)

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Yes, let's see the first negative numbers on the blogs history!

  • The Fire will not be allowed to improve until the League wants to have a winning team in Chicago. New owner now!!

  • One has to wonder what was going through Polster's head on his give away, such a weak pass, I think this was the third time an errant pass by Polster cost the Fire a game. But then most of the Fire passes throughout the game were mediocre. A disappointing effort, watching the game I was hoping the game would go into a shoot out
    because it was clearly obvious after the first 30 minutes that the Fire were not going to score from the field. Wonder what happens during practice, they just looked like a bunch of guys who came together for the first time, sub par effort and total lack of pace. If the Fire doesn't finish as the last placed team, anything higher will be undeserved.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I think you've hit the nail on the head with the passing game. We can't pass, our first touches are terrible, and our crosses are even worse. I would think that's a player problem, but these guys are professionals - they should be able to pass the ball. It seems like the longer they are with this team, the more their basic skill deteriorate. I'm assuming that's coaching. I was in a wait and hold position on Yallop earlier in the year. I'm not there anymore.

  • I have crossed over. Yallop needs to be gone. I think there is plenty of talent on the roster, which points to Yallop lacking in motivation, tactis, etc.

    I understand that being loud, rash, etc doesn't always work. But for the love of all that is great can we get a coach in here that works the sidelines. Constantly motivating, encouraging, and leading helps the product on the field IMO.

  • fb_avatar

    I don't want a major team overhaul but after last night's game I'm finally convinced that Yallop and Maloney need to go (I was already convinced about Igboananike). That's unless we see some miraculous turnaround in the next couple of games, but I highly doubt that will happen. If by the end of this month our chances of making the playoffs are as dire as they are now, it's simple: sell Maloney (and Igboananike, if anyone would take him) and fire Yallop. Mathis as interim until we find someone suitable for the job. Re-sign Magee for a significantly lower salary. Focus on bringing in 3 or so high-quality players in the offseason.

  • Thinking of donating the rest of my season tickets to charity, although. it's like donating a big bag of dog poo.
    No current plans to return to Toyota Park this season.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Haha, I had a laugh at that one, thanks.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I am still laughing. Maybe to "honor" the team by delivering the tix with a flaming bag of ....

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Give them to the person at work that you hate the most.

  • You know, on the plus note...




  • Second time in three years I've travelled for a USOC semi, and second time in three years it's been a total waste of time and money (ok, I did meet some great Fire fans last night, so make that a near total waste).

    My only question is whether we'll see a blog editorial about the "Hauptmann Out" banner that the travelling supporters displayed prominently just before kickoff. It probably didn't make it into the YouTube feed, but it was visible to everyone at PPL Park.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    It hangs at home games at TP as well.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    From the looks of it, this was a new one.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    You could see it on the You Tube feed - it was the only banner that you could see on the broadcast from Section 8. Personally, it gave the impression that they weren’t there to support the team, they were there to protest. I'm not a Hauptmann fan, but it put me in a bad mood for the game. I found myself embarrassed by it.

  • In reply to jhholda:

    I did see in-game photos with Sector Latino's banner was up where the #HauptmanOut banner was.

    If the HO banner was just pre-game, I wouldn't mind. During the gameplay of an away match, no. We're there to support the team for 90 minutes.

  • Guillermo - if you were the owner of this team, what would you do right now? Both on field and off.

  • In reply to jhholda:

    Step one - hire a team president with a soccer background responsible for the entire operation and give him the power and authority to tell ownership what needs to be done with zero interference.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    That makes too much sense!

    Will never happen under current ownership

  • In reply to DerSting:

    What if John McDonough quit the Blackhawks tomorrow? Would Hauptman be on the phone trying to hire him? Would he give him the autonomy that someone like McDonough would (rightly) demand?

    Imagine a Fire President coming to Hauptman the way Tim Leiwicke did to TFC ownership and asking for $100 MM to sign Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe and Gilberto. How long do you think that that conversation would last?

    I agree with Der Sting. Not happening.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Too much $$$. How about Brian McBride? World class player that knows how to win.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Never going to happen. AH's ego will get in the way of that.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I ranted for about 2 years about the orgizational structure of the Fire and finally stopped complaining. But I agree wholeheartedly....that'd be a great first step. Or maybe 3nd step after new ownership.

  • In reply to Tweaky:


  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Damn it. 2nd step. Friggin fat fingers on phone...

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    John Kass, in his recent takedown of the Fire, accuses Hauptman of being a meddler and a micro-manager.

    Critical fans, however, continually charge Hauptman with being an uninvolved, absentee owner.

    Guillermo, any insight into which claim is true???

  • Pick tonight

    DC over New York City FC


  • I just checked my time hop app and one year ago today I said that I have never seen a more pathetic team than the Chicago Fire. I was wrong. This team is so clueless and there is no light in sight. It's just sad. We need 4 new defenders, one central midfielder, and at the very least a striker that can score goals.

    Yallop should have already been fired. He has brought in many, many players and only 4 have been any good. (Polster, Shipp, Jones, Accam) He has brought in 4 DP's this season. One was benched after the first week, another will hopefully be sold in the next week or so, and one of them has already failed in this league with another team. He constantly plays players out of position and has no idea how to change things. He has 12 wins in 58 regular season games as our manager. That's about 1 win every 5 games. Yapyap is the worst manager I have ever seen. He can't possibly be the manager for next season.

    I love this club. I have been going to games since I was 12 years old. I became a season ticket holder in 2008. I enjoyed going to games and supporting my local professional team. I would bring friends whenever my girlfriend couldn't make it because it was a good time. Since Yapyap took over, I have left TP happy maybe a handful of times. I don't take friends to the game because it is embarrassing to watch. This is the first time since 2008 that I will seriously consider not renewing.

  • I am stunned at how poorly the team played in such an important game. A chance to play at home for a championship. Do you need any more inspiration than that? They do play at times as though they have never played together.

    How about an apology from the Executives for another failed season? Give away a game that was the most important to date. I doubt they will make the playoffs; it would take a miracle turnaround.

    I did have one positive thought. If I remember correctly, Yallop said that DPs have about 50-50 chance of making it. We have/had 4 DPs this year and only one is worth keeping. That is 25%, so our next two DPs are going to be dynamite.

  • In reply to Gladbach:

    A Liverpool blogger has done some interesting research on the success rate of significant transfer players; and if my memory is correct, he found that about 1/3 of big-money transfers in the EPL are a success.

    Of course, all of this depends on what you count as "big money" and "success," but I think the point is that fans get excited by these transfers and expect results. Unfortunately, it usually doesn't happen.

    I'd like to see someone put together a rating of MLS DPs using criteria appropriate to their position on the field. I'd like to see where our DPs rate compared to the rest of the league.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    There are 26 players on this roster. How many of those players would you be happy with as starters next season? My list would be Jones, Accam, Polster, Shipp, Sean Johnson, Nyarko, and I personally think Magee should be starting. That's 7 players from the 26 that I feel are good enough to start for us in this league. Take away Nyarko, Magee, and Sean Johnson because Yapyap didn't bring those players in. Of the other 22 players that he brought in to this club, only 4 are good enough to be every week starters, IMO. Look at all the players that he has brought in over the almost 2 years as our manager. His success rate is not close to that 33% you mention. It's more like 18%. He has a success rate of 18% on his signings, he has only won 12 games, his tactics are outdated, and he lacks the ability to change things during the match. We would be better off with Mathis leading us the rest of the way.

    Under Yallop we have 58 points from 56 matches.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I feel Shipp is largely overrated by the fans. He does offer some quality and some really good games here or there, but I'd prefer to see him play about 30 min a game, ideally. Sort of like Tomaz being semi anti-nyarko, that's how I feel about Shipp.

    Anyway, the Fire are just a disaster. Hauptman probably has good enough intentions, but if he was any lower than owner he'd have been fired 3 years ago.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    This is Shipp's second year in the league and he was the runner up for ROTY last year. His only professional manager has been Spank Yapyap and he has still performed well. Shipp is better than Maloney, who was signed as a DP. Shipp has also been played out of position since day 1 as a Fire player. I'll take Shipp on my team every day.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    I agree. Shipp disappeared the 2nd half of last season and has not done much this season.

    I think blaming Yallop foe his poor performance is a cop out.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    He's checked out and that's not good. He can't help on defense and get's knocked off the ball by bigger and more physical players, which is much of the league. He's got to hit the weights and start flopping more to draw fouls. He's getting doubled a lot because of lack of other options, so we'll see where he goes when he applies himself in a different regime, like so many of our players. #YallopOur

  • Eric Wynalda says on Twitter, that Shaun Maloney asked to go home 3 weeks ago.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Not surprising, given 1) his reported homesickness in the past and 2) his ineffectual play last night - he was invisible on the field. I think he's already gone. Sell him.

  • John Kass is not happy about the current state of affairs......



  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    He's right, it starts at the top. I'd say generally when an organization goes from successful to horrid at the exact same time that ownership changes, it's pretty clear where the stink comes from.

  • A miserable performance from a miserable team. I'm back to feeling like I did last year when I wouldn't be upset to see the entire lot of them gone next season.

    It reminds me of this banner Newcastle fans held up last season:

  • What's your take on that AK press release? Why did he include the business practice part? If their so committed to winning than AH must be mad as hell that the Fire have not won more games over the past 2 years huh? Too bad he hides in California and is afraid of facing the supporters/investors of this team.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I'm globally curious as to what best business practices means in this context.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Oh that's a good one.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I think it translates to "our revenue partnerships are highly profitable for the club and we are still a good value to invest your corporate advertising budgets into AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE DON'T PULL OUT OF ANY DEALS!"

    I suspect this, given the emphasis that AK placed on the record amount of new partnership deals that were cut/made in the off- and start of the season.

    PS- Hi John.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    ..or his own players. They know he's an absentee owner who's just playing around here. It all starts at the top.

  • Guys arn't there a number of guys that wanted to keep Yallop. They stated that the team would probably improve with time. I think they thought that the constant changing was bad for the team. This does not seem like good logic. What do they say at this point?

    If there is ever another podcast PLEASE have Evan Whitfield as a host. He played the sport is extremely interesting. Please do
    not have kelly he has absolutely braimness when it comes to soccer.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I think that any coach needs a certain minimum amount of time to assemble a roster and then see if he can find the right player combinations to make a successful team. In a league like MLS, with a beneficial playoff structure and a salary cap that encourages parity, successful turnarounds don't require a lot of time. A good example is DC going from worst to first; they made the correct player acquisitions.

    The 2015 Fire roster is Yallop's creation. Now that we're 22 games in, we know what we have and it isn't very good.

    A revolving door in the coach's office is not a good thing. OTOH, when it's clear that the coach is the wrong man for the job, you have to make a change.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    We'll back on with Evan soon.

    I also presented a case for not changing the coach at midseason again mostly due to the fact that another coaching change would accomplish very little at this point in the season. It still wouldn't.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I'm not necessarily advocating the position that Yallop be terminated now, but he appears to be the wrong man for the job.

    If you think that Yallop has lost the team, then he is not long for the job anyway. Why not launch him now? What is gained by having a "dead man walking" situation?

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    No, he needs to be gone now. I feel he shoudnt have even made it to the start of this season. The team was awful for the entire season last year under him. We are even worse this year. The players are getting worse under him. Things couldn't possibly be worse under Mathis or someone else for the next 12 games. What good is it to allow a coach to just work for the rest of the season. To me, it would show that this club wont allow a bad manager to continue on the job. I think the only reason he was still our coach was because of the US Open Cup. Now we dont have that anymore, there is absolutely no reason to keep him still here.

  • I've mentioned on this forum that I have been boycotting this team since the beginning of the season--not stepping foot in Toyota Park, not watching the broadcast on TV.

    My boycott will end when either the team is sold or they show that they are in a playoff position.

    The only thing Hauptmann cares about is money.

    I am curious to know how the attendance figures have been at TP?

    Until the attendance is at Chivas levels, it doesn't seem like the league will force any change in ownership.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    17/20 in average attendance.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    The attendance numbers are kind of meaningless since they represent the number of tickets sold. The interesting number would be how many butts are actually IN Toyota Park per game.

    Even more interesting would be the number of butts actually present that paid full ticket price.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    How can you possibly know what Hauptman cares about???

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    Uhh...He is an investment banker, Harvard MBA, and head & founder of Andell Inc which, according to Bloomberg, "only invests in companies that are able to generate a return on assets of at least 20%."

    If he didn't care about making tons of money he wouldn't be in that line of work.

    His own words after buying the team: "All I see is opportunity everywhere I go – sponsorship, ticket sales, suite sales, concessions, our TV deal. We’re moving in the right direction. With a little bit of new energy and focus, we could start to accomplish something. "

    It is pretty clear his priorities have very little to do with the actual football played on the field.

  • Guys Yallop was let go From the galaxy and San Jose because he is in way over his heard. He has lost this team and should fired.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Losing the team is a valid argument. These last two games would indicate there are some serious issues.

  • fb_avatar

    Maybe this time he will get his wish: http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/english/hull-up-their-offer-for-chicago-s-shaun-maloney-1-3858428

  • This is about as low as it can get. Wins are aberrations, not indicative of anything truly positive. And as I said on Twitter, if Maloney really did want to leave 3 weeks ago, it seems awfully Robayo-like. Player who's supposed to be good, comes to Chicago and wants to bail before a season is over, while simultaneously GROSSLY underperforming. If that's the case, good riddance.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    He was always going to be a mediocre, at best, DP signing. There is a reason that he was on a Championship side and that a Championship side wants him. He is not better than Shipp and Shipp is many years younger than him. Any money we get for Maloney will bonus.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I don't totally disagree, but he should have been far better than he's been this season.

  • FY was let go from the Galaxy because Beckham's people wanted a European coach and the Gals obliged by bringing in Ruud Gullit, When that experiment was shown to be a failure, they didn't just get rid of Gullit, they dumped his boss, Alexi Lalas, as well.

    Of course the Galaxy were owned by someone who's mentioned above... Tim Leiwecke, a guy who's clearly not afraid to a) spend money and b) go out and hire people who are not toadies.

    So the fact that the Galaxy improved, IMO, has little to do with FY. His last team, San Jose, went out and got a new coach and they aren't doing any better than they were with him in charge.

    I don't think the coach is the real problem. I don't care if he stays or goes, to be honest. I don't care what players come or go. We've cycled through so many coaches and players since AH has been in charge, and on the field it's been a pretty steady decline regardless. If FY has lost the team, they can bring in another coach, and in a year or two he'll lose whatever mismatched bargain basement castoffs he puts together.

    Only one real change will make a difference.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    ABSOLUTELY correct Mo! The rot is at the top. Andy Hauptman rarely comes to Chicago because he knows there's a great risk that we'll tar & feather him, then run him out of town on a rail. And toss his chump change after him!

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I fully understand the Hauptman Out movement, but why would he sell the team? He bought it for a relatively cheap amount and it is now worth 100m+. The only way I think he would sell is if the club stops making money. The only way to do that is to not go to the games, dont buy merchandise, and dont watch on TV. Basically, you stop supporting the team until he is gone. If you want to do that, by all means go and do that. I dont want to do that. I want to go to the games because it is part of my weekly routine and I dont want to change that. So the next best thing is getting rid of this unbelievably terrible coach that has brought this club to new lows.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    There's no crime in enjoying going to the game (the game itself aside.) Even I, somehow, still do.

    I am, however, looking at my own attendance the last two years and as well as the performance of this team and doing the math. On a per-game attendance basis (and I'm a STH) it's starting to reach a point of being ok to not renew my ST and just buy single-game tickets and take the AJ Hudson beer bus to the stadium as a means of avoiding a $15 parking fee, plus gas.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    I like going to games. TP is a great venue. (Crap location, sorry G I know you disagree, but you cannot be right all the time.) I think you cannot beat the price etc. for professional soccer. The problem is not the players. They can play. It is the coach and the owner. There is no need to have a fire sale (pardon the pun) of players. I would love to see what these guys could do with a top notch coach. Look at what Houston is doing with a real coach. Look at what NYRB did last year and how they are better this year. All without wholesale changes. A coach will make a HUGE difference. Some players should go, but not a huge clearance. I said at the beginning of the year that Yallop makes players worse. Ship got worse last year as the season wore on. He came in much stronger and more energized this year, but he has not improved. Polster was demand the ball fierce mid at the beginning of the year. He is not playing with confidence any more and that is the fault of the coaches. Yallop Out!!

  • In reply to Krasov:

    The location is crap for folks coming from the north side and downtown area. I don't disagree there. It works for me though ;)

    That said, the location wouldn't be such a huge issue if the team playing there was any good for any period of time. It didn't seem to bother people as much when Blanco was around.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    How did Yallop win two MLS Cups, a Supporters Shield, and a Coach of the Year award, if he is such a terrible coach.

    Things are not working for him here,but that does not mean he is a bad coach.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:


  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    12 wins in 56 regular season matches. 58 points from 56 games. His successful seasons, a long time ago, were with a young de Rosario and a young Landon Donovan. A few years ago he won the supporters shield and was then knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. Heat was the only time he has made the playoffs for a long time. He doesn't win games and the team doesn't play well. He seems clueless in interviews and also during matches. We were terrible last season and he blamed it on not having his guys. Now he has his guys and we are the worst team in the league. I don't know what else there is to say about how bad he is.

    But we do have games in hand, so maybe we can turn things around.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Are any MLS teams making money? My understanding is that they are all losing money.

    And if money is all Hauptman cares about, how does a losing team make him more money than a winning one???

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    He bought the team for something around 30m and it's now worth something around 100m. That seems like it's a pretty good return in his investment.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Yup. Cash flow is just a part of the equation. I think it'd be foolish to sell right now as I only see MLS growing, getting more popular, and eventually making the owners even more rich.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    But if the team wins, the value will go up even more.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    The question in Andy's mind is whether the additional value from winning would cover the cost of winning. Seems apparent Andy decided it wouldn't.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    But, we cannot that can we?

  • In reply to Arklow:

    But we cannot know that.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    I'm sure the value would go up if we win, but it seems to also be going up when we don't win too. Why would Hauptman sell if the team increases its value when they win or when they lose?

  • There are games this weekend....

    San Jose over Colorado
    New York RB over Toronto FC
    New England over Houston
    Sporting KC over Vancouver
    FC Dallas and Los Angeles draw
    Real Salt Lake and Portland draw
    Seattle over Orlando
    Philadelphia over Chicago


  • The Fire will probably win the game on the 16th because it's a totally
    meaningless game that will have no real effect on the season.

  • There is much of substance to criticize and critique regarding the Fire's season.

    Would be nice however if commenters would engage that substance, and avoid the petty name-calling and insults directed toward Yallop and Hauptman.

    Why would anyone be driven to disparage and insult fellow human beings over the performance of a sports team??? Can someone's priorities really be that out of whack?

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    Who cares. The level of anger generated by the performance over the last 6 or 7 years is sufficient to explain the venom. It's sick that we have to tolerate Andy Hauptman's ability to buy the team and run it into the ground for his personal profit. He may not directly intend to do that but his unwillingness to put together a valid soccer operation certainly greatly limits the chances of Fire success and the only reasons I can think of why he would refuse to put good soccer people in charge is because it probably costs a little more and qualified soccer professionals might wish to spend more of his precious money in an attempt to buy success rather than "engage in best business practices." As long as he has non-soccer people in charge he can more easily bend their ear about limiting spending for dubious financial returns to Andell.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    OK. Here's my substantive critique.

    Hauptman's ownership has led to a decline in playoff appearances for the Fire, and our last trophy, the US Open Cup, was won in 2006 - the year before the Fire was sold to Andell Holdings.

    In 2007, 2008, and 2009, we won conference semi-final match, but lost the conference final. Between 2010 and 2014, we only made the playoffs once - 2012 - and we lost in the playoff round.

    That seems to be to be a pattern of decline. The teams between 2007-2009 were built, in part, and retained players from, the previous ownership group. Cuahtemoc Blanco was brought to Chicago by AEG, NOT by Andell Holdings, though AH benefited greatly from that purchase. By the time Andell Holdings was able to put its stamp on the club - 4 years after they purchased the team - it became clear that the success of the MLS team per se was not a priority. The results demonstrate that.

    I applauded the efforts made before the 2015 season started to seek quality signings overseas in DP positions. Those DPs have not worked out for us. I don't blame the DPs. I don't blame the coach. We have sought new coaches (in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013). None of them has reversed our decline. We have sought new players (too numerous to mention - if you are truly a fan of the team, you will be familiar with names like Ljungberg, Castillo, MacDonald, Puppo... the list goes on).

    Based on that data, I am now wiling to say that the current ownership has run the team into the ground. The present ownership group is to blame for the team being at the bottom of the standings. The present ownership group is to blame for our lack of success in the US Open Cup. The present ownership group is the barrier to the team's success in all competitions, and the present ownership group will remain the barrier to our success until new and progressive ownership takes control of the club.

    I don't think you'll find an insult or an ad hominem attack there. And yet, I feel that the way the team has been mismanaged, based on results on the field and the knowledge that the Fire were founded with the intention of honoring and respecting the dedication and hard work of prior fans, players, and administrators, legitimizes and even necessitates extremes of speech and action, to the point of using critical language, in order to effectuate change.

    Based on the data I have presented, I feel that the present ownership group has presided over a significant decline in on-field performance of the soccer club that they purchased in 2007. If I were to present that data to fans, they might be tempted to use colloquial language, the kind that you might read in a sports fan forum, to say something like "Hauptman sucks and he should sell the team," or "the owner is a money-grubbing tool who could care less about fans," or "Hauptman bought the team to make buck and has driven it into the ground," or "the owner doesn't give a flying f*** about anything but money."

    I'm not going to use those arguments or that language because I am too civil. I hope that you will feel it reasonable to engage in the criticism and critique of not just the Fire's season, but their past 7 and current seasons, based on this data.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Excellent summary. 100% agreed with everything.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    200% agree. It didn't help that Hauptman was/is a first-time owner of a professional soccer team. We've been suffering while was learning how to be an owner. If this [the current state of affairs]were 2011 or 2012, we'd have more patience for Tallop & Co. As it is, he's a victim of poor timing were everyone's patient has reached the "when" point. Too bad- I rather like a lot of things about Yallop (when you put on-field performance aside.)

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I agree. MUCH criticism of the franchise performance is warranted.

    Childish name-calling is not (i.e. "Coach YapYap" and the like).

    Yallop has not gotten results so far, but he has been professional and respectful.

    Those who engage in name-calling only demean themselves.


  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    When the manager is all lip-service and there is no substance to anything he says, he gets the name Yapyap.

  • Atul Khosla on Twitter: Eager to chat in person w/ supporters who want to talk future of club. Will be @CHI_AtlanticBar @ 4:30pm Sunday before watch party #cf97 2/3

    Does Atul Khosla toss gasoline on fires for fun?!?

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Let's hope that fan concerns are presented forcefully, but respectfully.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    AK is pretty approachable. Fans don't have to be jerks to get their point across. I would hope the discourse is respectful tomorrow.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Damage control. There'll probably be a mea culpa or two. I'm waiting to see what actions are taken AFTER this. It's (I'll let you fill in the adjective) that the FO is interacting directly with the fan base. Doing it outside of one-off damage control is another thing. Hence.

  • I'm so unhappy right now with the Fire.

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