Fire notebook - Coaches, GBS, and more

As first reported here last Monday, Tab Ramos continues to be the apparent front runner for the Fire’s head coaching position next season. Nelson Rodriguez will meet with Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the coming days and he is also thought to be a serious candidate. Schelotto told media in Argentina this past weekend that he would not discuss any clubs other than Lanus, where he is currently under contract until December 31. Club President Alejandro Maron has publicly stated that he preferred to extend Schelotto’s stay past this season.

Former Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera is another who is in the running, although he is apparently behind both Ramos and Schelotto on the Fire’s preferred list. Cabrera may be qualified, but hiring him wouldn’t provide much of a spark for improving the morale of supporters looking for any sign of optimism heading into another “new era” of management and that could play into his status as a finalist. Along with finding the right leader, the Fire desperately need to create some interest with this hire and reuniting the Chivas USA team probably isn’t the way to do it.

While these three appear to be the main choices at the moment, Rodriguez isn’t done interviewing different candidates. Word is that he is still traveling to meet potential hires for face to face interviews and will be out of the country for a portion of this week to do so. If Schelotto and any other prospects are interviewed in the next few days, and Ramos is given another shot following the completion of USMNT camp next week, it’s possible that Rodriguez could have his man before Thanksgiving as he indicated during his introductory press conference.

The future of Jason Kreis is also in question given that another of his rumored destination clubs is now out of postseason competition. Kreis’ connection to former RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey, who is now in the same role with Seattle, would seem make him a fit there if a move is made with Sigi Schmid. Kreis had discussions with Toronto FC two weeks ago before they decided to stay with Greg Vanney but there hasn’t been much scuttlebutt about a Chicago move.

Stay tuned.

Soumare retires

Former Fire defender Bakary Soumare has announced that he is retiring at the end of the season. The now 30 year old defender has not played one minute for FC Dallas since being traded from Montreal on July 16.

Soumare was nominated for MLS Defender of the Year and named to the league’s Best XI in 2008 before a less than successful second stint with the club ended following last season.

FC Dallas has advanced to the Western Conference finals set to begin on November 22 in Portland.

Soccer money in Chicago?

Locally based private equity firm Peak6, has purchased a 25% ownership stake in Premier League club AFC Bournemouth.

Filed under: 2015 Post season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • I feel like every time I get optimistic about this team, you give me a reality check. I want to be excited about Ramos, but the US program always seems like it under-achieves. I'm not sure if it is because of him, the talent that he has to work with, or if our nations youth are really not that good. Either way, it feels like we're just going after whatever scraps are out there or we're just trying to play it safe.
    I would love to see this team get some ambition in this hire. We all know who the quality MLS coaches are, I would love to see us try and steal one. GBS feels like an ambitious move as well. I'm just fearful that we are going to continue missing opportunities like we have been over the past five years.

  • In reply to PadreJoe:

    Funny, I think that the US program over-achieved from the mid-90s to about 2008. We did well in age-level international tournaments, made a decent showing in the World Cup, and dominated our region... all with a fledgling domestic league and a set of players in good but not stellar clubs in Europe and elsewhere (including Ramos). This is not to mention the USMNT's historical achievements, like making the 1930 WC semis and sending England out of the WC in 1950 - the former was not an over-achievement considering how well-developed the ASL & midwest leagues were vis-à-vis other countries, where pro leagues outside of Britain were rare, but the latter was definitely over-achievement.

    The past 7 years... not so much. Besides getting out of the 2014 WC group of death, we have very little to show internationally at the youth or full national team level - on the men's side, where the management is different from the women.

    The fact that Ramos is part of the current mediocrity that the USMNT and youth MNT system is mired in now definitely gives me pause. I'm not really excited about any of these candidates.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Correction - I think the USMNT overperformed up until about 2010. Since then - the past 5 years - meh.

  • Matt Polster has been called in for two U-23 friendlies against Brazil.

  • I wasn't inspired by Rodriguez's press conference and I'm not getting excited over any of these possible coaches. What the Fire needs is a proven MLS winner who understands the quirks of MLS.

  • I can deal without a head coach knowing all the ins and outs of the league, because Im expecting them to keep Bliss on as TD. Between Bliss and Nelson there is tons of MLS front office experience for the new coach to fall back on.

    The biggest things that the Fire need in a coach is someone who can motivate. Someone who has a system they believe in, and gets the players to believe in. And for the love of god, I want someone who coaches. Up and down the touchline encouraging, motivating, coaching.

  • In reply to KChance:

    Consistency. Don't forget to add that to the list.

  • I would not mind the Fire moving the camera angle for TV coverage to the opposite side so that the players and coaches don't have to climb over the electronic advertising wall to sub in or out and get near the pitch. It is a weird set up. If they cannot move the advertising board, they should move the benches to the West side. Any new coach that comes in should ask for this change.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    That's a good observation.

    A better reason to move the benches to the west side is so that the players and coaches on the bench don't have to broil in the sun beating down on them during summer afternoon games or to have to squint as the sun sets behind the west side of TP. My seats are on the west side and I love sitting in the shade on hot days.

    Such a change would require some renovation at the stadium, however. The touchline is too close to the first row of seats to fit the benches in there currently. And they would then presumably have to put in seats where the current benches are located.

  • While we're at it....the press box is on the wrong side of the field. Probably should just start it over. ;)

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    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Yes, let's build a new stadium in the city! Maybe next to Soldier Field where the Lucas Museum is supposed to go!

  • In reply to Paul Stauffer:

    Only if Andy can also get the ten dollar, 97-year sweetheart deal George was offered.

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    I'd like to see that, too, but for a different reason. The West side is almost always more full than the East due to the East side having all the expensive club seats. While the root problem, of course, is the low attendance, putting the cameras on the opposite side of the stadium would at least show fewer empty seats on TV every week.

  • In reply to Mark M:

    This is spot on

  • In reply to Mark M:

    A winning team will also show fewer empty seats on TV! Maybe even during playoffs!

  • Only two Fire players named in this ranking of top 10 players at each position in MLS.

    Joevin Jones is #9 at left back
    David Accam is #7 at left mid

  • I lie the West side seats. The STH parking is easy to access so getting in and out is easy. The sun is not in your face. The dumb look on Frank Yallop's face could only be seen on the big screen. The side judge is close enough to heckle.

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    In reply to Krasov:

    I whole heartedly agree. The west is better overall with the exception of very early cold spring days when the sunshine would be appreciated. But even then I just get up and walk to one of the hundreds of empty seats in the sunshine and plop down there. West side much preferred.

  • A few key offseason MLS dates announced. Full list of free agents and players available in re-entry draft made public in 12/7.

    There will be several Fire veterans on this list.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Like who? I can guess Jeff L. and Magee will be free agents.

  • Interesting 15-20 seconds of talk about Chicago Fire and David Moyes from Brian McBride on ESPN Extra Time.

  • In reply to waamsy:

    I'd file that under "amusing" instead of "interesting".

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    ok - yes, amusing :)

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