Training Notes, Hauptman Q&A, New Section 8 Chicago Podcast, and More

After training on Wednesday morning Carlos De Los Cobos was still playing down the Fire’s reliance on the 3-5-2 formation that the coach used for most of preseason.  If the Fire is starting the year deployed in that line up, De Los Cobos isn’t saying so yet.  “I’m trying to teach the team to be able to play in 2 or 3 different ways.  That’s my philosophy.  Sometimes we’ll need to change our distribution on the field or change the dynamic of the team depending on who is on the field,” said De Los Cobos.   “Right now, I’m not sure how we’ll start on Saturday but the guys know and understand the system.” 


When asked about Patrick Nyarko’s status in the starting eleven given that the Fire’s 2010 assist leader played off the bench in most of his preseason appearances De Los Cobos was equally evasive.  “I don’t know right now.  Patrick is a very good player, a very important player for us but we need to watch him because of some of the injuries he had last season.  I want him to be 100% all season because I know he will help us all season.”  Nyarko has recovered from the concussion and ankle injuries that hampered him in the second half of 2010 and is fully fit according to De Los Cobos. 


The head coach also commented on the difference in training this season when compared to last year and looks forward to the opener against FC Dallas.  “I feel more confident today because I’ve learned a lot about this league in the last year.  I’m very excited because we’ve got good young players with a good attitude.  For me, that is very important.  We’re playing a good team on Saturday and it’s a good opportunity to analyze our level right now.  I think we’ll get better with time this season but nobody is going to start at 100% their best.  We have a different team, more dynamic with different skills.”


Chaves On MLS


The Fire’s new Uruguayan striker, Diego Chaves is happy to be in Chicago and cited the professional atmosphere surrounding MLS when comparing some of his previous stops.  “So far the league is different from South America.  There it’s still developing and haven’t reached a great level.  Here the camps, the stadiums, even the clothes (Fire training gear) are a big difference,” said Chaves.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is training, “I’ve done most of the same things as Mexico and Uruguay.” 




Steven Kinney, Mike Banner, and Calen Carr all sat out practice and will not be available for the opener.  Carr is suffering from a concussion he received at some point during training while in Florida.


Town Hall Q&A with Andrew Hauptman


The Fire’s owner, along with Julian Posada, Frank Klopas, and Mike Jeffries will answer questions and address fans on Friday March 25 at English (444 N. LaSalle Blvd. -Chicago) from 7-9 pm.  Similar to last year’s event, the Q&A will take place right before the home opener.  If you’ve got a question that you feel hasn’t been asked yet I would suggest you attend this event.  It’s a pretty good gesture on the part of the organization to reach out and address your concerns.


STH Meet the Team Event


This year’s Season Ticket Holder Meet the Team event will be held at Chitown Futbol (2255 South Throop St) on Saturday April 2 from 2-5 pm . 


Section 8 Chicago‘s New Podcast


Benny Cumming and Aaron Flanagan are hosts of Section 8 Chicago’s new podcast called “Hot Mess”.  Give it a listen here.  The first episode features and excellent interview with team captain Logan Pause. 


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  • Hauptman, Klopas, Posada, and DLC just need to admit they are in over their heads at the Town Hall meeting and fess up that their mentor was Alexi Lalas because that is the direction the team has been heading the last few years. It is not one mistake here and there, but a litany of blunders under their leadership that have reduced a once proud franchise to it's current state of mediocrity.

  • CDLC is right about the team having the right attitude. last year it was evident they didnt have it, or at least the players on the field were not all on the same page. this season will tell whether having a cohesive team with a positive attitude will offset some of the deficiency chicago may have "on paper"

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    I think this, the players have a better attitude thing is a bit of a put-on. If I recall from last year's pre-season, the players had a great attitude throughout the spring... the first bad signs didn't come until the unexpected cut of Jon Busch, and things fell apart from there. We're basically at the same point. I'm not a CDLC hater, but if a coach's team doesn't have a positive attitude before playing game one, the coach probably shouldn't be the coach.

    I'll believe the better attitude thing after the team's first rough stretch if the guys are still coming out fighting. If I see the lackadaisical efforts we were treated to all of last year, then I'm ready to tell CDLC and Klopas to find another gig.

  • In reply to Byron:

    Good point. You should have a good attitude coming into a new season. As you point out, the tell tale sign will be how they hold it together during a rough stretch.

  • if Nyarko is not a starter De Los Cobos is incompetent. I can see a smarter franchise prise Nyarko from the Fire for cap room or something as ridiculous as we received for Mapp. Nyarko is a notch above MLS standard and would start most games for any team in the league. I wondered about DLC's use of Nyarko this preseason and now it appears he does indeed see him as coming of the bench. WTF!

  • In reply to Celt:

    If he's fully fit, he's GOT to be in the first eleven as far as I'm concerned.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Sam's Thursday notes....Nyarko practices with second team......

  • In reply to cesba:

    Is DLC nuts? How can Nyarko not be in the starting 11? Maybe DLC is trying to send a message like: "To all teams in Mexico, if you are looking for a new head coach, I will be available within 3 weeks time."

  • In reply to cesba:

    This reporter writing about Blaise Nkufo's exit from Seattle calls Freddie Ljungberg "prickly, arrogant" and a cause of unrest in the Seattle locker room.......

    I didn't see any of that from Ljungberg last season while with the Fire.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Why CDLC trying to keep the line up secret the outcome will be the same. Dallas will want to make a statement in the first game because they want to be back in cup final the Fire on the other hand just trying to make the playoffs. I say the Fire get the first red card of the season probably on Gibbs then go into shell and lose 3-0...

  • In reply to cesba:

    Some Eastern Conference picks from the Extra Time Radio/MLS crew - Simon Borg and Jason Saghini.........

    1. NY*
    2. Phl*
    3. Hou*
    4. DC*
    5. CLB*
    6. KC
    7. NE
    8. Chi
    9. TFC

    1. NY*
    2. KC*
    3. Hou*
    4. CLB*
    5. DC*
    6. Phl
    7. NE
    8. TFC
    9. Chi

  • In reply to cesba:

    Lucky it

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Preview coming up later today.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    I know De los Cobos is in the "Hot Seat" and has
    hi Belt Buckled real tight so he doesn't fall
    out of his Chair.

  • In reply to Adam25:'s MLS preview podcast. Fire discussion about 3/4 into Part 1. None of the four panelists think much of Chicago......

    Ives Galarcep and Grant Wahl go so far as to predict that Preki will take over for DLC this summer.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Both of them are infatuated to see hack futbol being brought to Toyota Park.

  • In reply to cesba:

    It's real shame that we are painting such a gloomy picture
    about the Fire before their First Game.
    If the Fire are going to be that bad we all should be
    flooding Andrew Hauptman with E Mails suggesting that
    he clean House. There are top notch people out there
    to be hired that would do a much better job then
    the group he has in charge at this time.

  • In reply to cesba:

    other than the logan pause red, the other stuff that went on in the preseason matches was less than what wilman conde got away with yellows last season. i dont get what the refs were thinking, & hope it doesnt carry over into the regular season

  • If you are Andrew Hauptman I will tell you.
    Just give me your contact information and
    you will be pleasantly surprised of the
    Top Notch People Available that can and
    will turn The Chicago Fire In The Right Direction.

  • looks at the West.....

  • well on the interview with Garber, they said they wanted to protect the offensive creators more, so maybe those cards were all part of that initiative

  • The Reserve League Schedule is out.........

    Fire Schedule
    Houston April 24
    @Colorado May 1
    Kansas City May 17
    Dallas July 5
    @Kansas City July 19
    Colorado August 28
    Salt Lake September 9
    @Dallas September 20
    @Houston October 1
    @Salt Lake October 8

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