Fire's Next USOC Match June 28

The US Soccer Soccer Federation has announced the possible third round pairings for all eight remaining MLS clubs still alive in the US Open Cup tournament.  The Fire will play the winner of next Tuesday’s match between the Rochester Rhinos and Harrisburg City Islanders to be held in Harrisburg, Penn. 

Harrisburg currently sits in third place in USL Pro’s National Division, four points behind division leader Rochester albeit with two games in hand.  The Islanders are also home for 2011 Fire draft pick Jason Herrick and sport a 4-1-1 record on their home turf.  Why is this all important to the Fire you ask? 

Well, if Harrisburg manages to beat Rochester they will travel to Toyota Park to face the Fire on June 28.  Should Rochester emerge victorious, the Fire will have to travel to the Rhino’s Sahlen Stadium in New York on that same date. After looking at the pairings it’s noticebale that a Rochester win would mean that the Fire will be the only MLS side travelling in the third round. How this scenario came to be is somewhat complicated. 

All MLS clubs qualifying for the tournament either through 2010 play or through advancement by virtue of play-in victories are automatically advanced to third round play.  Keep this in mind when taking into account how the MLS sides are placed in the USSF brackets.   

The Chicago Fire Premier team moved into second round action after defeating the Iowa Menace on Tuesday night.  Their victory meant that the Fire would move into the opposite bracket since the USSF frowns upon teams from the same organization possibly meeting in a third round contest.  This moved the Fire into the bracket with several New York based teams.  The New York Red Bulls, NY Pancyprian Freedoms, FC New York, and Rochester. 

Since teams are awarded hosting duties based on blind bids made by each individual organization the lower level Rhinos put forth a best case scenario bid that would have enabled them to host the Red Bulls in something of a local derby with a top tier club that would have theoretically ensured them a substantial gate.  The Rhino’s Sahlen Stadium incidentally holds over 13,000.  Of course this was all based on the anticipation that the New York sides would be bracketed together regionally and a Rochester win would almost ensure a match up with the Red Bulls at some point.  Unfortunately for the Rhinos (and the Fire) the Red Bulls will host the winner of the FC New York and NY Freedoms match and Rochester drew the Fire.  An MLS team in Rochester should be able to draw more attention on a Tuesday night than any other USL or USOC match-up but it’s not the draw that the Red Bulls would have been locally for the Rhinos.   

Regardless of all that if Harrisburg can defeat Rochester next week, the Fire will host a third round game at Toyota Park on June 28.  As for the location, be it Rochester or Bridgeview the Fire organization is apparently working to ensure that the third round match will be available via webcast at   


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  • Frank

    For the life of me I will never understand the minds that run the Fire. At last you guys put the right folks in the right place and guess what you won. Gaston was one of the good players that the Genius De Los Cobos shifted to another postion. Finally you made a change and the results were a worn out Columbus defense that could not keep up with the substituted forwards. I was hoping that this system would remain. Guess what you guys sold a very important link to the forward line. What in the earth were you thinking? Will you travel thousands of miles as you did in the summer to come up with another project?

  • Please let the Tribune know that the Fire's next game is not on Sunday against Columbus. They have yet to update that info.

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  • Tribune? Are they still considered an operating new source? I thought they just run a web site of copied and pasted data without any intent to exercise intelligent overview as a background for selling add space.

  • suntimes thinks that pardo will be the next DP. i hope not.

  • In reply to firefan1998:

    Perhaps Giuly, he's slowed down a bit lately but still has the ability to create openings.
    A big NO for Pardo unless they pick up a competent CMF.

  • In reply to firefan1998:

    We are month away from finding out who will join the Fire...I have doubts that Fire will bring in a high profile player...

  • In reply to firefan1998:

    Interesting entry on Big Soccer,

  • whoever it is, if he is gonna get DP status and DP dollars, it needs to be a fairly certain type of player. no nery-type "projects" or old stars long past their expire date looking for a final paycheck

    the MLS DP of old may have been mainly the guy who was there to fill the seats. now i think most MLS fans are demanding results not just names

  • btw guillermo, do you know.. - have the fire ever explored a tie with an EPL team similar to the San Jose affiliation with Tottenham. Simon Dawkins is looking pretty good so far, and i think as it continues to work out, more EPL teams may be wanting to test their youth players on loan in the MLS rather than English League 1 or League 2 teams

  • GR, How can the Fire "cooperate" with CA when ultimately the gola would be to be them in the CONCACAF Champions League. Right? They need to link up with a European club that can send its kids to us for a few years. Any chance they could link up with Celtic? I like their shirts. Maybe we could link up with St Etienne and they could lend us Bocanegra back?

  • I don't know what's available for attacking CMF's, but Grazzini might not be a bad choice, even if better known CMF's are available, has good size, 30 y/o,
    so he will still have several quality years left in him.

  • lol yeah but the chances of meeting an affiliated EPL club in the club world cup are a lot smaller than meeting an affiliated mexican club in CCL

  • Interesting comment at the end of this statement: "A translation from the article read:

  • GR -- on a much more pleasant topic -- how about an in depth article on how the Fire's academy and its relationships with other clubs is progressing. Also, is there any process for Joe Soccer to make recommendations for the academy??

  • Would you compare Grazzini as a David Ferriera type player (player can pass and move forward)?

  • this might not be a popular sentiment, but i do hope the new player who comes in is a named player. Look at all the media coverage since the Pardo rumors have sparked, the sun times, and the trib both running stories about the fire. Lets face it Chicago is a crowded market and a player people recognize will help as long as they can produce.

  • i agree it has to be the right guy, but i think there is less freedom to maybe follow the route that teams in smaller markets can do because of the market place.

  • What about Michael Ballack? Back to the old German roots of the Sting. I think he's available and could give us a boost.

  • Great interview! I saw him play with TampaBay. What skill!!! He makes a great point about how many great play makers.are being overlooked because they aren't ball winners. Sounds like some of the complaints thrown at Blanco.

  • That is a great piece on Valderrama's take on number 10 guys. These days, soccer players want to be goal scorers instead of doing the dirty work by putting the strikers in the best position to finish. Few players like Beckham, Seedorf, Ballack, Blanco, Riquelme, Xabi Hernandez and Valderrama are "point guards" of soccer. Many coaches don't enforce it with different tactics and specific systems they run. I would love to see more number 10 players in soccer; it is good for the game.

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