Shipp loses out on Rookie of the Year award

Harry Shipp finished second among voters for the MLS Rookie of the Year award. The honor this season went to FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele. Both players finished with seven goals and Shipp had the edge in assists (6-3) and starts (26-18) but the perception that he hit the “rookie wall” late in the season after a hot start apparently hurt him. Akindele, like Shipp, scored a bulk of his seven goals via a hat trick and FC Dallas’ ad campaign may have helped a little while the Fire didn’t make much effort to push for their guy.

DC United defender Steve Birnbaum finished third while starting 21 games for the top finisher in the Eastern Conference. Akindele scored six of his seven goals during the months of July and August when voters are starting to consider their annual winners. Mid summer goals spurts and goofy ad campaigns were apparently more influential than overall production this season. The Fire’s lackluster season and record breaking number of draws didn’t help either.

Filed under: 2014 Post Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Shipp hit the "rookie wall" because Yallop took him out of the lineup for Alex. Doesnt help that the supporters of this club chose Nyarko's terrible cross over Shipp beating a few defenders and then putting it side netting for GOTY.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Yeah, how about that Nyarko GOTY choice? A mistake goal fitting for this year's team.

    Shipp was robbed, but what's important is the Fire have a good, young player with some technical skills to move forward with.

  • What's also important is that the Fire management failed to support their own player. Really makes a player want to work hard next year!

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    I found that so bizarre and disheartening. There was so much buzz both with media and social media for Austin Berry, and then to see what amounts to nothing with Shipp...just so disheartening.

    The beatings will continue until morale improves (or there's only groupon ticket buyers to abuse.)

  • well at least we won't have to worry about a rookie of the year being traded for allocation money again.

  • The Columbus Crew announced a USLPro affiliation with the Austin Aztex today. Not sure what would hold up the Fires deal with St. Louis now.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Maybe someone on the Fire's end has screwed it up and they are trying to renegotiate with St. Louis and they are not talking to the Fire?

    Have the Fire worked on trying to find a jersey sponsor yet? Or are they dragging their feet with that too?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Deal has been essentially agreed to for months. I don't think that's the case.

    They are working on extending the jersey sponsorship deal with Quaker.

  • Just a guess but $$$?

  • The Fire's weird communication (or lack thereof) has been consistent throughout AH's tenure as owner. Clearly, the guy does not like to disclose information. My answer to that is who cares. The information they fail to disclose is so uninspiring anyway it doesn't matter if they keep their nothing news a secret. I bought my tix for next year because I like watching the games at TP not because I think the team will be any good. They will be crappy until a new owner arrives and invests in training facilities for the team, grass at TP, and media communications. Also, no offense to Dan Kelley, but I really would like a new announcer who doesn't use a fake "broadcaster" voice to call the games. The best soccer announcers discuss the game and the strategies being deployed. DK cannot do that because he doesn't know what he is looking at.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I know lots of people have a variety of gripes with AH, but I think that's the big one for me. Lack of information and feeble attempts at good PR. Anyone paying attention to the movements Yallop made throughout his time so far with Chicago should not have been surprised by the massive overhaul this offseason brought. Yet the line from him has consistently been about "minor tweaks" and "having a solid core." If he would have just come out and said that the team was on the verge of collapse after being pieced together for 2 years (which is was) so he was going to use 2014 for a player evaluation period and as a way to shed cumbersome contracts (which is exactly what he did), I, at least, would have been more accepting of the way this past season shook out. I assume some other fans would be too. Especially if we end up seeing some real money ("keane" like even) thrown around this offseason. But with all Yallop's PR spindoctoring (which seemed to be blessed by AH, given the amount of butt-covering Yallop did for him), instead of a hopeful fanbase, they have a increasingly skeptical and cynical and pissed-off fanbase. I thought, when Yallop and Bliss were brought in, AH had a great opportunity to win some support back, even if 2014 went without playoffs (which I think, was nigh inevitable regardless), but instead they screwed the pooch with dumb PR and he's just as unpopular as ever. Hopefully they actually grab a few "real" DPs this winter.

    And fire Dan Kelly. I watch on mute.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I'm an 11-year Fire season ticket holder and have worked in Chicago media for 30-plus years. The Fire since changing owners years ago have never been media-savvy. It's either good news or no news. I also think they don't care about coverage of the team or the players, and would prefer to manipulate what coverage they do get to focus on the whole family experience of attending a game and mask how poor the team actually is. If not for Orrin Schwartz at the Herald, there'd be little or no in-depth coverage. Also, there's been a decided decline in how ticket holders are treated by the team. Gone are the days where you could call the season ticket rep and get free gifts for visiting friends coming to the game. And, really? Select-a-Seat was too hard to continue? It all just adds to the feeling that both on the field and in the stands, the ownership just doesn't care and is OK with just selling tickets to new fans and otherwise staying under the radar, counting the money but not reinvesting in players or longtime fans.

    My wife and I re-upped for the 2015 season (because we like the tailgating) but I'm having buyers' remorse. This will be our last year if there's no significant improvement on the field or in the treatment of ticket holders.

    As for Dan Kelly, I'm sure he's a great guy but he's a human press release.

  • In reply to Graymane:

    BTW, no knock on Guillermo, who has a great blog. Just need more mainstream media coverage as well.

  • In reply to Graymane:

    No offense taken. Mainstream media coverage is definitely needed if the Fire are going to maximize potential in this market. An outlet for objective, honest coverage is something fans deserve and sorely lacking just about everywhere. It's the reason this blog exists however.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    So you don't like when a player "opens his account with the Men in Red?

  • Guys two things I listen to the games in Spanish I just can't bear to listen to Mr kelly. He would be perfect for a rodeo. He was hired by the Hawks for only one year then he became available because they let him go. I have read that Yallop is talking to an out of contract player named Shawn Maloney. I checked with some of my Scottish friends and believe it or not they think he is a wonderful player. The problem is that Celtic would like to resign him. I hope that he signs with the fire at least there would be someone that would be worth the long trip down harlem avenue. He has a bit of a health issue with bad ankles but let's hope he can last a season in the mls.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    I commented on Maloney on another thread; but, my friend, the ankles are only the tip of the iceburg.

    Last year he had hip surgery which had contributed to back problems. While his form with Scotland has been decent, he has a really poor club record. Sure, it is Wigan; but, still.

    Part of the national team success can be laid at the feet of the new coach, Gordon Strachan, who is getting high praise for his management of the team and posession-based tactics.

    Yallop doesn't strike me as very tactically adept and if they are in a bidding war with Celtic they will undoubtedly wind up over-paying for an injury-prone 32 year old.

    Going for Maloney is baloney.

  • Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Thanks for reading and making the last five seasons on Fire Confidential a blast.

  • Guys I had the great opportunity to watch the eastern finals last night. The teams put on a display that was just wonderful. It struck me that there is not one chance of the current fire team under the current administration making it to the level of the playoff teams. You just have to wonder when old andy will finally sell the team and make the Chicago fans part of the exciting US soccer vision.

  • Sorry I missed your T-day message... Hope you had a good one. Fire Confidential - both the blog and the podcast with Jeff et al - are one thing I give thanks for, even if the team itself is a bit of a mixed blessing. If I traded the time I spend on the Fire for something that didn't have such negative psychological effects... well, I'd be a better person anyways.

    Hey what's up with CJ Brown's departure? Thought his presence was one of the good things we could point to in the organization. Losing him... well, it sucks, frankly. Or are they freeing room in the technical staff wing for Pause?

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I think the Fire would have kept CJ if they could have (without exerting to much finical pressure, I;m sure). I'd take this as 100% CJ returning to greener pastures with Kreis and NYCFC.

    The Fire dropped the ball on CJ when he went to RSL without an offer from the Fire when he retired. It was nice to get a second chance with him this past season, but I'm not surprised to see him go given the opportunity at NYCFC.

    Part of me wonders if the only reason he joined the Fire last offseason was that NYCFC was unwilling to pay for him to not do much for a year, like they did for Kreis.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    Good point about why CJ may have come back to the Fire in the first place... was a loss to let him go to Kreis in the first place. Now he's a Kreis disciple. That's gotta be a richer vein to mine in terms of career growth than Chicago with Yallop et al (including AH) in place.

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