MLS All-Star Game lands in Chicago this summer

Chicago will host the 2017 MLS All-Star Game at Soldier Field on August 2. MLS Commissioner Don Garber, City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Fire owner Andrew Hauptman were on hand this afternoon to make the formal announcement.

Veljko Paunovic will coach the MLS side against an opponent which has yet to be named, but sources indicate to Fire Confidential that Real Madrid will be announced as the competition in the near future. Garber told media following the event that details were being finalized with a “top 5” club in the world and an announcement would come “soon”. Barcelona was thought to be the front runner up until recently.

The All-Star Game will bring some much needed buzz about local professional soccer and MLS back into the market but that attention will be temporary if the Fire’s first team doesn’t develop into a serious playoff contender capable of holding the interest of potential new fans and a largely disillusioned current supporter base.

It seems the league is set on jump starting that interest by awarding an All Star Game to a market which hosted the event just 11 years ago during the Fire’s first season at Toyota Park in 2006. Garber and MLS know that a vital Chicago market is important to the growth and potential of the league. Now it’s up to the Fire to make the best of another chance to capture and maintain interest.

You can listen to full post-announcement interviews with Commissioner Don Garber and Fire COO Atul Khosla in the latest edition of the Fire Confidential Live podcast right here. The All-Star Game, MLS expansion, games at Soldier Field, and the state of the Fire are the main topics.



Filed under: All Star Game

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • So it sounds like the all star game is the league throwing the Fire a bone. Any chance that the commish and the rest of the owners have warned Andy to shaping up?

  • Feb 1st. No "Keane like" DP. Sad.

  • In reply to go fire:

    In the Fire's defense the MLS window opens in a couple weeks and closes in May so there is still time to bring in a "Keane like" DP, too bad we will never see a "Giovinco level" signing.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    The February 14 date basically only affects trades within the league. Although the Euro window is closed, they can transfer in a foreign Keane-money player now. The closing date of May 8 stops moves from then until July.

  • So Chicago gets the MLS All-Star game which is truly the most uninteresting game of the season (seconded only by friendlies against European teams looking to make a quick buck over the summer). The league chooses to have the All-Star game at Soldier Field instead of TP which is a statement in itself. How does this help the Fire draw interest in the team and TP? I really think this is a waste of time and resources. Look at how much other teams are paying in transfer fees. Please send us a new owner. Some of the folks on the honorary committee would be good new owners.

  • I have to agree with Matt Doyle's assessment: "I'm not yet convinced the Fire are going to be *good* next year, but they'll certainly be better."

    "The backline remains thin, right back is an open question and there's no real No. 10. Yet."

    Thin backline indeed...

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    On ETR Monday Doyle said: "It's a team that needs rescuing."

    Yeah, I'd say that's fair.

    This All Star move is a last-ditch attempt to drum up interest in MLS in Chicago, and I bet they're not just thinking about the Fire, but about Wilt's planned NASL team as well. Wilt has said (on the Dummy podcast) that he talked with AH and said that having another team would be good for Chicago because it would get Fire supporters more energized. It might do that... or it might get them demoralized. This move suggests that the league and AH think the latter.

  • "Veljko Paunovic will coach the MLS side"
    Well at least we'll have some representation.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    I have high hopes that Nicolic could rep the Fire. Accam, de Leuuw and McCarty have a chance too. Nicolic is the guy I have my eye on though.

  • I was drinking some Fire cool-aid this morning and it occurred to me this season could be special. The Fire scored 26 goals the last 17 games. Double that total and that gets the Fire in the top five of team goals scored. Fire have a more clinical striker up top, Accam, deLeeuw, and Alvarez have another off season to gel, Juninho/Dax > Cocis/Polster, defense has another year to gel, and the Fire have nice depth with Polster, Goossens, and Soligniac. With a belly full of Fire cool-aid I must admit this roster looks promising.

  • In reply to go fire:

    What about defensive depth?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I think they bring in a right back or move Polster to RB. I think they realize Polster has to be on the field rather than bench strength. As far as cool-aid goes, I think I am right there with you GF. I like both Goossens and Solignac a lot. To think those guys are not automatic starters shows how improved the roster is over last year at this time. I am ready for the season to start....

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Maybe the Fire go to a 3-4-3 formation. Bava; Campbell, Kappelhof, Polster; Vincent, Juninho, Dax, Alvarez; Accam, Nikolic, deLeeu.

  • In reply to go fire:

    I think we're going to go with a 4231 again this year with Kapp at RB at least until the summer window.
    My theory is for communication. Bava starts cause he supposedly has that distribution we need. Also it's been stated Bava's English isn't good and both Meira and Campbell speak Spanish. Vincent remains on the left.

    I also think Dax and Juninho start and Polster (unfortunately) is a rotational player. Maybe at RB as well, but I think at least one of trialist, if not both, at RB will make the team for depth.

    I think Alvarez stays at RM, which I'm ok with. Hopefully he can build off his end of the season momentum. Though admittedly some of his stats are padded by garbage time.

    The usual suspects will fill out the rest of the spots. Accam, MDL, and Niko. Left, center, and up top. I like Goose and Lucho as depth, both of them are solid players and seem to like being here.

  • In reply to go fire:

    Don't forget about Nikolic

  • In reply to DavidFromChicago:

    Yeah, he's got him listed.

  • In reply to DavidFromChicago:

    Oops, jumped the gun,...listed in the NEWER post...Sheesh...

  • Is there any trade rumors involving the Chicago Fire? It's even quiet so far this week.

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