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The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced this afternoon that they have formed a new partnership with Atletico Madrid, Club América and Sport Club Internacional. The whole press release can be read here.

This partnership will be instrumental in growing the popularity of the club outside the borders of the United States. In partnering with these other clubs, the Fire will hopefully be able to gain valuable insight into how to turn the club into a more well known club outside the CONCACAF region. The knowledge they will gain about various aspects of how these other clubs run will be huge - the player development aspect of it alone will be a big step forward for the Fire.

MLS is really a league of two types of teams. The teams that are well known outside the US, where big name players from other areas of the world want to come play - the LA's and New York's. And then there's the teams that are content with operating like smaller market teams and don't necessarily have the huge recognition worldwide. As much as I love the fact that the Fire players, staff, and overall team are so accessible to the fan base and interact with their supporters, I would love for the club to get more recognized around the world. It will lead to bigger things for both the Chicago Fire and MLS.