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Nov
26

Rumors: Pappa to Holland?

Author // Raul BarrazaPosted in // Chicago Fire

Pappa_winBig thanks to Guillermo over at Fire Confidential for bringing this Goal Latino report (article is in spanish) to the attention of Fire fans. The article states there are ongoing negotiations between FC Twente and the Fire over Marco Pappa. It seems the sticking point between the clubs is the transfer fee for Pappa. The Fire value Pappa at over a million euros but Twente want a price below that. The "Marco Pappa going to Europe" rumors are not new but Twente's interest in him has been in nearly every rumor for the last few months.

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Nov
23

What I'm Thankful For - Chicago Fire 2011

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

Tomorrow marks the beginning of holiday season for many people across the United States. Families will gather round the TV to watch some NFL action and then will sit down together and enjoy a large meal with their loved ones. Before they dive into their various dishes, many families will go around the table and say what they are most thankful for. It is in this spirit that I am going to give you a few of the many things I'm thankful for - Chicago Fire 2011 edition.

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Nov
21

Brace for Impact

Author // Ryan ByrnePosted in // Chicago Fire

Here we go. The Fire have announced which players will be protected for the expansion draft. In case you didn't know, the Montreal Impact will be joining MLS as the 19th team in 2012. The new club will have the opportunity to draft 10 players from the current 18 teams (although no more than 1 player from any given team) in order to be competitive in its inaugural year. Luckily, each team can "protect" 11 of its players from being taken by Montreal. So, back to business: who did the Fire protect?

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Nov
19

Should the Fire Re-sign Pardo?

Author // Raul BarrazaPosted in // Chicago Fire

Rumors of the Fire signing another Mexican international were met with a variety of opinions. Many shared uneasy feelings, still reeling from the 'Nery Castillo' experience. As an avid Mexican National Team fan, I knew the Castillo signing was going to be a gamble. A gamble that did not end well for the Fire. Supporters wanted a solid player, not just a marketing ploy to tap into Chicago's Mexican population. When news leaked out that Pavel Pardo was the target, all those feelings disappeared for me.  

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Nov
14

2011 Recap - The Forwards

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

DSC_0896Welcome to the fourth and final installment of our four part series recapping the Chicago Fire's 2011 campaign. In this portion of the series we will focus on the strikers. The Fire finished the season with a completely different look up front than they started with, and by the time it was all said and done, they had a legitimate golden boot candidate. A season that started with a duo up front from Uruguay ended with another pair of countrymen, only this time it was a Ghanaian duo that helped power the Fire attack down the stretch. Click below to read the recap of Dominic Oduro, Patrick Nyarko, Diego Chaves, Christian Nazarit and Orr Barouch.

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Nov
10

2011 Recap - The Midfielders

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

DSC_0758-1Welcome to my third installment in the four part series recapping the Fire's 2011 campaign. This post will focus on the midfield, an area that was bolstered by two huge summer signings, and an area that really helped propel the Fire on to a solid finish of their 2011 season. Early on in the season there seemed to be a lack of creative ability in the midfield, there wasn't a whole lot going on in terms of good passes and assists in setting up scoring opportunities for our forwards. The arrival of Sebastian Grazzini and Pavel Pardo seemed to help turn that trend around, but they are only two of the players this post will be focusing on. Others include, Marco Pappa, Logan Pause, Daniel Paladini, and Baggio Husidic. 

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Nov
07

2011 Recap - The Defenders

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

DSC_0432-1Next up in our four part series recapping the 2011 Chicago Fire season is the defenders. Arguably the most solid and consistent performers this season, the defensive back line came up with some huge plays at both ends of the pitch. With a mixture of youth and veteran presence across the back it was a little surprising to see this group come together and play well as a unit most of the season. The experience of the back line ranged from players with international duty, players who have played in Europe, and then a player who should have been considered for rookie of the year. All in all, the group - which featured several different players over the course of the year - played well, and we are here to analyze some of the key members of that corps.

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Oct
31

2011 Recap - The Keepers

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

Okay everyone I am back from my brief blogging hiatus. I needed a little time to decompress and let the emotions of the season pass a little before I could begin to write a recap post. Today will be the beginning of a 4 part, 4 day series that breaks down the team's 2011 campaign position by position. As the title notes, today will focus on the goalkeepers. 

This might be the easiest position to evaluate. The Fire had 3 keepers on their roster this season, and we only saw two of them in first team play - across all competitions. I won't write anything about Alec Dufty except to say that he was the Fire's third keeper and I think he did a great job at his position this year. I will obviously put a lot of focus on the top two guys - both of whom saw first team action in 2011. 

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Oct
20

Fire Hopes Still Alive After Weds Night

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

ChavesWell let's face it. These past few days since Saturday have been excruciating - in the best possible way. After Saturday's wild and crazy finish at RFK Stadium, Fire supporters have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for a fairly complex series of dominoes to fall. Last night, the first domino fell. 

 If you had told me on June 11 that we would be in playoff contention 3 days before the final match of the season, I would have been overjoyed. I probably wouldn't have believed you. Honestly, if you had told me on August 7 that we'd be in contention I really wouldn't have believed you. And again, if you had told me 8 days ago - the night of the FC Dallas loss - that we'd still have hope going into tonight's RBNY v. Philadelphia Union match - I wouldn't have believed you. 

As I sat at Toyota Park last week and started writing my post-match post in about the 75th minute, I was at kind of a low point. The Fire had just lost a vital home match, they were almost certainly out of the playoff mix now, unless there was some sort of miracle in the cards - and it just didn't seem likely.

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Oct
13

Supporter or Reporter? What I Learned from my First Media Experience

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

byrneIf you read the two quick articles I threw together before kick-off or at halftime, or read our Twitter feed at all - you undoubtedly know that Ryan and I were granted media access for last night's game. It was an incredible experience, one that I hope to have again soon, and one that I hope continues for us in the future. However, seeing the game from a completely different angle was definitely an eye-opening experience, it really showed us a completely different side of the game. 

When Ryan and I started our blog on Wordpress earlier this summer we had no idea where it would go. We were just adding our thoughts post-match to every match, and it turned into a more analytical look at the team and eventually at the league as a whole. We started getting a lot of feedback via Twitter and quickly had a rapport with some of the other Fire bloggers out there. We applied to move our site to Bloguin and were both shocked and excited when they accepted our application and started the process. The last couple months have been great for us to meet a lot of other Fire fans and get to share our thoughts and bounce ideas off of the other writers we've gotten in touch with. Last night was definitely the high point for us so far. 

First of all, thanks to Brendan Hannan for allowing us the access to the press area last night. Ryan was able to go on the pitch during the match and take over 2700 photos. I was up in the press box getting to meet a lot of the people I've been in contact with for the first time. We were both in the post-match press conference with interim head man, Frank Klopas and then afterward we were shown into the Fire locker room to get individual player interviews with the other members of the media. It was all a whirlwind, so I'm going to back up to the beginning.

 

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