Monday Musings, Episode III – Revenge of the Greek

Here is my third installment of “Monday Musings.”  As always, it’s a mix of insight, analysis and fluff.

Part I – Fired Up Friday

First off, after some notable snipping on Twitter among Fire fans, it’s a relief to see everyone happy after the Fire got its third victory of the season on a cold and blustery Friday night.  While not quite a sell out in terms actual attendance, the crowd was very loud, and truly into this match.  It has been a long time since we’ve had this type of atmosphere at Toyota Park.  Section 8 was very active and there was even stereo effect between Section 8 and Sector Latino during goal kicks.  You all know the irksome chant.  Someone did their best to translate it when Montreal’s Evan Bush was subjected to this “friendly greeting.”

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@Jvlaha’s Monday Musings – Episode II

Here’s my latest “Monday Musings” contribution on various topics:  a weekend without the Fire; #scrimmagegate; fitness; Aston Villa vs. Liverpool; Wrigley Field and “Tweets of the Week.”

Part 1, What’s a Fire Fan to Do Without a Fire Game?

With the Fire not playing this weekend, what’s a Fire fan to do?  Many Fire fans made the trip to Lisle see the Chicago Red Stars play.

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Dispatch: Chicago Red Stars (3) vs. Seattle Reign FC (2)

The Breakdown

It was a chilly night that just kept getting colder as the sun set in Lisle Saturday night. The Red Stars were set to welcome Megan Rapinoe and Seattle Reign FC for the first match in Chicago’s 2015 campaign. It felt like a quiet night at the start, but as soon as the cobwebs fell off, it quickly turned into a shootout.

Red Stars Home Opener

Red Stars Home Opener (Courtesy of Joy Hammer)

The first 30 minutes were mostly in the midfield with no real chances at either end, but shortly after, the game opened up in a big way. Seattle hit the scoreboard  in the 31st minute first with Rapinoe sending in a corner that Chicago keeper Karina LeBlanc would see sail past her fingers (unfortunately a theme on the night) and would then be directed in by Beverly Yanez. The Red Stars answered almost instantly when Christen Press was fed after a strong run and the shot was slotted coolly past Hope Solo in the Seattle box for the equalizer.

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“Dos a Cero”, Remember the Alamo, But Don’t Forget Your Raincoat

USA-Mexico-in-Columbus

(via MLS.com)

True to the mission statement of OTF, my recap of last night’s United States vs. Mexico match will be a mix of analysis, insight and fluff.  I’ll mix it up by starting with some insight, followed by some fluff and a snippet of analysis.

Insight:  Is a “Friendly” Ever Friendly?

The term “friendly” is a misnomer of sorts when the term involves United State vs. Mexico.  Regardless of where played or what’s at stake, a “friendly” match between the US and Mexico can be anything but friendly. As the highlights of the pre-game show demonstrated, shoving matches and stare downs are common place…

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The First Fan: Reflections on 10 Years Without Peter Wilt

Cf97_ChicagoFire_PeterWilt_OTF_USopencup

Ten years ago last week, news broke that the first President and General Manager of the Chicago Fire was leaving the club. Despite Peter Wilt’s departure from Major League Soccer, his influence in the North American game remains.  

In an age of “Circle the Wagon” franchise mentality, Wilt is a champion of fan culture, corporate accessibility, and organizational transparency.  Among other accomplishments, Wilt has plied his trade as CEO of the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars, established the Milwaukee Wave soccer club, and is currently President of NASL’s Indy Eleven.

Some of OTF’s favorite soccer personalities were kind enough to answer the prompt:

“What are your reflections on Peter Wilt ten years after he left the MLS?”

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#cf97withdrawls: Red Stars Home Opener Edition

Red Stars Logo

UPDATE: According to this tweet from Chicago Local 134, there will be pizza and beer at the tailgate with a suggested donation of $5.

Well, the Fire just started getting it together, and suddenly we have a have a couple of bye weeks. No need to fret though, because the Chicago Red Stars will be opening their campaign this weekend and we have the answers to your questions in order to make your first trip just as enjoyable as visiting beautiful Bridgeview (if not more). Continue reading

@Jvlaha’s Monday Musings, Episode 1

There’s a new editor in charge of “On The Fire”, and with that, I’ve decided to step up and write a new column. Without further ado, here is the first episode of “Vlaha’s Monday Musings”.  Today’s piece comes in four parts…

Part One, “The Empire Strikes Back”, #Schedulegate

The-empire-strikes-back-soccer

First stop on today’s installment is #Schedulegate. Fire fans are justifiably upset about recent schedule changes which apparently were going to happen whether or not the Front Office was going to go along with them.

Although I can’t say that the Fire was a team firing on all cylinders during the team’s 3-2 Ping-Pong victory against Toronto, the team looked vastly improved over recent games. As a result of this win, the Fire could have strutted into our scheduled games Foxborough Massachusetts (this Wednesday) and Montreal (this weekend) with a bit of a “we can do this” swagger…

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