Women in Soccer, Chicago Fire ‘Keeper Debate and “Puto”

National Women’s Day

Since today is International Women’s Day, I thought I’d use this edition of my semi-weekly Musing column to write about gender equality among soccer fans and players.  Did you know that FC Dallas has female capos?  I did not know this until I read this great piece in What a Howler written by Gaby Kirschner.  Gaby’s piece, linked below, identifies some of the following negative and positive points. Continue reading

The Cold Head and Warm Heart of Veljko Paunovic

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Chicago Fire’s new General Manager Nelson Rodriguez doubled-down on his staff cleansing by announcing the organization’s new coach, Veljko Paunovic last week.

Calling Veljko Paunovic an “outside” choice is an understatement, as most media and local soccer followers tracking the Front Office’s progress (and perhaps thinking they had insider info) rattled off considerably long lists of potential candidates — none of which included the 37-year old who coached Serbia to a u20 World Cup victory this summer.

Now that the announcement is a few days old (buried under so much delicious turkey and Cyber Monday purchases) how much do we really know about Pauno?

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September So Far: Recap of Fire Loss to Montreal, Polster’s Success, and Stephens’ Spark, etc

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Why have game summaries when photos tell the story?  (via The Journal)

Memory is a funny thing.

On one hand you have Confirmation Bias, in which your brain recalls facts that support what you already believe to be true and disregards information that is contrary to what you believe. Compounding this behavior is Memory Inhibition, where things that we maybe don’t want to remember mercifully fall off our brain’s radar.

In either case, I’m here to ruin your constitution by reminding you, again, of the Chicago Fire’s 4-3 loss at Montreal last week, and the upcoming loss match against surging New York Red Bull today, Friday 9/11.  Hang in there kids, just a few days before the Chicago Bears start playing games that matter and all Chicago sports media can focus on writing articles about American Football and relegate Chicago Fire back into the “In Brief” section they share with minor league hockey and pro-am lacrosse.

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Monday Musings, Episode V – “Double Header Sunday”

Fire Lose, but Red Stars and Fire Academy top out the Weekend with Victories

The Fire lost to Real Salt Lake in the Fire’s lone meeting with this Western Conference opponent.

On the positive side, Section 8 was loud yesterday and the Chicago Red Stars were greeted with open arms by Section 8 supporters as well as their own supporters, Chicago Local 134.  The Red Stars gave the fans something to cheer about, beating Boston Breakers, 3-0.  Awesome scarf!

For good or for bad, the Fire’s loss did not have the gut punch of last year’s 3-2 loss to Salt Lake with late game goals.  Rather, this time the Fire went down 2-0 and attempted a last minute comeback after Shaun Maloney earned a penalty kick in the 88th minute.  Captain Jeff Larentowicz scored on a strong, well-placed shot.  And credit to him to following up his shot and picking up the ball and running to the center circle with a sense of restrained urgency.

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Jvlaha’s Monday Musings, Episode IV, “May the Fourth be With You”

May the “Fourth” be with you on this fine May day.

A new contributor to OTF Soccer (George George Gorecki) will be providing a game summary of the Fire’s 1-0 loss on Sunday to Sporting KC.  You can read it here:  https://otfsoccer.com/2015/05/05/tactical-notes-sporting-kansas-city-have-the-edge-over-the-fire/

In light of George’s considerable soccer acumen, I will simply offer my usual “fluff” and highlight some clever Tweets from Sunday’s frustrating loss.

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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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Excitement of 2015 Opening Day Celebration Spoiled by Chicago Fire Match

(via chicago)

Quincy punches the clock again in the Fire opener (via Chicago-Fire.com)

OTFsoccer’s James Vlahakis opts for introspection over analysis in the Fire’s 0-1 home open heart-breaker.

It was a beautiful day for soccer at Toyota Park. Or maybe I should say it was a beautiful day to watch soccer at Toyota Park.

Expectations were high the Section 8 tailgate that was hosted by the Chicago Chapter of the American Outlaws. I could barely focus on Friday as I thought about returning to Toyota Park.

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