David Accam Chicago Fire scores goal against Columbus Crew in March 2017

Fire and Crew Share the Points in Opening Game Tug-of-War

Both the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew come into 2017 looking to turn a page and forget about their respective dismal 2016 campaigns. They squared off on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in the season opener on a chilly afternoon and battled to a 1:1 draw. Based on the soccer on display it’s unlikely that either side learned much about whether 2017 will bring more joy than 2016 did, but both teams have a lot of work ahead if they want to be competitive. The Crew controlled play in the first half, while the Fire were the better team in the second. Given the sparse number of shots that found the target the 1:1 result can be considered a fair one.

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Depth Charge: Positional Battles After First Preseason Game

Chicago Fire Depth Chart Soccer OTFsoccer, Logan Pause

Give us fuel, give us Fire, give us depth which we desire. (photo via YoDesportes)

Preseason has started for your 2016 Chicago Fire. Prior to tomorrow’s friendly against fellow basement-buddy Philadelphia Union, we wanted to look at the depth chart battles going on. Continue reading

Who Are The Best Players & Best Values in MLS Free Agency, Re-Entry

MLSBestValues-OTFsoccer-CF97

Evaluating players is a messy thing.  With MLS’s first Free Agency class now available for purchase and MLS’s yearly Re-Entry Round 2 Draft beginning tomorrow (Thursday, 12/17), it is worth looking at who’s available… and who’s worth being available.
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Who is the Next Chicago Fire Coach?

Nelson-Rodriquez-Chicago-Fire-MLS-GM

Does Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez’s upcoming coaching decision dwarf the rest on the organization’s needs?

New Chicago Fire General Manager Nelson Rodriguez speaks to the press for the first time officially this Sunday. Media speculates that a great deal of this conversation revolves around choosing a coach for the 2015 season.

It’s a decision which Rodriguez has stated he wants made by Thanksgiving, so the clock is ticking.

With a lot of rumors floating around, and with Rodriguez’s own United States Soccer Federation history fueling the guesses, the OTF writers pool took some guesses on who the next Fire coach might be…
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Does Klinsman Have Anything to Do With the USMNT Loss to Mexico?

United States’ Fabian Johnson (23) is challenged by Mexico’s Oribe Peralta during the CONCACAF Cup match (via BostonHerald.com)

 Fabian Johnson challenged by Oribe Peralta during USMNT vs Mexico match Saturday (via BostonHerald.com)

After the U.S. did not make the Gold Cup final earlier this year, it was clear that Jurgen Klinsman had been given a longer leash than previous National Team coaches like Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena. Now, after the US loss to Mexico on Saturday night and their match against Costa Rica tonight, we ask the OTF Staff: What changes (if any) need to be made to improve the United States Men’s National Team?
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The Kids Are Alright: The Chicago Fire are the New Cubs

Chicago Fire SOccer Goal Celebration

(via USA Today)

After what was a pretty successful league run for the first decade or so of their existence, Chicago’s still-young franchise had begun to stall.

It was a new century and there was a clear need for change. The owner ousted their manager (a beloved former player) and the vacuum that remained caused an even further dip in performance. Supporters, still loyal to the club and sympathetic to its young local players, gave the team some nicknames: “The Remnants,” and “The Orphans” were two of the more popular ones, but the one that caught on… in 1900’s … was “The Cubs.”

The name stuck.

As the first pitch for your 2015 National League Wildcard Cubs nears, let’s go ahead and place that Loveable Losers crown on the new not-so-great team with young talent and plenty of hustle — the Chicago Fire.

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Resilient Fire Defeat Red Bulls… So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance

Chicago Fire Soccer Celebrates Win over New York Red Bull August 2015

Good times. (via Soccer By Ives)

There was a point, eons ago, when OTF covered on-field soccer events in addition to domestic soccer culture. …This is one of those posts.

Witnessed on the field last night was the kind of grit, resiliency, and determination that Fire Supporters had been hoping to see the whole season but rarely had. Even if the game had ended in a draw (which Eric Gherig made sure did not happen) the experience was pure pleasure.

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