Chicago Fire Football Club is an American professional soccer franchise based in Chicago. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference.
Chicago Fire FC Youth Development System
The player pathway below represents the opportunities that both male and female players have when participating in one or more of the programs offered by Chicago Fire Football Club.
The pathway does not represent every players journey towards reaching their playing potential in the game, but serves as a reminder of the opportunities that are available to players.
For many, players will ‘skip’ a level of participation as they work towards their goals. As an example, many Fire Juniors players do not play at the academy or ECNL level but end up playing in college.
Grassroots Camps and Clinics
- Chicago Fire Kids Club is free to join for children 12-and-under. Please complete this form to register your children for Kids Club.
- Little Sparks Program is the Chicago Fire’s introduction to soccer program where children and parents can take their first steps in soccer together. Specifically designed for children aged 2 to 5 years old and using the fun of play and imaginative stories, Little Sparks facilitates a child’s physical, mental, social and emotional development through the game of soccer. For more information on this program, click here.
- Chicago Fire FC Camp Programs are the only programs in the Midwest that are operated by a professional football club. All programs will follow a curriculum specifically designed by football experts to meet the needs of youth football players of all ages and abilities. For more information, click here.
The Fire Juniors is the official affiliate program of the Chicago Fire Football Club, currently consisting of 8 clubs nationwide and more than 5,700 travel players and 5,000 recreational players. Each club receives the the support of the Fire’s professional club structure while maintaining a local focus that meets the needs of all youth players in the community.
Emerging Talent Program
The Emerging Talent Program (ETP) is the National ID Program of the Fire Juniors. ETP is defined by a series of player and team development initiatives designed to meet the attitudes, desires, and aspirations of today’s top talent across the entire Fire Juniors network.
How are Fire Juniors selected?
Prior to each Spring season, the clubs and their directors/coaches will submit player nominations for the upcoming Residential ID Camp. All nominations are based on a players technical ability and current commitment to their regular club programming.
Post-camp, Fire Juniors players are then selected to create Fire Juniors Elite Teams who come together and participate in a national-level showcase.
The International Tour is for 11U-14U players and is primarily offered to those players who attended the Residential ID Camp. This is an open invitation.
Fire Juniors Elite Teams
After attending the Residential ID Camp, a roster of players are selected to the Fire Juniors Elite Teams to attend an high level tournament. Boys and Girls teams are created from the 12U-14U groups that attended the Residential ID Camp. Some of the benefits of participating include;
- Opportunity to play with the best players in the Fire Juniors network;
- Compete with other players from across the Midwest
- Head coaches are current club directors and high-level club coaches from within the network.
Chicago Fire FC has academy teams for boys U13, U14, U15, U17, and U19. Their long term vision is for the academy to become the soul of the club – the place where the values of Chicago football are redefined and expressed through their young players.
Consideration for the academy comes via a few of ways:
- A personal invitation from a Chicago Fire Football Academy scout;
- Complete a ‘player identification’ application to be observed and/or to attend a trial or ID Event (see the web form below);
- Participation in a Chicago Fire Juniors program nationwide;
- Participation in other Chicago Fire Youth Development camps and/or clinics.
If you are interested in being observed by a Chicago Fire Football Academy Scout and/or would like to apply for a player trial please complete the form by clicking here.
Indiana Fire Juniors
The Indiana Fire Juniors is the official youth affiliate of the Chicago Fire FC. It is also one of the largest, most comprehensive soccer clubs in the area. Whether you’re a 4-year-old who’s learning to kick, a 12-year-old who wants to master his skills, a high school junior who wants to play in college or an adult who still loves to play the game, the Indiana Fire Juniors has a place for you. To learn more about this program, you can click here.
Chicago Fire Football Club is an American professional soccer franchise based in Chicago, Illinois. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference, having moved to the conference in 2002.
The franchise is named after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and was founded as the Chicago Fire Soccer Club on October 8, 1997, the event’s 126th anniversary. The team began play in 1998 as one of the league’s first expansion teams. The Fire won the MLS Cup as well as the U.S. Open Cup (the “double”) in their first season in 1998. They also won U.S. Open Cups in 2000, 2003, and 2006, in addition to the 2003 MLS Supporters’ Shield. In 2015, the club won the first ever MLS Wooden Spoon, and repeated the feat in 2016.
The Fire maintains an extensive development system, consisting of the Chicago Fire Development Academy and the Chicago Fire Juniors youth organization. They also operate the Chicago Fire Foundation, the team’s community-based charitable division. The Fire’s home stadium is Soldier Field.
Chicago Fire Player Identification
Being a member of the Chicago Fire Football Academy is a privilege, one that is earned by being considered an exceptional talent and one that is kept by being a good person. Consideration for the academy comes via a few of ways:
- A personal invitation from a Chicago Fire Football Academy scout;
- Complete a ‘player identification’ application to be observed and/or to attend a trial or ID Event (see the web form below);
- Participation in a Chicago Fire Juniors program nationwide;
- Participation in other Chicago Fire Youth Development camps and/or clinics.
Click here for the Player Trial Application form. If you are interested in being observed by a Chicago Fire Football Academy Scout, please complete the player by clicking on the link.
1) Technical staff will review your submitted application;
2) If interested, the club will contact you and invite you to a player trial at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.
3) Some factors technical staff consider when inviting players:
-Playing Experience at high level
-Existing team needs
**PLEASE NOTE THE TECHNICAL STAFF DECISION IS FINAL AND WILL CONTACT YOU IF INTERESTED**
CHICAGO FIRE ACADEMY PROGRAM DETAILS
The Chicago Fire Football Academy is a youth Academy program operated by Chicago Fire Football Club.
Games and training sessions take place at the Chicago Fire Football Academy Training Facility at SeatGeek Stadium (Bridgeview, Ill.)
There are four groups of players participating in the Academy program and they include U13, U14, U15 and U17. These team participate in the MLS NEXT competition.
Chicago Fire FC Recruitment Trials
Click here to access player application form. (Link active – Updated APRIL 2022)
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE FCSCOUT.COM EMAIL NEWSLETTER
Sign up here to get the latest news and updates on academy and soccer tryouts delivered directly to your email inbox.
ALSO, CREATE A FREE RECRUITMENT PROFILE
Click the ‘LEARN MORE’ button below to take your career to the next level and create a recruitment portfolio to help clubs, coaches, agents, and scouts easily find you. For a limited time, we are offering this service for free!
OR, EXPLORE MORE CLUBS!
Explore more professional clubs by clicking here.
Chicago Fire FC History
It was on this date in 1997 that the Chicago Fire Soccer Club was formally established as Chicago Fire FC (formerly Chicago Fire FC). Joe Mansueto, the club’s owner and chairman, bought the team in 2019. Nelson Rodriguez serves as the club’s president, while George Heitz, the organization’s new sporting director, was named in December of 2019 and John Urban, the organization’s COO. From 1997 until 2006, the Fire were located at Soldier Field. Bridgeview, Illinois-based SeatGeek Stadium was built in 2006 for the team, and it served as their home from 2006 to 2019. In 2019, the Fire will return to Soldier Field for the 2020 MLS season under the ownership of Joe Mansueto. The Fire have won the U.S. Open Cup four times, most recently in 2006, making them the most successful club in the competition.
Players like as Chris Armas, Carlos Bocanegra and Frank Klopas are among those who have worn the Fire shirt, as well as Chris McBride and Tony Sanneh. Ante Razov, Josh Wolff, and Eric Wynalda are also among those who have donned the Fire shirt. There are also prominent American professional players such as Jesse Marsch and Zach Thornton in the club’s roster. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Pável Pardo and Piotr Nowak are just some of the Fire’s overseas imports. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 inspired the team’s name, and the Chicago Fire was officially established on the 126th anniversary of that disaster.
Foundation and initial success (1997–2000)
On the anniversary of the Great Fire of Chicago in 1997, the Fire delved into the city’s broad ethnic mix. Among the newcomers were players from Poland, Mexico, and the Czech Republic, including Piotr Nowak, Jerzy Podbrozny, Roman Kosecki, and Lubos Kubik. In their first season with the Fire, all of Chicago’s players demonstrated their abilities, but American players Zach Thornton, Chris Armas, and C.J. Brown were particularly important to the team’s success. The squad won the MLS Cup in 1998 and the U.S. Open Cup a week later under Bob Bradley, the club’s first head coach, and defied all expectations by doing the double in its first competitive year.
The team’s success continued with a trip to the MLS Cup finals in 2000 (where they lost to Kansas City) and a U.S. Open Cup triumph in 2000. Hristo Stoitchkov, a seasoned international player, joined the Fire, while promising American stars like DaMarcus Beasley were groomed in the organization. They immediately became one of the league’s top-ranked clubs.
Nomadic times (2002–2004)
The Fire relocated to Naperville, a suburb west of Chicago, in 2002 when Soldier Field underwent extensive renovations. After only one season as head coach, Bob Bradley abruptly resigned to take over the MetroStars, a team he founded in his own New Jersey. To fill the vacancy, the Fire hired the United States men’s national team’s top assistant coach, Dave Sarachan. Chicago won the Supporters’ Shield and the 2003 U.S. Open Cup on their way to the league final. During the second half of the 2003 season, the team relocated to Soldier Field, which had just undergone a major renovation.
Longtime captain Piotr Nowak announced his retirement after that season and accepted a position in the organization’s upper management. A year later, he left to take over as manager of the D.C. United football team. Jamaican attacker Damani Ralph was one among the many newcomers to the game during this time period. In spite of this, Chicago’s standing in the league became more precarious as the Eastern Conference gained strength. A first-ever appearance in the league playoffs was missed by the team in 2004.
Turmoil, and a permanent home (2005–2007)
AEG’s sudden firing of beloved club president Peter Wilt, who had been well praised by both fans and players, ushered in the 2005 season. After brokering a $100 million deal to build a new stadium for the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview, this was a surprise. John Guppy, a MetroStars executive, replaced him immediately. The season’s most memorable moments on the pitch were Milan’s historic visit from Serie A Italy and the Eastern Conference Semifinals shocking 4–0 loss to D.C. United on the road. The Chicago Fire relocated from Soldier Field to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, a southwest suburb of the city, in 2006, when the new stadium opened. After a mediocre season in the league, it won the U.S. Open Cup in 2006, a sign of the club’s prosperity and hope for the future. However, the pressure to win another league crown only increased. Fans and team officials alike put a lot of emphasis on Sarachan heading into his fifth season as head coach in 2007. Cuauhtémoc Blanco’s Designated Player contract was signed by the Fire on April 3, 2007, further ratcheting up the tension. A perfect start to the year yielded only one win in eight matches, with Sarachan being sent off. A short search for a new head coach ended with Millonarios manager Juan Carlos Osorio being selected.
Andell Inc. acquisition of the Fire (2007–2009)
After that, there was a lot more change. Andrew Hauptman, head of Andell Holdings, a private investment business based in Los Angeles, acquired AEG’s stake in the Chicago Fire soccer team on September 6, 2007. According to media reports, the acquisition price may have been as high as $35 million dollars. Since Hauptman owned the squad, the team has failed to win a major prize. As Osorio’s center defender at Millionarios, Wilman Conde, the Fire embarked on an extended unbeaten streak to close out the regular season, easily qualifying for the playoffs but losing in the Eastern Conference Final against New England. The Fire announced Osorio’s resignation on December 10th, 2007. Exactly eight days later, he was hired the manager of the Red Bulls in New York City.
A tampering allegation was filed by Hauptman as a protest, and the Red Bulls provided the Fire with cash and draft picks. New things began to happen swiftly in the wake of Osorio’s arrival. Klopas was promoted to Technical Director of Player Personnel on January 17, 2008, while Denis Hamlett was promoted to Manager. This year’s Chicago Fire had a disappointing season at home but an impressive one on the road, where they collected 22 of a possible 45 points. In July 2008, the signing of Chicago native Brian McBride on a free transfer boosted the team’s momentum. In the final match of the regular season, they defeated the New York Red Bulls 5–2. Then, in the first round of the playoffs, they easily defeated the New England Revolution 3–0 at home. This is Chicago’s first playoff win over Revolution in four years. After a week of glory, they were beaten 2–1 by eventual league champions Columbus in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The team’s roster remained largely unchanged from the previous year for the 2009 season. As the season progressed, the team’s poor home record was countered by strong results away from Toyota Park. A second-place finish in the Eastern Conference behind Columbus was achieved as a result of this strategy. Chicago will host the semi-finals for the first time in six years after Real Salt Lake defeated the Crew in their quarter-final match. Despite Chicago’s near-perfect home playoff record, they lost 5-3 on penalties against Salt Lake City after 120 minutes of goalless play. Manager Denis Hamlett was fired shortly after that.
A team in flux (2010–2012)
Chicago hired El Salvador manager Carlos de los Cobos as its head coach in the years leading up to 2010. Three players have left the team: Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Chris Rolfe, and Gonzalo Segares Nery Castillo of Mexico and former Swedish international midfielder Freddie Ljungberg were acquired in the summer transfer window, and Justin Mapp was sent to Philadelphia. After barely six months away from the Fire, Defender Gonzalo Segares returned to the team. Despite the additions, the Fire missed the playoffs for the second time in the club’s history due to injuries. In addition to Wilman Conde, Ljungberg, and Castillo, former United States international Brian McBride also announced his retirement at the end of the season. In the same way that 2010 began, the team’s performances both at home and on the road were abysmal. Carlos de los Cobos was fired on May 30th, 2011, after a run of nine losses. Frank Klopas, the technical director, has been promoted to interim head coach status. Summer acquisitions Pável Pardo and Sebastián Grazzini, as well as Dominic Oduro’s 12 goals after he was traded from Houston and Dan Gargan’s defensive addition, led to a tight playoff berth for the Fire, who had 24 points in their last 12 league games. The following November 3, 2011, Klopas was appointed as the team’s permanent manager following the conclusion of the 2011 season.
The Fire’s fortunes took a turn for the better in 2012, Klopas’ first full season as head coach. This period saw the club acquire several new players, including Chris Rolfe from Aalborg BK, who had previously been a member of the team. Rolfe, who appeared in 21 games for the Fire in 2012, finished the season with eight goals and 12 assists. He was later awarded the team’s MVP. Midfielders Alex Monteiro de Lima of Switzerland, Alvaro Fernandez of the Seattle Sounders FC, Sherjill MacDonald of Beerschot AC and Arne Friedrich of VfL Wolfsburg were among the other players brought in. However, despite their early exit from the U.S. Open competition, the Fire finished the season with a 17–11–6 record, their best record since 2000, and finished in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Houston Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire 2–1 in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs on October 31, 2012, in the Fire’s first playoff appearance since 2009.
Missing the playoffs (2013–2015)
The team made various changes in the 2012–2013 offseason in an effort to build on the success of the previous year. Dominic Oduro was traded to the team in exchange for Dilly Duka and Robbie Rogers’ contract in exchange for Joel Lindpere and Jeff Larentowicz. The club had a record of 2–5–1 through the month of April because to a lack of goals. Fire acquired Bakary Soumaré from Philadelphia following two defeats to the Union in May and with Arne Friedrich still on the sidelines. In May, Robbie Rogers indicated a desire in playing in Southern California, at which point a trade was struck for Rogers’ rights in return for the LA Galaxy’s Mike Magee. Friedrich announced his retirement from the NHL on June 23, 2013, after missing all of the 2012–13 season with reoccurring ailments. Adding Soumare and Magee resulted to seven wins in the team’s final 10 games after a 2–7–3 start. Both Arévalo Ros and Juan Luis Anangonó were added to the Fire’s roster during the transfer window. In the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Chicago Fire proceeded to the semifinals, where they hosted the eventual champions D.C. United, however they lost 2–0. “What it means to be a part of the Fire family” was penned by the club’s Director of Communications after alleged fan activities in the stadium that night. The essay was heavily ridiculed by local and national media as a strange attack on the supporter base. The Fire missed the playoffs for the third time in the last four years, falling short to the Montreal Impact on goal differential after a season-ending 12–6–6 record. While Javier Leon and Frank Klopas had stood down as the club’s president of soccer operations on October 30, 2013, the Fire front office had a replacement just one day later. New head coach Frank Yallop was hired by the Chicago Fire on October 31, 2013. Mike Magee became the first Fire player to earn the MLS MVP Award on December 5, 2013, knocking out Robbie Keane of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Marco Di Vaio of the Montreal Impact to do so.
C. J. Brown, a member of the Chicago Fire’s “Ring of Fire,” and Clint Mathis, a former U.S. international striker, were added to Yallop’s coaching staff, as well as Brian Bliss, the Technical Director of the Columbus Crew. With a short period of time, Brian McBride served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Fire. Several veterans and starters were traded, while Yallop brought in promising young players to reshape the team and free up salary. Chris Rolfe, Austin Berry, Jalil Anibaba, Daniel Paladini, and Paolo Tornaghi were among the high-profile employees who left in the first half of 2014. That gap was filled by a group of promising young players including Harrison Shipp, Benji Joya, and Grant Ward on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. Los Angeles Galaxy once again advanced to the MLS Cup Playoffs, but were thrashed 6–0 by Seattle Sounders FC in the semifinals of the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on August 13. Frank Yallop apologized to Chicago Fire fans on the club’s official website for the team’s worst competitive defeat in its history. The Fire’s season finished with a disappointing 6–18–10 record, including 18 draws, which set an MLS record for the most draws in a single season. The arrival of three new Designated Players in David Accam, Shaun Maloney, and Kennedy Igboananike gave the team a renewed sense of optimism for the new year. Michael Stephens and Eric Gehrig were also brought in by the team, along with Trinidad & Tobago international Joevin Jones. As many new players had to acclimate, it was the first time in club history that they started their season with a losing record, but they recovered by winning three of their next four matches. Sadly, the club’s win-loss record was finally even in April, but the team was still able to proceed to another Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. The Chicago Fire lost 1–0 to the Philadelphia Union in front of a sparse crowd at PPL Park for the third straight year. Maloney, the team’s marquee offseason acquisition, returned to England with Hull City less than two weeks later, claiming personal reasons.
Frank Yallop’s contract was not terminated until September 20, 2015, one day after a 1–0 home loss to Orlando City SC, despite the lack of optimism for a Cup final, huge fan protests, and a slim chance of a playoff berth. Former MLS executive Nelson Rodriguez was designated the team’s new general manager along with Yallop’s resignation, and his first task will be to begin the search for a new head coach. A former player and current vice president of the club, Logan Pause, was brought in to help Brian Bliss as temporary head coach for the remaining five matches. A total of 8 wins, 20 losses, and six ties rounded out the team’s record during the year. A record-breaking 0–12–5 road record was achieved for the first time in Fire history. The worst season in the club’s history came to an end with a total of twenty defeats.
Final years in Bridgeview, IL (2016–2019)
Aron Hyde’s goalkeeping coach, fitness coach Adrian Lamb, and Director of Scouting Trevor James were all fired on November 18, 2015, when Rodriguez became GM. Along with Ron Stern, the club’s longtime Director of First Team Operations, Rodriguez also severed ways with Charles Raycroft, the team’s equipment manager, and Allan Araujo, his assistant. The Chicago Fire announced on November 24, 2015, that Veljko Paunovic, the former Serbian U-20 coach who led his team to the FIFA U-20 World Cup title in 2015, had been named the new head coach of the team. Additionally, on January 5, 2016 technical director Brian Bliss was hired as Director of Player Personnel by Sporting Kansas City, completing the team’s technical staff shake-up.
Bastian Schweinsteiger was allowed to join the Chicago Fire on March 21, 2017, subject to a medical and a visa being obtained by Manchester United. As of March 29, 2017, the transfer from Manchester United had been finalized. Joe Mansueto, the creator of Morningstar, Inc., purchased a 49 percent stake in the club on July 11, 2018. To make way for Mansueto as the sole owner, Hauptman surrendered his controlling stake on September 13, 2019.
Return to Soldier Field (2020–present)
Immediately following the conclusion of the Chicago Fire’s 2019 MLS season, they embarked on an ambitious three-month offseason project to reshape the franchise. A downtown Chicago venue was secured, front-office employees were added, organizational roles were shifted, roster modifications were made, and a new brand identity was introduced. That same day Bastian Schweinsteiger revealed that he was retiring from professional soccer, the Chicago Fire announced that they would return to Soldier Field for the upcoming MLS season on October 8. Nemanja Nikolic, a Designated Player and past Golden Boot winner, announced his departure from the organization just two days after the Fire signed lvaro Medrán.
The Fire’s renovations continued into the first month of the off-season. Dax McCarty, the team’s captain, was traded to Nashville SC on November 4. MLS’s other newcomer, Inter Miami, acquired Homegrown Player Grant Lillard ten days later in a trade. Head coach Veljko Paunovic was sacked by Chicago Fire President and General Manager Nelson Rodriguez on November 14. Chicago Fire DP Nicolas Gaitan and winger Aleksandar Katai’s contract renewals were eclipsed a week later by an even greater organizational announcement. The long-awaited rebranding of the Chicago Fire team was announced on November 21. The team’s new colors (from red and white to red, blue, and gold), name (from Chicago Fire Soccer Club to Chicago Fire FC), and, most controversially, logo were developed with the help of marketing agency Doubleday & Cartwright. Some Fire fans were anxious about the team’s organizational growth despite the team’s second offseason player acquisition (Homegrown Player Nicholas Slonina) occurring in early December. To make room for incoming coaches Raphael Wicky and Sebastian Pelzer, the Fire’s Sporting Director Georg Hietz appointed Nelson Rodriguez’s successor, ex-US Soccer Youth National Coach Raphael Rodriguez, as head coach and technical director, respectively. Heitz previously worked with Wicky at FC Basel in Switzerland and “closely” with Pelzer at Heusler Werthmüller Heitz, a management consulting firm (“HWH”).
With the departure of DP Nicolas Gaitan, the Chicago Fire bolstered their roster by adding Ignacio Aliseda and Gaston Gimenez from Defensa and Vélez Sarsfield respectively. New acquisition Robert Beric, who scored in his first appearance for the Fire against the Seattle Sounders FC, has also been added to the roster.
Colors and Badge
While the Fire’s official core colors have always been red, blue and gold, the team has also employed secondary colors such navy blue, sky blue and black. Chicago Fire’s original emblem was based on the Cross of St. Florian, a symbol commonly used in the United States by fire departments. The city was represented by a stylised “C” in the center, like the logos of the Bears and Cubs. To honor the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the six-pointed star of the city’s municipal flag was used to form a ring around the center of the design. In order to establish a timeless look reminiscent of both classic American sports (such as the NHL Initial Six logos) and the traditions of European soccer, the original general manager, Peter Wilt, decided to use this design approach. The Chicago Rhythm was originally planned to be the team name by Nike, the Fire’s equipment provider. The Rhythm logo was embellished with a cobra in a turquoise, black, and green color scheme. Adrenalin, Inc., a sports branding agency based in Denver, was hired by the team to help design the Fire’s identity.
Also suggested were the names “Chicago Blues” and “Chicago Wind.” Due to the wide horizontal stripes running the length of the torso and arms, it was decided to go with the Fire jerseys for the first time. While away shirts were white and black, the home jerseys were red and white with a silver “FIRE” emblazoned on the stripe. Despite the changes in equipment sponsors (from Nike to Puma and now adidas), the jersey had the same format until 2012, when the white stripe was replaced by a blue stripe. From white with black to white with navy to white with red to all-white and the all-blue currently utilized by the Fire’s secondary shirts, they’ve altered a lot throughout time. Yellow has been a common color for third shirts (originally to honor the Chicago Sting, later for the expired partnership with Morelia). The Chicago Cubs have worn third shirts patterned on the city’s flag on multiple occasions, most recently in 2005 and again from 2014 to 2016.
As a demonstration of civic pride, the team and its supporters frequently reference Chicago landmarks and symbols. Six-pointed stars are the club’s best-known symbol; nevertheless, other Chicago-related symbols such as light blue, a city municipal device, and a skyline are also prevalent. The Chicago city flag is also a popular choice among spectators, and it can frequently be seen flying over Wrigley Field. The team’s first significant rebranding will take place on November 21, 2019, when the team returns to Soldier Field in Chicago. Original logo was replaced with an ovular crest marked with mirrored sets of three triangles nicknamed the “Fire Crown” to commemorate the regeneration of Chicago following a devastating fire in 1871.
The primary colors of the crest are a dark blue, crimson, and gold shade of those hues. Ivory and “flag blue,” a light blue color borrowed from the Chicago flag, are the secondary design colors. Social media users had a “overwhelmingly hostile response” to the makeover before it was officially unveiled. Comparatively, some fans were concerned that the “Fire Crown” could be mistaken for the Latin Kings street-gang mark because of its similarity to the existing logo of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, which uses the same mirrored triangles. The team reacted to the unfavorable reaction by stating that they were aware of it “For [new] brands to develop significance, it takes time and repetition. They will be judged over the course of many years, not just a few months “maintaining that the previous logo will not be brought back.
A soccer-specific stadium, SeatGeek Stadium, is located in the Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeview about 12 miles southwest of downtown Chicago and served as the home of the Chicago Fire from 2006 to 2019. SeatGeek Stadium, formerly known as Toyota Park and built for $100 million, is owned and operated by the Village of Bridgeview. A naming rights price of between $2.5 million and $4 million per year was paid to rename Toyota Park to SeatGeek Stadium following the 2018 season.
Bridgeview, Illinois is reportedly in negotiations to purchase out the remainder of the club’s lease at SeatGeek Stadium and return to Soldier Field. At Soldier Field, the 61,500-capacity home of the NFL Chicago Bears and one of the most important sites in 1994 FIFA World Cup, Chicago Fire played its first two seasons in the MLS. The Fire played at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Illinois, on the fringes of the Chicago metropolitan region, while that stadium underwent a $632 million reconstruction. Eventually, they made their way back to Soldier Field, where they stayed until the end of 2005. After months of negotiations, the Chicago Fire agreed to pay $65.5 million to depart SeatGeek Stadium in July 2019 and return to Soldier Field in 2020. An agreement with the Chicago Park District sealed the deal for Soldier Field’s comeback in September of this year.
The Fire have a strong supporter base that dates back to the club’s inception and is based on the city’s sports fandom. Toyota Park’s Harlem End is home to a large section of fans and ultras groups during games. In the United States, mentally ill troops are referred to as Section 8 based on the Soldier Field numbering system and the military classification. There are a slew of organizations that are run under Section 8 Chicago, the Fire’s Independent Supporters’ Association (ISA). Section 8’s ultras, which include groups from over the world but with a Chicago flavor, are typically referred to as such. ISA and Chicago Fire Front Office conversations during the course of the season resulted in the group being relocated to Section 137, immediately behind the south goal, where it had previously gathered in Section 101, the stadium’s corner-kick section, on the stadium’s southwest end. The Arsonists, Banter Buddies, Blitzer Mob, Husaria, Fire Ultras 98, Partisans, Red Scare, Second City North, The Western Front, Ultras Red-Side, Mike Ditka Street Crew (MDSC), and Whiskey Brothers Aught-Five are just a few of the affiliated ultras and sympathizers who are out there. An elected board of directors governs the Section 8 Chicago ISA, a 501(c)7 non-profit organization. Stadium-wide displays of fan support are common during games of major competitive consequence, and they add to the electric atmosphere. It is typical for the crowd to cheer in unison. In order to motivate the players and express their support for the team, the SeatGeek Stadium for Fire fans stage choreographed tifo demonstrations on occasion. For a large-scale fan-driven presentation, SeatGeek Stadium is one of the few American venues that is capable of doing so.
Chicago Fire Mascot
Sparky, a Dalmatian anthropomorphic dog, serves as their official mascot. When Sparky arrives, he wears the team’s jersey, but he also has a firefighter’s uniform.
Chicago Fire Rivalries
When asked who the Fire’s primary adversary is, successive generations of Fire fans will likely provide differing answers. While the Fire have passionate rivalries with several MLS teams, In the early years of the league, the Fire’s first supporters would name FC Dallas, its Brimstone Cup adversary, as their archnemesis, or the Los Angeles Galaxy. It became less common for the Fire to meet with Dallas and LA after they relocated to the Eastern Conference. Following multiple memorable playoff meetings, rivalries between D.C. United and the New England Revolution were ignited. There have been eight MLS Cup Playoff meetings between the Fire and the Revolution over the course of ten seasons from 2000 to 2009, with the Fire winning four of the four meetings (4–4). The Fire have won in 2000, 2003, 2008, and 2009. In 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007, the New England Revolution ruined the Fire’s postseason hopes. Columbus Crew, the closest MLS team geographically near the Fire before the establishment of FC Cincinnati, and Atlanta United after a dispute between their fan bases.
City of Chicago, Illinois
Officially known as the City of Chicago, Chicago is the most populous metropolis in Illinois and the nation’s third most populated city overall. There will be 2,693,976 people living there in 2019, according to current estimates. Cook County is the second most populous county in the United States, and a tiny portion of the city’s O’Hare Airport is located in DuPage County, which is a suburb of Chicago. There are approximately 9.4 million people living in the Chicago metropolitan region, which includes the city of Chicago, as well as the surrounding suburbs known as “Chicagoland,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Metropolitan Statistical Area. New York City is the country’s most populous city, followed by Los Angeles.
The city of Chicago is situated on the southwestern beaches of Lake Michigan in northeastern Illinois. Located in both the Midwest and Great Lakes region of the United States, it is Chicago’s primary city. The Chicago Portage, which links the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds, is on a continental barrier just outside the city limits. There are two rivers that flow either wholly or partially through Chicago, including the Chicago River, which flows downtown and the Calumet River on the far South Side.
Climate | Weather
A humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfa) with four distinct seasons characterizes the city. Summers are oppressively hot and muggy, with regular bursts of extreme heat. In July, the daily average temperature is 75.9 degrees Fahrenheit (24.4 degrees Celsius), with afternoon highs of 85.0 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius). At least 23 days in a typical summer with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), with waterfront places being kept cooler when lake breezes blow across them. Blizzards have occurred in the past, most recently in 2011, however the city experiences cold and snowy winter months on a regular basis. In the winter, there are a lot of sunny yet chilly days. The coldest months of the year are January and February, when the average high temperature is 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). A polar vortex in January 2019 came close to breaking the city’s previous cold record of 27 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius), established on January 20, 1985. Temperatures in spring and fall tend to be mild and brief, with little humidity. Atmospheric humidity levels can reach around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) during the July 2019 heat wave, when the dew point temperature was 55.7 degrees Fahrenheit (13.2 degrees Celsius). There is a gradual transition from USDA plant hardiness zone 6a to 5b in the suburbs, which is where the city lies.