It's been over 24 hours since the U.S. Open Cup Final ended but after so much wind-up, there needs to be some wind-down. Somel thoughts on the final separated by pressing topics and personalities.
Section 8 Chicago - The Independent Supporters Association for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club
The legend grows... Through Peoria, Santa Clara, (Madison for PDL fans), Rochester, and Seattle, it did not matter where the U.S. Open Cup games were played, Section 8 Chicago was there. Fire fans held their heads up high across the country and earned more respect for the rest of us Fire fans who could not make such distances. For home games, supporters changed their schedules through last minute power outages. Even inside of Toyota Park, Section 8 did a little traveling at halftime to keep the routine going. If you have been casually admiring this club from afar, there's no better place to be and welcome to Section 8 Chicago. You are a part of it. Section 8 Chicago is defined by the club you support - not by where you enjoy the game at Toyota Park.
Congratulations on winning the 2011 U.S. Open Cup and your third straight USOC title overall. It certainly isn’t an easy thing to say on an emotional level but it is an easy thing to say on a deserved level. The talent that you put on the field and the seriousness which your team puts into the U.S. Open Cup should be admired by every soccer loving fan out there. It is tragic as a Chicago Fire fan that my team lost the first U.S. Open Cup Final matchup between Chicago and Seattle but I’m sure this won’t be last. I hope not at least. We need a little revenge. There might even be a rivalry brewing.
Thank you. After the Chicago Fire defeated the Columbus Crew 1-0 in June, you said
I told the guys before the game that in the history of the Fire, we've had some great players but we've always been a team no one wanted to play against. We have the kind of personality and the players with this team. Let's get back to what the Fire used to be.
The bolding is mine. I think you have done a remarkable job doing just that. Chicago went from winning the U.S. Open Cup four times between 1998-2006 to losing in early rounds every year between 2007-2010. If you didn't have the full 100% personnel reins of this organization before, you should have them now. You embody the Chicago Fire having gone to high school in Chicago, scored the first Fire home goals, the first Fire U.S. Open Cup goal, and the winning goal for the Fire's first U.S. Open Cup trophy. As technical director, you have put on-the-field hope back into the organization in a relatively short period while other organizations like D.C. United and Toronto FC have missed the playoffs multiple years in a row. Most importantly, you brought this organization back to the U.S. Open Cup Final.
Chicago Fire Players
Thank you. The badge was represented with Tradition.Honor.Passion. It was a game where you didn't pull any punches and just couldn't land any despite your best intentions. This continues to be a far superior group of individuals to watch than last year's team and the 2012 season is looking quite hopeful.
This is going to be very special, isn't it?
In March, you told the media and fans that you were searching for catalysts. Some catalysts are luck, some are found, and some find you. I think you would agree that dedication to and success in the U.S. Open Cup can be the biggest and best catalyst this organization has. Fans remained excited even when the team wasn't gaining ground in the MLS Standings. Players found success under unique scenarios. The entire organization has more finals/championship experience under the collective belt. We all have more grand chapters to talk about for the ages even if the ending wasn't out of Hollywood.
No, I mean really, it's not like we didn't know you were very talented. However, you stood up against the might of Seattle in their home in a big U.S. Open Cup Final with 35,000+ people telling you couldn't and for 80 minutes you did. You told them otherwise against the odds. This is going to be a lot of fun having you in goal for multiple Fire championship matches.
Congratulations. You got someone with the team to say they are ‘interested’ in Rio Ferdinand. Could you also ask them if they are interested in Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Kaka, Samuel Eto’o, and Wesley Sneijder? I would be schoked if the Fire ‘weren’t interested’ in those players. In fact, I would take back all the nice things I said about Frank if that was the case. Also, what exactly did Alex Labidou do to get an ‘with reporting by’ credit here? That’s some fine detective work there, Labidou.
I mean look, I'm not trying to jinx or anything but I think Fire fans got the look of someone who is ready to take the next leap. It's been an up and down season for you. There are sure to be some downs coming again but it's going to be a lot of ups with the sky the limit if you continue to work hard.
Okay, you are funny... and apparently have a point?
Congrats to Seattle Sounders for winning the StarFire Open, and doing it on the road at CenturtyLink Field!!
I always give credit to the writer who can play even semi-contrarian on the day after a championship has been won.
FC Dallas' Hernandez is a troll ... with a point
I always give credit to someone breaking a very timely and very interesting story. So you say there will be changes to the U.S. Open Cup coming, eh?
A source with knowledge of those discussions told Sporting News that an announcement could be imminent and that the sport's administrators have agreed that the bid system is "shady and unfair."
There certainly are some potential game changers in that story. Complain about Seattle all you want but it's not like the Fire haven't benefited from a great home record in the U.S. Open cup over the years. The changes are probably overdue.