With the World Cup starting today, we've just slept through World Cup eve (or didn't sleep, as the case may be). Just imagine if you were a kid and Santa only came every four years but stayed for a whole month. Now that would be an awesome childhood. Since the World Cup is starting, let's take a look at the Chicago connections on the U.S. roster.
Brad Guzan - who will most likely not see the field in Brazil, but is favored to be the number one goalie next time around - hails from the southwest suburb of Evergreen Park which borders city limits. He grew up playing in the well-known Chicago Magic system and went to high school at Providence Catholic in New Lenox. He left in 2003 to play two seasons at University of South Carolina. While in college, he played for the Chicago Fire Reserves in USL PDL. Then the rest is history: He was drafted by Chivas USA and now plays at Aston Villa. Don't we all wish the academy system existed back then?
While Bob Bradley was coaching the Chicago Fire, Michael Bradley spent some time playing in Chicago also. Michael lived in the suburb of Palatine and played for another well-known youth club, the Chicago Sockers. He attended St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights during his freshman year. Bradley and Guzan discuss playing in Chicago in their teenage years in this interview with a little trash-talk.
The one former Fire player at the World Cup for the USA is DaMarcus Beasley. He joined the Fire from the LA Galaxy in 2000 and went on to play for the Fire until 2004 when he moved to PSV Eindhoven. During his time in Chicago, Beasley scored 14 goals and had 20 assists. Beasley was a great success on the Fire and will always be remembered well by Fire fans. (Honorable mention to last year's rent-a-DP, Egidio Arevalo Rios, who will anchor the Uruguay midfield throughout the tournament.)
John Anthony Brooks is the last player on the roster with a Chicago connection. Even though he was born and raised in Germany, Brooks has family in Chicago that he comes and visits. Also during the ESPN documentary of the U.S. team, Brooks revealed an Illinois tattoo on his elbow with a star on Chicago.
Even though there are no Fire players in the World Cup, there are some Chicago connections to root for on the U.S. team. Don't forget to check out the site for more coverage throughout the World Cup.