Most fans are familiar with Victor Pineda - the Chicago Fire's very first player that fits under the definition of Major League Soccer Home Grown Player (scroll down to Part II - M for more info). If you don't know him, just check out your 2011 FIFA Chicago Fire team. He is there in the reserves category and is rated not too shabby... I don't think it is right to call Victor 'the next big thing' but home grown players are the future of any team that wants to be a top MLS club. Instead of throwing top money at players who could crash and burn (Nery Castillo and Collins John), teams can bring up players who could be mini superstars at a fraction of the cost. Home Grown players will also help teams fill out proper squads as the MLS Cup schedule expands and teams play in more and more domestic and international tournaments.
I'll be keeping an eye on the pipeline and the first kid I recommend taking a look at is Elliot Borge. Borge played in 25 U-16 Fire games this year and scored 4 goals. To give you a barometer, Victor Pineda played in 21 games and scored 7 goals. When Borge isn't playing for the Academy Fire teams, he suits up for Lyons Township High School. LTHS won the IHSA 3A state championship in 2009 and looks primed for a deep run in 2010. The season just concluded with the team going 18-1-2 while outscoring their opponents 57-18. Borge note: he finished the season strong scoring four goals in the last three games.
The 7th ranked Lyons Township High School soccer team have a great chance at winning their second straight title. Mainly because when I say 7th ranked, I mean 7th in the country. You can check out Borge and his team's title defense starting off in the Chicago Regional at St. Ignatius College Prep. The first game is tomorrow, October 19 at 4:00 PM. If LTHS wins, they will play this Friday, October 22 also at 4:00 PM. If they win that game, the tournament moves on to a little town called Summit... First things first though, below are the times, dates, and contact information for the game(s) at St. Ignatius College Prep. Play with Tradition Honor Passion Elliot and good luck.
Chicago (St. Ignatius College Prep) Regional (map)
Manager: Jim Prunty
Phone: 312-421-5900 x355, Fax: 312-421-3167
Sat., Oct. 16
Match 1 at 11:00 am: (18) Chicago (Farragut) at (15) Chicago (Kennedy) (map)
Tue., Oct. 19
Match 2 at 4:00 pm: (2) LaGrange (Lyons) vs. Winner Match 1
Wed., Oct. 20
Match 3 at 4:00 pm: (8) Chicago (St. Ignatius College Prep) vs. (11) Chicago (Kelly)
Fri., Oct. 22
Match 4 at 4:00 pm: Winner Match 2 vs. Winner Match 3