Saturday 13, 2010 marks the beginning of a new season for the Chicago Fire Academy U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams. Other U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams have already started their season as you can see in the overall standings here but all Great Lakes Division teams have yet to take the field. Given our 'Chicago Fire centric blog about Chicago soccer' mission, we will also be covering the other local teams, the Chicago Magic and Sockers FC.
The U-15/16 team will defending their national championship but given the age ranges you can imagine the team will look a little different. Just in time for the season start, J.R. Eskilson of Goal.com did a piece on the Chicago Fire Academy and Academy Director Larry Sunderland. Be sure to read the whole thing but this part caught my eye the most:
On Saturday, November 13, the Chicago Fire U-17/18 team takes on Shattuck-St. Mary's Soccer Academy at the Toyota Park - Practice Field tomorrow at 11:00 AM and the Chicago Fire U-15/16 team follows against the same club on the same field at 1:30 PM.
Another one of the major adjustments Chicago Fire has made with their player development is jumping into it at a younger age. Recently, they created ‘Project 2016.’ As coach Sunderland explained, the goal was to teach technical development at a young age.
"The 2016 program was in response to some issues we were recognizing at the youngest ages within our club program. We didn’t see the technical development we hoped for. The idea was to place some of our top staff with the young kids – try to keep the costs down as best we could and monitor the development over a longer period of time."
On Sunday, November 14, just about everything repeats as the Chicago Fire U-17/18 takes the Toyota Practice Field against the Minnesota Thunder Academy U-17/18 at 11:00 AM and the Chicago Fire U-15/16 team plays at 1:30 PM.
Full academy schedules for the Chicago Fire, Chicago Magic and Sockers FC after the break.
Chicago Fire U-15/16
Chicago Fire U-17/18
Chicago Magic U-15/16
Chicago Magic U-17/18
Sockers FC U-15/16
Sockers FC U-17/18