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De los Cobos: Castillo will be better in 2011 & Announcing hashtag #getateamstore

MLS Soccer Website

Fidencio Enriquez of wrote two articles based on his Spanish interview with Chicago Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos. 

De los Cobos: Castillo will be better in 2011

I'm disappointed with this article.  If you are unfamiliar with Nery Castillo's career arc, you might find some new information here.  Otherwise, it's rather standard.  Worth a read, but that's a warning going into it.

De los Cobos confirms Fire eyeing Serbian players

"We’re going to have a different team," he said. "The coming one will be more competitive because … I’ve had the chance to live here for one year, to learn in this league, to experiment in this league. Logically, my view is much clearer for the second season. Therefore, I trust we’ll have a very good season."

Carlos de los Cobos and Frank Klopas have a long way to go before this team will be more competitive than last year's team.  We've already noted that 5 of the top 10 players in minutes played for 2010 won't be around for 2011.  Now, I don't put it past Klopas to put together a great team even with the big challenges he faces.  Nor do I put it past Carlos de los Cobos to learn from his biggest mistakes of trusting too many people from his El Salvador team and also not running an efficient training program.  The thing to note here is CDLC could have said that he team is rebuilding but he didn't.  It's always tricky deciphering plans for a new season when the language has been translated but so far it seems like the Front Office will come out swinging.

Carlos de los Cobos en Podcast Tiro Libre (Spanish Podcast)

I have not had a chance to read a translation of this but if you can understand Spanish, it is 45 minutes long and bound to have some interesting parts.

More Chicago Fire links with light analysis and big social media news after the break

Chicago Fire Website

Todd Sullivan - 'Ho, Ho, Ho...from the Biggest Fire Fan in Kabul, Afghanistan"

Thank you for all you do Todd, great blog.

Johnson could earn his first-ever USMNT invite in Jan.

We wish Sean well.  We also encourage 2011 stadium wide shouting of "Whose house?!?" followed by everyone else shouting "Sean's house!!".  Make it happen, warm up those vocal chords now.... is it March yet?

Watch: Get to know Fire Account Executive Drew Eiden

Good little video that shows some behind the scenes work.  You can follow Drew on Twitter at @ChiFireDrew

All-In with Jeff Crandall

The last time we linked to Jeff was for his John Dorn interview back on November 23.  Since then, Crandall has done a 'Wold Cup Edition' on December 1, Skyped with Sean Johnson from Spain on December 3, did an 'All-In With Rod Stern' on December 8, Skyped With Kwame Watson-Siriboe on December 10, and Skyped with Sean Johnson and Corben Bone on December 15.  The 'All-In With Jeff Crandall' link will take you to a page where you can stay on the same page and just pick and choose which ones you want to listen to.  Great work by the front office in putting faces and voices to the people who make the team work.

You can follow Jeff Crandall on Twitter at @JefeCrandall.  He is currently taking questions for an 'All-In' with the Fire's newest addition, Cory Gibbs.

Good New - Bad News

The bad news is we have to announce our newest Twitter campaign - #getateamstore.  We'll have more on that later but really, there's no good excuse for the Chicago Fire not to have a team store at Toyota Park.  I'll let someone else tell you what a certain currently unoccupied space at Toyota Park is labeled on the blueprints but in the meantime I'm accepting guesses.  If you go to a Single-A baseball game, their stadium will have a team store.  We should be aiming to be Major as the Major League Soccer name suggests.  We should be one-upping those minor league franchises, not selling down like them.  #getateamstore - spread it far and wide Fire fans.

On the plus side, the Chicago Fire now have over 30,000 facebook fans.  This is a big, big deal as the more Facebook feeds the Fire pop up in, the better.  I've invited friends to join and people who have never been to a Fire game have been asking me things like if I was sad to see C.J. Brown retire, what exactly about Marco Pappa's goal made it Goal of the Year, and much more.  Your friends and family hear you talk about tickets and how great the games are, now help the Fire get in front of them a little bit by encouraging them to 'Like' the Fire.  It's a slow road to the top everyone, but the beat moves on.