I'm sure you remember 'Invincible', the 2006 movie that starred Mark Whalberg and was based on the real life story of Vince Papale. Papale went to an open tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles, made the squad and played for the Eagles from 1976 to 1978. For the next two days, the Chicago Fire will be holding open tryouts in the hopes of finding their own Vince Papale.
Over 200 players have signed up and they have come from as far away as France, Bolivia, and Mexico to be here. Registrants had to put $150 down for the chance to try out but the only requirements for eligibility were being male and being over the age of 18. Members of the Fire Technical Staff will be on hand to observe and rank players. Updates will be given on the Fire's website, the Twitter page, and the Facebook page. Follow the break for more information.
The entire tryout is taking place at the Bridgeview Soccer & Sports Dome at 8900 S. 77th Ave. in, you guessed it, Bridgeview, IL. The first round of tryouts will take place on Friday, Jan. 7 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT. Each player is required to attend the first round of tryouts and is guaranteed one hour of playing time.. All players will be notified on site if they are to return for Day Two of the tryouts on Saturday, January 8 at 8:00 AM CT. Tryout times for Day One were sent out to players earlier this week. Here is the round breakdown:
Round 1 January 7
Round 2 January 8 (morning)
Round 3 January 8 (afternoon)
Day (1) & Day (2) morning session
Players will be placed into teams of (8) v (8) + goalkeepers and each team will be allocated a one hour time slot. Players will be notified on site if they have been selected for the next stage.
DAY (2) afternoon session
Players will be placed into teams of (11) v (11) and each team will be allocated a one hour time slot. Systematically players will be selected to move onto the next stage or notified if they have been cut.
Now does anyone really have a chance at making the squad? In past years, almost certainly not. 2011 marks the return of the Reserve League though and the rosters are expanding to 30 players. It's quite possible that a player or two will stick out above the rest and the Fire will want to sign him rather than scour around looking for someone else. If anything, the guys who are going to be there tomorrow want to put on the badge. That means something even if most of them are pure long shots. Good luck to everyone tomorrow. We'll keep you the readers posted on any big news we hear.