Sunday afternoon, as the rest of Fire nation was shuddering through hangovers prompted by Saturday-night red-card follies and general fecklessness, cf97's development arm put the following team out to face Columbus in a reserve league match, a match which ended in a 3-3 draw:
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi; Shaun Francis, Hunter Jumper, Steven Kinney, Wells Thompson (Victor Pineda 46'); Patrick Nyarko (Yazid Atouba, 63'), Corben Bone, Logan Pause ©, Daniel Paladini; Maicon Santos, Chris Rolfe.
Yes, that is a 29-year-old journeyman starting, rather than our 20-year-old youth-national-team Homegrown midfielder. Yes, that is a presumptive first-team starter getting 63 minutes while a 20-year-old prospect gets less than half an hour. Now you begin to appreciate the power of our fully operational player development system ...
On the upside, we managed to draw in this match, and Paladini got a hat-trick! Yes! How close are the Reserves to the playoffs, again? It's all to play for! Oh, wait - that's right. These games count for nothing. The results do not matter. Developing the players matters.
Also, if the results mattered, our Reserves would already be in wait-'til-next-year mode, since they've won only three of their 10 games. I don't know. Maybe Patty needed a 60-minute run-out for some reason. Maybe Mike Sanders (Maicon Santos) needed to prove himself to whichever Brazilian third-division side we're shipping him off to.
What doesn't spell 'confidence' is that
two one of the four starters in defense ( Francis, for suspended Gonzalo Segares, and Jumper, for suspended Bakary Soumare) will likely start for the first team against Montreal Saturday evening. Giving up three goals in a reserve match surely has them ready to shut out the likes of Marco di Vaio and Patrice Bernier. [Edit: Jeff Crandall pointed out this afternoon that Segares is not suspended for the game upcoming. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please adjust betting lines accordingly. - Sean]
Fire partners with City Year Chicago
The Fire announced Friday a new partnership with City Year Chicago, a sort of domestic, civic-focussed version of the Peace Corps.
Bankrolled by a grant from the Hauptman Family Foundation, cf97 is sponsoring 11 City Year corps members to serve as a resource to young people at Carl Schurz High School. Services include counseling, tutoring, after-school activities and parent-involvement outreach.
Fire investor/operator Andrew Hauptman is on the national board of City Year.
Soccer & Style a success
Several members of the Fire took to the catwalk Thursday evening for the Chicago Fire Foundation in the Soccer & Style event held at ROOF on theWit. Photographic evidence below.