The Chicago Fire hit the midpoint in preseason over the next couple of days, wrapping up their time in Bradenton with a pair of friendlies. Tonight, the Men in Red square off against Orlando City - but don't expect to see minutes from the starters, as CJ Brown said yesterday the game would feature fringe players and trialists pushing for roster spots. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. CST, and a link to the stream will appear below once it is available.
The first team will watch tonight before playing once more against DC United tomorrow, Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. CST in a classic ‘get-away day' friendly. The club has no plans to stream the matchup, meaning the first team will remain something of a mystery until next week's friendly against Colorado in Tuscon, AZ.
Sector Latino crowdfunding to survive
So, last week, the Fire told Sector Latino, also known as ‘those nutjobs in Section 101,' that they're now ‘formerly those nutjobs in Section 101.' Twitter exploded in rage-convulsions, predictably, and so the club changed tack, going with a ‘hey, duuuuuude, we were just trying to help everyone grow' stance to save face and telling SL that all they needed to do to stay put is sell 100 season tickets. Which is where the thing stands today.
To that end, SL is running a crowdfunding fundraiser to help guarantee Sector gets the 100 tickets sold it needs. As of press time, the group has raised $510 of their $4,000 goal in a little over 24 hours - hit this link to donate and help keep the hardest-core of the hard-core in their customized Section 101!
Magee skips training!
Jokes! Just jokes. Mike Magee was honored as "Fire of the Year" on the CSN Sports Awards Monday evening, and yes, he had permission from the club to miss training:
The awards support the March of Dimes.
Duka named to SBI's ‘potential breakout' list
Not sure how much I value Ives as a scout, but it's always nice to see Fire players mentioned in a positive way by the national press. Here, Galarcep lists Duka among the players most likely to "impress and surprise us" in 2014.
Portland renames stadium
The international home of local bizarreness just lost a stadium name absolutely replete with local bizarreness - JELD-WEN Stadium, named (if I recall correctly) for the first two elderly gentlemen to engage in an all-caps flame war on the internet. The stadium will now be called ‘Providence Park,' which has a sort of Tipsy McStaggers, focus-tested quality. Whatever - Portland's support is still epic and their team's still a blast to watch.
Toronto to add Brazil No. 1?
Julio Cesar to TFC. Good God, y'all. We really are living in some Toronto teenager's hacked game of Football Manager.
Think TFC's spending large dollars? Just wait until next year
... when Jason Kreis has Sheik Mansour's checkbook behind him. This piece from Fox Soccer has Kreis talking about his plans, which include four loan players from Manchester City's astonishingly deep player pool. Yikes.
Not to be outdone, Becks goes ‘sheiking' too
Hey! David Beckham and his new comb-over were spotted in Paris, where Beckham apparently hit up the owners of Paris Saint-Germaine to invest in MLS. Apparently Marcelo Claure never wanted to be exclusive, and he thought Becks knew that from the start, and sure, he's totally cool with him day-tripping to Paris with some other billionaire, so here we are.
Also, more oligarchs? Of course! What could go wrong?
Blank wants MLS, but does Atlanta?
Jeremiah Oshan weighs in on the latest NFL-owner-getting-MLS-religion story, and it's a heavyweight dose of "hell naw."
Fox Soccer has a nice collection of highlights from the weekend's MLS preseason friendlies. Dig.
USA right back curse continues - Chandler hurt again
Stay healthy, Geoff Cameron! Tim Chandler's return to form was a source of hope for the USA, but - like seemingly everything associated with Chandler - it's now more frustration. Chandler's meniscus injury puts availability for the World Cup in doubt.