2018 was a wild ride for both Chicago Soccer and Hot Time In Old Town.
The Chicago Fire went from third in the Eastern Conference the season before to near-bottom. Taken together with the protracted fights between supporters and the front office, and the usual locker room intrigue that tends to accompany poor results, and it ended up being a rough year for Fire fans. For the Chicago Red Stars, a rocky start to the season gave way to some dominant performances down the stretch before ending in a heartbreaking playoff loss against the eventual league champions.
Last year was also a year of change for Hot Time. Longtime EIC Sean Spence stepped down. Some early-season recruits didn’t pan out, and by the end of the year the staff was well and truly gassed. We raised money for a good cause, built new bridges with the local soccer community, and found ourselves embroiled in controversy.
No one’s quite sure what 2019 will bring. The Fire are showing early signs of progress, but there are still many, many question marks hanging over the squad. The Red Stars kept their core— and added rockstar draft pick Tierna Davidson— but they’ll have to make do without their heavy hitters for a while during the World Cup. Tears will be shed. Throats will go hoarse. Arguments will spiral out of control on Twitter. 2019 definitely won’t be boring.
Hot Time In Old Town is ready.
Here’s the 2019 HTIOT Starting XI.
Adriana (Social Media)
Born and raised in Southern California. Graduate of San Diego State with a Bachelors in Journalism/Media Studies and CSU Northridge with a Masters in Music Industry Administration. I’ve worked in various Social Media roles and love to learn about the world of digital media and develop quality content. Sports and Music fanatic. A perfect song tells a thousand life stories. Lover of a good rant and good wine (or beer.) Avid sports follower but pay particular attention to many women’s sports including the NWSL, WNBA, NCAA WBB, Hockey, and Softball.
Claire (Red Stars)
Y’all know me. Musician, writer, small mountain bear, with work both here and elsewhere. Listen to the Southside Trap Podcast.
English Major at DePaul University, graduating in June. I was and always will be a band geek. Former MVP of half-time youth scrimmages at Fire games. I watch mostly MLS and USMNT games, but keep up with the UEFA Champions League and Americans playing in Europe when I can. Also a big NBA fan. I really thought Collin Fernandez would be a starter by now.
Graduate of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a degree in history and the Gemological Institute of America, where I became a registered jeweler. Lover of all things sports, especially soccer and basketball. March Madness is a month long holiday. When I’m not immersed in sports, I can be found at bar trivia, volunteering, or running Spartan races or marathons. #hookemhorns
Chicago raised, current Boston resident. All-Practice Team in college and self-described good locker room guy. Addicted to all things sports, chicken wings and beer. Eager to share my mediocre soccer takes in sub-par prose this year.
High school senior. Amherst College bound. I’m a Colombian-American from the northwest suburbs of Chi city. I’m usually talking about soccer, music, or how stressful my last test was.
A ketchup loving individual from the NW suburbs of Chicago now living in the city. Avid EFL Championship, J-League and Bundesliga fan. When I’m not writing about divegrass, I also write about video games and food. You can usually catch me at the arcade playing rhythm games. Go Cubs!
Shaina (Red Stars Photography)
Chicago-based freelance and sports photographer. Lover of Chicago sports except for the Cubs ;). I don’t play soccer but it is my number one sport to watch and follow.
Ruben (Fire Editor)
I’m sure most of you know me by now. I’ve been with Hot Time for 9 years in various roles, and am excited to add Fire Editor to the list. I hope I can live up to the expectations the change provides, and am ready for the new season. Forza Ferrari. Go Sox.
Sandra (Red Stars Editor)
Chicago Red Stars Editor. South Side Trap Podcast Squire. Latinx. Unapologetically South Side. I love my Ma.
Bridget (Managing Editor)
Sporpswriter. Art school refugee. Super Gay. Extremely Online. I work for Howler Magazine and I’ve been published a bunch of other places. I like books and puppies and baseball and cooking and chess and the Mountain Goats. I can talk about Salt Fat Acid Heat pretty much all day. She/Her.