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Chicago Fire players all smiles heading into Sunday’s MLS season opener

Plus, the new white jerseys, Berić, Wicky and more!

Francisco Calvo at today’s training
Patrick McCraney

The Fire trained in Chicago today for the final time this week before heading to Seattle for Sunday’s regular season opener against the Sounders. Forward Robert Berić told the media what fans should expect from the 2020 edition of the Chicago Fire.

“We are a good group,” Berić said. “A compact group. We are gonna work hard for each other, and it’s gonna be difficult to play against us.”

Head Coach Raphael Wicky starts the season without several of his new signings, who are waiting for their P1 Visas and International Transfer Certificates before they can officially join the team. Wicky said adding Gastón Giménez, Ignacio Aliseda, Boris Sekulić and Luka Stojanović to the existing group will be a good problem to have as a coach, but for now, he’ll have to wait.

“I’m happy to have more than 11 good players, because it’s not me who has to challenge the players, it’s themselves who have to challenge each other,” Wicky said. “As a coach, of course you hope you have these players earlier, but I’m also long enough in the business to know that international signings take a while. So, I’m focusing on the players we have here, and that’s my approach.”

After practice, Wicky sat down with Hot Time in Old Town for a lengthy interview, which will be out on the site soon.

Other news and notes:

  • The leaks have been out there for weeks now, but the new Fire alternate jersey was officially unveiled today. Because of the late rebrand, the Fire got stuck with what’s essentially a plain white t-shirt, so the club made the best of it and had Chicago band “Plain White T’s” help with the launch.
  • In addition, the team announced a series of 12 Chicago-themed patches that the players will have at the bottom of their jerseys this season in the “jock tag” location. The first two were unveiled today—one says “Stand for Chicago” with the Chicago flag, and the other is a flaming lantern. The patches will be available as an option for fans buying either new kit at Soldier Field this season, and will also be sold separately while supplies last.