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Chicago Fire finish day one of small group training

Plus, Katai released, Nini’s dropped, and news from Madison in today’s Hot Time notebook

Djordje Mihailovic
Chicago Fire FC

Chicago Fire players trained at SeatGeek Stadium today for the club’s first day of voluntary small group sessions.

The small group sessions are the next stage of the MLS plan to return to play after the COVID-19 shutdown. They allow for more players on the field than the individual sessions, which the Fire began a week ago.

“Oh man, it just feels good to kind of just get out and run around, pass with your teammates, we didn’t really get to do that (before today),” midfielder Brandt Bronico said, in a video provided by the team. “It was kind of awkward doing the individual sessions, what we were doing at home we just came here and did it on the field, so being with the guys kind of boosted the mood.”

Bronico said these sessions are primarily technical work. He said he expects more tactical and fitness work when the Fire are able to advance to full team training sessions.

In other Fire news...

Former Chicago Fire midfielder Aleksandar Katai is no longer a member of the LA Galaxy, following racist social media posts made by his wife. A statement from the club said the Galaxy and Katai “have mutually agreed to part ways.” Katai signed with the Galaxy in the off season after two seasons with the Fire.

Also today, the Fire cut all ties with Nini’s Deli:

Finally, The USL League One Board of Governors approved a return to play plan today, that could see the return of matches as soon as July 18. Under current rules in Dane County, Wisconsin, the Fire’s USL partner Forward Madison would not be able to host home matches at Breese Stevens Field.

“Forward Madison is committed to playing games only when it is safe for both players and fans. Currently, Forward Madison cannot host games at Breese Stevens Field in accordance with the Forward Dane reopening plan. Under the framework, Forward Madison will not host home matches at Breese Stevens Field until Public Health Madison and Dane County guidelines allow for games to be played,” the team said in a release.