By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 19, 2023) US Soccer Players - When Chicago hired Ezra Hendrickson away from his position as an assistant coach with the Columbus Crew, his move into a top job in MLS felt long overdue. The former MLS defender arrived in Chicago in November 2021 with a reputation as one of the most respected assistant coaches in the league. Few first-time coaches get jobs that . . .
Chicago and LAFC as examples of squad building in MLS, Turner in goal for Arsenal’s FA Cup win
Tuesday's soccer news starts with MLS teams roster building in early January, specifically what's happening with the Chicago Fire and LAFC. Why these two out of the 29 teams in the league? For Chicago, it's a question of what might've worked last season and for LAFC it's maintaining what did work in 2022. Chicago's situation starts with the defense. Gaga Slonina's move to Chelsea leaves them . . .
First year coaches in MLS at the midway point
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (July 8, 2022) US Soccer Players - While there's a semantic argument about how many suggest a trend, Major League Soccer's 2022 season arrived with several coaches getting their first chance in charge of a topflight team. Whether or not this is a turn in who clubs consider for their open coaching jobs, the opportunities were clearly there. Taking them were long-time . . .
Chelsea advances to FIFA Club World Cup final, Monterrey finishes 5th
Thursday's soccer news starts with a goal for a USMNT player in the Scottish Premiership. Christian Ramirez scored in Aberdeen's 3-2 home loss to Cameron Carter-Vickers's Celtic. Jota put Celtic up in the 16th minute and Matt O'Riley doubled the lead in the 20th. Ramirez pulled a goal back for Aberdeen in the 56th and Lewis Ferguson equalized in the 61st. Celtic took the lead for good when Jota . . .
Resetting the squads and expectations in Chicago and Miami
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 9, 2022) US Soccer Players - The Chicago Fire is starting over again. Inter Miami is doing the same, but for the first time. Beyond that difference, the two clubs enter 2022 very much in the same rickety boat. A boat they're trying to mend while at sea. Transforming a soccer team while moving through the rhythms of seasons and off-seasons is a little like . . .
Chicago’s Przybylko deal highlights the importance of allocation money
Wednesday's soccer news starts with Kacper Przybylko's move from Philadelphia to Chicago for a total of $1.15m in allocation money. Not lost on anyone is that Przybylko scored a dozen goals for the Union last season, double the next player on the list. Taking Chicago's allocation money now requires more of a revamp than most expected for Philadelphia. It also set another metric for valuing players . . .
The Chicago Fire’s changes
Tuesday's soccer news starts with the image issue for MLS clubs. For the 2022 season and its move back to Soldier Field, the Chicago Fire debuted a new crest. It didn't go well. Faced with fan backlash while playing through a strange season, the Fire's management acted. The club would get another new badge closer to the original. Unveiled in June, the Fire started offering merchandise with the new . . .
The Chicago Fire’s Soldier Field story continues
By J Hutcherson (Sep 21, 2021) US Soccer Players - In the original era of the Chicago Fire playing at Soldier Field, getting from the press box to the locker room was almost a form of time travel. Exit the modern press box, take the elevator down to the main concourse. Walk across to what looks like a random door that opens into the space underneath the bleachers. Step along the two-by-fours laid . . .
Ambition and expectation in the MLS playoff race
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Sep 8, 2021) US Soccer Players - There's a point in every race when competitors off the lead pace have to make a move if they want a chance at victory. In some cases, kicking into high gear is part of the strategy. Giving it everything down the stretch can be a part of the game. It's not a direct comparison with how a playoff race tends to work. Still, every MLS . . .
Chicago’s new new logo
Monday's soccer news starts with the Chicago Fire announcing their revamped rebrand. After public dissatisfaction with the club's new logo, they regrouped and tried again. The result is closer to the traditional version of the Fire crest, but minus the overt fire department branding. If social media is the judge we all pretend it is, the result is another reason to revert to the original logo. . . .