Fire

Fire trade No. 3 pick in MLS SuperDraft

nelsonrodriguez-0804.jpg
USA TODAY

Fire trade No. 3 pick in MLS SuperDraft

Last year the Chicago Fire made three trades in the first round and this year is off to a similar start.

The Fire traded the No. 3 pick in Friday's Major League Soccer SuperDraft to New York City FC. In return the Fire received $250,000 in allocation money.

The league will be announcing the amount of allocation money in trades going forward and this trade was the first to have the dollar amount announced.

Minnesota opened the draft by taking Abu Danladi out of UCLA and Atlanta followed by taking Syracuse’s Miles Robinson. NYCFC took Jonathan Lewis out of Akron with the No. 3 pick received from the Fire.

General manager Nelson Rodriguez said on a video before the draft released by the club saying the Fire received “five concrete offers from different clubs from both our first round picks,” but the Fire held onto the No. 3 pick. The Fire also have the No. 11 pick in the first round.

"We had explored trying to purchase another pick in the top 10 so we would have No. 3 and one other selection," Rodriguez said after the draft. "We had explored trading down from three, swapping spots and adding resources. We had also discussed making a selection. In the end we feel that the money we were able to secure via general allocation puts us in a better position to try to close one of these targets that we have had for several weeks.”

General allocation money can be used in a number of different ways to give the Fire more cap space.

"We can use it to acquire players within the league or we can use it to buy down salary against a team’s salary budget," Rodriguez said. "In the end we’re hopeful now that this will enable us to close the final gap and finalize some things.”

MLS, U.S. soccer suspend play in response to coronavirus

mls.jpg
USA TODAY

MLS, U.S. soccer suspend play in response to coronavirus

American soccer is going on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MLS announced on Thursday they are suspending the season for 30 days in response to the coronavirus. U.S. Soccer later announced that they have suspended men's and women's national team games through April.

The Chicago Fire kicked off their season on March 1 and were scheduled to make their home debut at Soldier Field on March 21. 

The NBA announced the indefinite suspension of its season Wednesday after a Utah Jazz player was diagnosed with the virus. The NHL has advised teams to cancel practices and meetings.

Manchester City brings Premier League trophy to Chicago ahead of preseason game in Soldier Field

city-trophy-epl.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Manchester City brings Premier League trophy to Chicago ahead of preseason game in Soldier Field

Manchester City is coming off a season in which it dominated the English Premier League to the tune of a record 100-point season.

City is kicking off the preseason of its title defense in Chicago. City takes on Borussia Dortmund at Soldier Field on Friday night.

The last time the reigning Premier League champions were in Chicago was when rivals Manchester United came to Soldier to take on the Chicago Fire in 2011.

The Citizens won’t have the full arsenal of stacked stars for its U.S. tour, which also includes stops in New York and Miami as part of the International Champions Cup. Many of the team’s best players are getting a break after playing in the World Cup. Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne, one of the stars of the tournament, is one of six Man City players to reach the semifinals.

Paul Dickov, who played for City for nearly 10 years between 1996 and 2008, is on tour with the team and talked about City’s preparations.

“The reason the clubs want to come to the States and play in International Champions Cup is the facilities are fantastic, the training facilities, the hotels, the treatment they get and just give them the best preparation going into what’s going to be a hard season,” Dickov said. “Nobody has won the Premier League back-to-back titles for nearly 10 years now so it’s going to be tough. Coming here and being able to prepare the way they can in the United States is going to put them on a long way to regain the title again.”

City brought the Premier League trophy to Wrigley Field on Thursday for the Cubs-Cardinals game. Dickov got to throw out the first pitch. The Scotsman threw a strike, much to his relief.

“I was quite calm beforehand, but I must admit when I got out there and I had to walk out there both hands started getting a bit sweaty,” he said. “I managed to make it and I got a fantastic reception off the Chicago Cubs fans so thank you to everybody at Chicago Cubs for having me there. It was great. Something I’ll never forget.”


Dickov compared Cubs fans to City fans in the way both teams struggled for a long time before finding success.

“They stuck by us through thick and thin when things weren’t as great,” Dickov said of Man City fans. “I suppose it’s a little bit like the Chicago Cubs here in Chicago. The fans turn out, they get 30-40 thousand, great atmosphere, back their team.”

While promoting the game, the Premier League trophy made multiple stops in Chicago, including with the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on an off day.

City also took the trophy and new signing Riyad Mahrez, who just joined Man City from 2016 champions Leicester City, to Haas Park in Logan Square. Haas Park includes a soccer field donated by Manchester City and the American embassy of the United Arab Emirates in 2012.

“The outcome of it has been great,” Dickov said. “Thousands of children and families benefiting, not just from the soccer part of it, but the education program as well. To be down there the other day for the full day and seeing the joy in the kids face seeing soccer here and the other activities that are on is great because, yeah, football is fantastic, soccer is fantastic and when you’re out there and you play you want to win, but it’s important, especially from Manchester City’s point of view, the city and the community. The stuff that they do off the field is second to none and it’s giving something back.”