Fire wheel and deal on draft day to land Stanford defender Brandon Vincent


Fire wheel and deal on draft day to land Stanford defender Brandon Vincent

After selecting Jack Harrison with the No. 1 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, the Chicago Fire traded him away to New York City FC.

The Fire landed the No. 4 pick and general allocation money from New York City FC in exchange for Harrison. With that No. 4 pick the Fire took selected Stanford left back Brandon Vincent.

Vincent is currently in U.S. Men’s National Team camp this month to train with the U-23 group as it prepares for its Olympic qualifying playoff in March. He was a late riser on draft boards after the Cardinal won the NCAA Tournament this fall and earned extra buzz with the national team call-up.

[MORE FIRE: Fire trade No. 1 overall pick Jack Harrison to NYCFC]

He was named 2015 College Cup Defensive Most Outstanding Player and was named a first-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News. In addition, he was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

In his four-year career, Vincent made 80 appearances with 13 goals and three assists. The California native isn’t known for his attacking abilities at a left back, but was described as a solid all-around player by Travis Clark of Top Drawer Soccer.

What is interesting about the pick is that Vincent plays the same position as Joevin Jones, who was one of the bright spots for the Fire in 2015 largely playing at left back. Perhaps the Vincent pick means the new Fire regime under coach Veljko Paunovic views Jones as more of a midfielder.

[SHOP FIRE: Get your Fire gear right here]

In another draft day trade the Fire gave another mysterious player to be named later to Seattle for the 15th pick and general allocation money.

UPDATE: Fire have acquired the No. 12 and No. 22 picks and the No. 2 general allocation ranking position from the Colorado Rapids for the No. 15 and No. 33 picks and No. 1 general allocation ranking position. The Fire used the No. 12 pick to select North Carolina defender Jonathan Campbell.

Stick with for updates as the busy day of movement unfolds.

Chicago isn't hosting the 2026 World Cup, but fans should still be excited

Chicago isn't hosting the 2026 World Cup, but fans should still be excited

After failing to qualify to play in this summer’s World Cup, the United States’ pain was alleviated on Wednesday morning after earning a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

But why is this bittersweet for Chicagoans?

Even though the World Cup will be hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada in eight years, matches will not be played in Chicago.

The city chose not to be one of the potential hosts of the world’s largest sporting event, despite using Soldier Field as a venue for the 1994 World Cup.

One of the reasons could be the low seating capacity of Chicago’s historic stadium. Soldier Field would be the second smallest spot out of any World Cup host option, seating only 61,500. The massive competition also draws enormous crowds, possibly causing logistical concerns for a highly-populated place like Chicago.

Ten out of 17 different cities in the United States will be gifted the opportunity to host 2026 World Cup games. The list includes Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium) and Nashville (Nissan Stadium), which are the closest domestic locations to Chicago.

The bright side is that fans from the Midwest won’t have to travel very far to see a match. For bigtime soccer fans in the Chicago area, having the chance to attend world-class matches in United States could be exciting enough.

Out of the 80 games taking place in 2026, 60 of them will be located in the United States.

Can this bid with Mexico and Canada at least help the relevancy of U.S. Soccer in the Chicago area?

The U.S. men’s national team missed this year’s World Cup at a very unideal time, just when it seemed like the sport of soccer was gaining more and more popularity in the United States.

Plus, the United States might not even get an automatic bid to play in their own World Cup as hosts.

But becoming a member of the first trio in FIFA history to host the World Cup, coupled with the expanded 48-team field in 2026, could help the United States retain the fans they have across the nation and around Chicago.

The World Cup might not be coming to the Windy City, but Chicagoans will still have something to be excited about in 2026 with games being played right around the corner. If the U.S. can qualify for the upcoming World Cups, having the tournament in North America will be much sweeter.

Until then, the 2018 World Cup kicks off this Thursday night in Russia.

Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?


Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?

Portillo's has become a staple in the Chicagoland area due to its popular hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and now, its soccer jerseys.

OK, maybe one of these does not belong with the others. Regardless, Twitter user @JTHazzard created mock-up soccer jerseys mashing MLS teams and restaurants based in that team's city, and the Portillo's jersey is sweet. 

From the Portillo's logo taking center-stage to the picnic blanket pattern to the discrete Chicago Fire logo, this jersey is absolutely brilliant. The only change this writer would make is including the logo below instead.

Valspar is the current sponsor featured on the Fire's uniforms. If the team ever needs a new sponsor, though, Portillo's would be an excellent replacement.