Fire's all-time leader in goals to be inducted into Ring of Fire


Fire's all-time leader in goals to be inducted into Ring of Fire

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Wednesday that Fire Original Ante Razov will be inducted into the club's Hall of Fame, better referred to as the Ring of Fire.

The announcement comes 12 years after the tradition began with former midfielder and captain Peter Nowak being the first member to be recognized.

"We are excited to induct Ante Razov into the Ring of Fire, the Club’s highest honor," said Chicago Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman in the club's press release. "Ante was not only an incredible striker for the Fire, but was one of the most prolific goal-scorers in MLS history. His passion and dedication helped instill a hard-working mentality in this Club since 1998 and we are pleased to honor his contributions with an induction into the Ring of Fire."

Razov, who plied his trade in Chicago in two separate stints (1998-2000, 2001-2004), joins an esteemed group of fellow Ring of Fire members: Nowak, former defender Lubos Kubik, former forward and head coach Frank Klopas, former General Manager Peter Wilt, former head coach Bob Bradley, former midfielder Chris Armas and former defender and assistant coach C.J. Brown.

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A native of Whittier, Calif., Razov is currently the Fire's all-time leading goalscorer (76) and is fourth all-time in MLS history with 114 career goals.

"I am truly honored to be selected as one of the few men in the Ring of Fire,” Razov added. "To be among the greats of the Fire is the most gratifying feeling. We had a very special group of people during my time and this feeling has never escaped me. This recognition brings back the best memories of my playing career.  

"I would like to thank Andrew Hauptman, whom personally called, members of the Ring of Fire, my former teammates and coaches, as well as the wonderful fans of the Chicago Fire! I am humbled."

Razov, who serves as an assistant coach for Seattle Sounders FC, will be honored in a ceremony prior to the Men in Red's home match against the New England Revolution on Saturday, Oct. 3.   

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.