Chicago Fire

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Season Guide
2020

Chicago Fire

In


Álvaro Medrán (mid) Valencia, Robert Berić (att) Saint-Etienne, Miguel Navarro (def) Deportivo La Guaira, Bobby Shuttleworth (gk) Sacramento Republic, Wyatt Omsberg (def) Minnesota United, Boris Sekulić (def) Gornik Zaberze, Ignacio Aliseda (mid) Defensa y Justicia, Luka Stojanović (mid) FK Čukarički), Connor Sparrow (Nashville FC)

Out


Bastian Schweinsteiger (def) retired, Nemanja Nikolić (att) Fehérvár FC, Dax McCarthy (mid) Nashville SC, Grant Lillard (def) Inter Miami, Stefan Cleveland (gk) Seattle Sounders, Nicolás Gaitán (mid) Lille, Aleksandar Katai (att) LA Galaxy, Cristian Martínez (mid) Cadiz, Amando Moreno (mid) New Mexico United, David Ousted (gk) Hammarby, Richard Sánchez (gk) Sporting Kansas City, Marcelo (def) Paços de Ferreira, Raheem Edwards (def) Minnesota United

Chicago endured a miserable campaign last time out, failing to make the play offs for a 2nd consecutive season. Despite a strong, unbeaten end to the season, early inconsistency saw the Fire finish just outside the play off spots and exit the US Open Cup and Leagues Cup at the first hurdle. There have been a number of crucial changes for Chicago over the close season. On the playing front, key man Bastian Schweinsteigger departs with his replacement, Boris Sekulic, something of an unknown quantity. Chicago's lacklustre attack is further weakened by Nikolic's departure. Beric seems a solid replacement but could struggle to replicate his predecessor's scoring record. Sapong will likely be given a more central role after a good campaign. Midfield is a promising area, with the likes of Bronico bolstered by new signings Medran and Stojanović. Dax McCarthy's departure is a blow but the new arrivals cover his absence well. Meanwhile, the Fire's move to Soldier Field, within Chicago city limits, could change their form with expected larger crowds creating a more intimidating atmosphere at home games.

Target


The club will be keen to build on their solid end to last season and move to a more central area with immediate success and anything less than a play off finish will be regarded as a failure. How quickly the new additions can blend in with established players will be key.

Season Review
2019

№17: Chicago Fire

Chicago’s final season at their Bridgeview stadium was largely disappointing, with the club failing to reach the play offs for the second season on the run. Poor early form saw them take only 2 wins from their first 10 games. Slight improvement throughout culminated in a 5 game unbeaten run at the end of the season, but it was not enough to salvage anything for Chicago. Chicago failed to find consistency with no more than 2 wins strung together all season. Ended season with best run of form, 5 games unbeaten. An attacking line led by CJ Sapong and Nemanja Nikolic often ran riot, scoring 5 goals on 3 separate occasions. But they relied largely on confidence, failing to score entirely in 7 games. Dax McCarty was a consistent performer in midfield while Kenneth Kronholm was solid in goal. Djorde Mihalovic emerged as a strong prospect. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s retirement, along with the departure of Nikolic means Chicago have lost two key players, but now have a pair of extra DP slots to work with. Next season could be the beginning of a new era, with a new board, new stadium and a host of new players to revitalise the Chicago operation.


Player of the Season: Bastian Schweinsteiger

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