MLS

Chicago Fire – MLS Team Preview 2019

Chicago Fire - MLS Team Preview 2019

Founded in 1997, Chicago Fire are among the oldest teams in the MLS. In their long history of competing in the MLS, Chicago Fire have won 1 MLS Cup in 1998, Supporters’ Shield in 2003 and 4 U.S. Open Cup in 1998,2000,2003 and 2006. As for their last season, Chicago simply did not have the team to compete with the rest of the East. In the end, they finished 10th in their conference and 20th overall. With a bad season behind them, Chicago has added some new players, which they hope will help them on their journey to a new silverware.

 

Head Coach: Veljko Paunović

The head coach of the Chicago Fire since 2015, Veljko Paunović has had a long career as a professional player. In his 17 years long career, he has made 358 appearances for several clubs in addition to appearing for his national team, Serbia and Montenegro 2 times. His primary role was attacking midfielder or striker. As for his coaching career, Paunović has coached Serbian U18, U19 and U20 youth national teams. With the latter, he won the 2015 FIFA World Cup, which was the 2nd title for the Serbian U20 squad and the biggest achievement for Paunović as a head coach.

 

Transfers

DateNameMoving fromMoving toMode of Transfer
December 12, 2018 Cristian MartínezColumbus CrewChicago FireWaiver Draft
January 27, 2019 David OustedD.C. UnitedChicago FireWaivers
December 12, 2018 Marco UreñaLos Angeles FCChicago FireWaiver Draft
December 9, 2018 Fabian HerbersPhiladelphia UnionChicago FireTrade
January 22, 2019 Przemysław Frankowski Jagiellonia BiałystokChicago FireTransfer
December 27, 2018 Marcelo Sporting CPChicago FireTransfer
January 25, 2019 Andre Reynolds II Chicago Fire AcademyChicago FireHomegrown player
January 22, 2019 Jeremiah Gutjahr Indiana HoosiersChicago FireHomegrown player
January 13, 2019 Amando Moreno New York Red Bulls IIChicago FireTransfer
January 22, 2019 Marco UreñaChicago Fire AlajuelenseFree
December 31, 2018 Michael de LeeuwChicago Fire EmmenFree
January 30, 2019 Matt PolsterChicago Fire RangersFree
December 28, 2018 Jonathan CampbellChicago FireSeattle SoundersTrade
February 15, 2019 Daniel JohnsonChicago Fire Birmingham LegionFree

 

Expectations for the 2019 season

Key additions for the Chicago Fire which should help them finish the season higher than they did in 2018 were Marcelo from Sporting CP, who should fill the hole in the defence, which was the responsibility of Schweinsteiger and Vincent in the previous season. In addition, Chicago also signed Przemyslaw Frankowski, who is another great addition which should add some fire to Chicago midfield. This young and promising midfielder has got 4 caps for Poland and while he is not the most potent striker (23 goals in 134 games in Polish league), he is extremely fast, which should help with the ball movement. So, what has 2019 got in store for Chicago Fire? I believe they have got a good shot at the playoffs, that is if the new signings can prove their worth. All in all, I expect them to hover around the playoff spot throughout the season. In the end, I believe they will barely make it into the playoffs or barely miss them.

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