Fire suffers bad loss but makes a huge deal
A few days after suffering a 4-0 loss to expansion Atlanta, the Chicago Fire expanded its roster with a huge signing.
The Chicago Fire signed one of the biggest names to ever don a Fire uniform on Monday when they inked German and Manchester United star Bastian Schweinsteiger to a one-year contract worth a reported $4.5 million. There is also a mutual option for 2018.
“This is a very big day for our club,’’ Fire General Manager Nelson Rodriguez said. “And I believe it’s big for Major League Soccer by acquiring one of our sport’s great champions. It’s not often you can add a player not just of Bastian’s pedigree but also one who represents our values.
“This is a historic moment for our club.’’
Mixing the 32-year-old scoring threat in a roster that already features David Accam, Juninho, Michael de Leeuw, Dax McCarty and Nemanja Nikolic gives the Fire some offensive firepower after averaging just 1.1 goals per match in the 2015 and 2016 campaigns.
The MLS has an off week this week and Rodriguez said it’s possible Schweinsteiger could make his Fire debut April 1 at Toyota Park.
The new Fire star is ready to help make the team elite again.
“Through my conversations with Nelson and (coach Veljko Paunovic) I’m convinced by the club’s vision and philosophy and I want to help them with this project,’’ Schweinsteiger said.
Schweinsteiger has 24 goals in 121 international matches for Germany, had 70 goals and 103 assists in 535 first team games and has been a part of 23 major domestic and international cups – more than any previous player entering their first season in MLS.
Photo by Jeff Vorva
Fire coach Veljko Paunovic had plenty to applaud with his team the first two weeks, but suffered one of the worst defeats in his young tenure on Saturday with a 4-0 loss to expansion-team Atlanta.
ATLANTA 4, FIRE 0
This one hurt.
The Chicago Fire, puffed up from salvaging a 1-1 tie to open the season at Columbus and a 2-0 home-opening victory over Real Salt Lake, went to Atlanta on Saturday and stunk up the joint in a 4-0 loss to Atlanta United FC in front of an announced crowd of 45,922 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Now, a 4-0 spanking would be humiliating against any opponent, even an elite team in Major League Soccer.
But this came against an expansion team that had just two games under its belt.
Time will tell if Atlanta (2-1-0 with 11 goals in three matches) is the real deal or not. If so, a lot of veteran general managers are going to be scratching their heads wondering how a team can build a power from scratch while their teams are scratching for respectability.
That includes the Fire and general manager Nelson Rodriguez.
Rodriguez spent time and money this offseason to build a team that is supposed to be vastly improved over the past two seasons, when the Fire had the worst record in the league.
For two weeks, things looked good for the Fire. The team was even named the MSL Team of the Week after salting away Salt Lake. And it’s not right to freak out over the third game of the season.
But, again, this came against an expansion team that had just two games under its belt.
One could argue that the Fire deserves some slack because it played this game with only 10 men most of the way after Johan Kappelhof received a red card for clipping Josef Martinez in the 11th minute. It’s debatable whether a yellow or red card should have been issued.
But ultimately, the Fire defender put his team in a bad spot.
Martinez may have been denied a goal in the 11th minute, but he scored against the Chicago 10 in the 60th and 82nd minutes in the game and set the MLS record for scoring five goals in his first three games.
The Fire was able to put together an impressive first half after the red card, shutting Atlanta out for the final 34 minutes. But damage was already done in the fourth minute when a shot when off of defender Brendan Vincent’s foot for an own goal.
It didn’t look good that 10 men were going to stop a high-octane offense in the second half and they didn’t.
“For us, this was a hard lesson that we learned and we have to fix a lot of things,” Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said. “But I also want to appreciate the effort and hard work that all of our team had.’’
The Fire returns to action April 1 for a home game with Montreal.
The team has a long time to try to fix this.
“It’s tough when you don’t get a result,” Fire midfielder Juninho said. “It’s hard to say something, but we had a system to start, we tried to score on the counter but their team was better today. We lost a guy in the beginning of the game and it made everything complicated. But you have to move on, you have to adjust on what we did bad in this game and move on to the next one.
“This is our third game of the season and we played against a good team. They have their system and their different mission and style so we’re getting to know them for the first time. Our experience was not the best, but we have to fix a lot of things. Our coaches will talk to us throughout these two weeks. We won’t have a game because of the FIFA break, but it’s going to help us to take this time to put everything in place.”
‘Easy layup’ on abortion looking complicated
By Rich Miller As I’ve been telling my newsletter subscribers for several weeks now, talks began in mid-May about a possible special state legislative session to address the abortion issue. Gov. JB Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Chris Welch had some brief chats about bringing legislators back to town back then. Illinois…
Mayoral race comes to Archer
Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…
Two incumbents square off in new 6th District
Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…
Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights
Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…
Obituaries June 23, 2022
WIESŁAW TADEUSZ ‘Ted’ CHODOROWSKI Wiesław Tadeusz ‘Ted’ Chodorowski, age 93. Mr. Chodorowski served in the Polish Home Army during WWII. Mr. Chodorowski joined the Polish Home Army Veterans Association in the United States, eventually becoming President. Beloved husband of Anna (nee Sobecka); loving father of Beata (Keith) Niebrugge, Izabella (Johann) Stefnis, Joanna Chodorowska and Jolanta…
Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue
By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…
Worth considering limits on tobacco stores
By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…
Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District
By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…
Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment
By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…
Palos Heights neighborhood pining to eliminate speeding
By Jeff Vorva Residents in the Palos Pines subdivision are worried for their safety and their children’s safety because cars are constantly racing through the Palos Heights neighborhood. Two people spoke up at Tuesday’s city council meeting and a third had an e-mail read to the council members. Also, other neighbors have been contacting police…
CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released an opinion overturning…
6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker
By PETER HANCOCK & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Republican voters in Illinois will choose from six candidates to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the upcoming June 28 primary. The field includes a conservative farmer and state lawmakers who is the recent polling frontrunner, the mayor of Illinois’ second largest…
Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] Illinois voters might know Alexi Giannoulias as the state’s treasurer from 2007 to 2011, or they might know him as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate who lost to Republican Mark Kirk in 2010. He’s now looking to get back into public life as he runs for secretary…
Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released…
Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago City Clerk…
Republicans see opening in secretary of state race
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For the first time in nearly a quarter century, there is an open race for the office of Illinois secretary of state as incumbent Democrat Jesse White prepares to retire, and Republicans hope that will give them an opportunity to pick up a statewide elected office.…
Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to all of the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago…
Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A federal judge in Chicago handed down a one-year prison sentence Tuesday for a former state senator who once chaired the Senate Labor Committee. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of embezzlement for receiving salary and benefits from…
CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – In a 4-3 decision with a blistering dissent from the Republican minority, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to rule on a question of whether Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Act is unconstitutional. It was the second time the case of the People v. Vivian Brown came before the court and…
State audit finds billions in unemployment fraud
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A state audit released Thursday found nearly $2 billion in federal money intended to help unemployed Illinoisans during the pandemic was lost to fraudulent claims in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Employment Security blamed “insufficient and flawed federal guidance” and a lack of controls on a…