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Chicago Fire

May 1, 2011

The Chicago Fire came into the league in 1998 and hasn’t disappointed. Chicago won the MLS Cup in its first season, the only club to do so in league history. The Fire have consistently been in playoff contention, but a second MLS Cup has eluded to them. Once known for a Eastern European contingent (they were led to the cup by a group of players known as “The Polish Bloc”), the club has recently gained a central American flavor, since the years of Cuahtemoc Blanco (Mexican great who played in MLS from 2007 to 2009 and brought in many fans around the league).

KEY PLAYERS:
Marco Pappa has emerged from the shadow of Cuahtemoc Blanco to prove that he is possibly the most talented player in the league. The gifted Guatemalan is supremely skillful on the wing and quick on the ball. Pappa joined Chicago on loan from CSD Municipal, then Chicago exercised their option to buy and Pappa rewarded the Fire, scoring 9 goals in the 2010 campaign.

Patrick Nyarko was widely thought to be the favorite to go #1 overall in the 2008 draft, but fell to #7 and Chicago is glad he did. Nyarko has proven to be a consistent threat on the wing, and along with Pappa, provides the Fire options on both flanks.

STADIUM SITUATION:
Chicago started play in 1998 at Soldier Field, home of the Bears, before moving to Naperville, Ill. while Soldier Field underwent renovations in 2002. In 2006, the Fire moved into its current home, Toyota Park (capacity: 20,000) in Bridgeview, Illinois.

MAJOR TROPHIES WON: (6)
MLS Cup (1): 1998
Supporters’ Shield (1): 2003
U.S. Open Cup (4): 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006,

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