Fire once again create an explosion on Major League soccer draft day by trading long time Fire stalwart David Accam to the Philadelphia Union for 1.2 million in allocation money. When asked about the trade GM Nelson Rodriguez had this to say “David is a quality player, he’s still in the prime of his career. But we set out to build a championship program, we believe in what’s required to fulfill that, we think the next evolution of what we’re trying to build required a bold move. These assets that we’ve acquired give us an opportunity to accelerate toward our goal, but as I said, that production won’t be easy to replace, but we did what we felt was necessary.” Fire fans are now anxious to see what GM Nelson Rodriguez has in store for all the new resources the Fire has.
To quote another famous German “I’ll be back.” Bastian Schweinsteiger has returned to the Chicago Fire for the 2018 season. In a letter to fans he stated that he felt that there was something left unfinished with his debut season in 2017. The Fire did not come away with the 2017 season with a trophy. As Schweinsteiger said” However, our year ended without a trophy, and so it felt incomplete. As a sportsman I can not accept this but with the great support of our fans, I am sure we can create another great season.” Schweinsteiger is no stranger to trophies, including the 2014 World Cup with Germany, a UEFA Championship, eight domestic titles and seven domestic cups. He had three goals and six assists in his 2017 debut season before injuries sidelined him. With a full pre-season with the team, who knows what he can achieve.
The Fire have completed one week of preseason training at the Fire Pitch dome and now head to Florida to finish the next few weeks. They have scheduled friendly matches against the University of South Florida, the Philadelphia Union, the Montreal Impact, Nashville SC and Orlando City. They will return home February 24 and have scheduled another match at Toyota Park against their USL affiliate the Tulsa Roughnecks on March 3. The Fire begin their 2018 season on March 10th when they host Kansas City.
Three guys hoping to make their Fire debuts on that day are Homegrown defender Grant Lillard, and the two new draft picks, Mo Adams and Jon Bakero. Lillard played with the Chicago Fire Academy at the U16 and U18 levels. He was a standout in college at Indiana University. “It’s a dream come true to sign with my hometown club.” “Even with the Academy, we always talked about what it means to represent the Chicago Fire and wear the badge. To be able to do it now at the senior level and in front of hometown fans is an unbelievable honor.” Said Lillard. Jon Bakero comes with an unbelievable pedigree, his father Jose Mari Bakero played for Spanish Giants FC Barcelona. Bakero won the Mac Hermann trophy for outstanding collegiate soccer player. Adams is an English International Midfielder. “In Mo Adams, we think we got a bull terrier, we think we got a player who’s a fantastic recoverer of the ball, and both young men,” Rodríguez said of his two top-10 selections, “love and breathe football, which is very important to us.” Hang on to your scarves Fire Fans, this could be the season we finally put some silverware on the table.