Chicago Fire Soccer
Throughout their ten seasons, the Chicago Fire have proven to be a force in Major League Soccer. The Fire have always given fans something to cheer about, winning five domestic titles; four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and an MLS Cup Championship.
For their first nine years, the Chicago Fire were the nomadic club of Chicago sports, having moved twice; once from the old Soldier Field to Naperville's Cardinal Stadium in 2002, and then back to the lakefront and the renovated version of Soldier Field in fall of 2003. But the team's third move would be its last, as the Fire proudly called the Village of Bridgeview and the brand-new TOYOTA PARK their home beginning in June of 2006. The Midwest's preeminent outdoor live entertainment and sporting facility, 20,000 seat TOYOTA PARK serves as home to not only the "Men in Red", but also hosts a variety of community events, special events, and concerts by national and international artists.
Current U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley set a precedent during the inaugural 1998 season, capturing the coveted domestic double - winning both the U.S. Open Cup and the MLS Cup. In 2002, Dave Sarachan took over the reigns and added two more Open Cup crowns, in 2003 and 2006, bringing the team to five domestic titles in just nine years. On June 20, 2007, Juan Carlos Osorio took over at the helm for the Fire, bringing his domestic and international experience to the Chicago-based club. The Chicago Fire announced on January 11, 2008 that longtime assistant coach Denis Hamlett would take over the head coaching duties for the team. Former Fire forward Frank Klopas also joined the organization as Chicago's technical director to oversee player acquisition and roster development. Daryl Shore remained with the team to serve for an eighth season as an assistant coach for the Fire, while Hamlett brought on two new assistant coaches: recently-retired Fire midfielder Chris Armas and former Fire assistant and Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) head coach Mike Jeffries.
On April 3, 2007 the Fire made arguably the most important player signing in years with the addition of Mexican international Cuauhtémoc Blanco. The Fire used its Designated Player spot to acquire the creative attacker. With international players from around the globe, including Poland, Colombia, Mexico, and Costa Rica, the team has been a melting pot of talent throughout the years.
On Aug. 31, 2007, the Fire entered a new chapter as Andell Holdings, LLC. acquired AEG's interests in the Major League Soccer Team. The Los Angeles-based company became the 12th investor-operator to join MLS.
Chicago Fire Soccer announced on January 15, 2008 a three-year, multimillion dollar agreement with Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY), making the company the official presenting sponsor and the first-ever jersey sponsor of the Fire beginning in 2008.
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