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Apr
23

World Cup Depth added to the Chicago Fire

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire announced another big international signing today as the team introduced the German World Cup veteran, Arne Friedrich. This German defender has represented the national team 82 times since 2002, and the signing will give the Men in Red even more depth and veteran experience on a backline that may need to step up at times during the upcoming campaign - with the expected international absences of starting GK Sean Johnson. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it looks like this could be a great potential signing for the club, and hopefullly lead them on their way as a surging franchise.

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Mar
25

An Open Letter to Andrew Hauptman

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

Dear Mr. Hauptman, 

I'll get right to the point. It's time for you to sell the Chicago Fire. Please, sell the club to someone who cares about, well anything. Someone who cares about the City of Chicago. Someone who cares about the club. Someone who cares about the supporters. Someone who cares about winning. 

Ask any of the 5,100 folks (No, the actual attendance wasn't even close to the pathetic 9,000 announced) who sat in the freezing cold last night to watch this team post yet another embarrassing performance what the problem is and 90% of them will tell you the same thing - this team has no attacking threat. Unfortunately, many of those same people will say that it's time for the club to sack Frank Klopas and move in a new direction. I see a bigger problem. I see a club with a staff who has yet to be given the tools they need to have sustained success. 

While New York gets Henry, Cahill, etc..., and LA gets Beckham, Donovan, Keane, and likely Lampard, what does Chicago get? Puppo? Robayo? MacDonald? Nazarit? Puerari? And on and on and on. Now, I'm not saying that Chicago Fire needs a big name player, it would be nice - but not necessary. What we need is a player who can actually play. Not some garage sale find who might be able to make an impact on the team. 

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and a major sports town, yet only 5,100 people showed up last night. Why? It certainly wasn't because of the cold, just look at the crowd that showed up in Colorado for the USMNT match in the snow. It wasn't because Chicago doesn't like soccer, look at any big time match held at Soldier Field. The reason people don't show up is because the product on the field doesn't warrant spending the money. I know *former* season ticket holders who have said that they refuse to put another dime into this club because clearly the owner can't be bothered to do the same. 

It takes money to make money. If you invest in this club and put a product on the field that will compete with the top tier clubs in this league, people will come out. It's been 7 years since Chicago has had silverware. Either open up the checkbook, give the staff the tools they need to put together a club that can compete, or do all of us in Chicago a favor - sell the team to someone who cares.

Signed, 

JR Patton, Season Ticket Holder

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Mar
09

Fire Stay Goalless and Winless in 1-0 Loss to Revs

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

DSC 0100The Chicago Fire returned home Saturday night to open their 2013 home campaign after a crushing 4-0 loss in LA last Sunday. While the defending was markedly better this week, the midfield play was still sloppy and the finishing in the final third was downright atrocious - all of this leading to a 1-0 loss in front of an announced attendance of 13,242. 

The loss will send the Fire to 0-2-0 (0 pts) on the young 2013 season, and will certainly get the fans in a tizzy. The club has not had an 0-2-0 start since the 2000 campaign when they opened with losses at Dallas and at Kansas City. We'll break down the bad, the worse, and the flat out awful after the break. 

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Mar
06

Galaxy Show No Signs of Championship Hangover in 4-0 Thumping of the Men in Red

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

DSC 0883After waiting 123 long days since their disappointing playoff loss to the Houston Dynamo, the new look Fire were ready to get the 2013 campaign underway on Sunday. Ready right until the opening whistle. 

After an off season that saw the retirement of midfielder Pavel Pardo, the departure of veterans Dan Gargan and Dominic Oduro, and the addition of several new players, the Fire were looking to move beyond the disappointment of 2012, and move into 2013 with a fresh start and all eyes on an MLS Cup. With a promising pre-season behind them, Fire players and supporters alike were bubbling over with excitement on Facebook and Twitter as the opening kick neared on Sunday afternoon. Everyone knew that opening the season on the road against the 2 time defending champions wouldn't be easy, but there was still a sense of optimism in the air, the feeling of freshness that you get with each new season. LA was playing without Landon Donovan, and had lost the legendary David Beckham in the off season, why couldn't the Fire start the season off right?

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Sep
18

One Point Out of First - How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going Next?

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

DSC_0593It’s been a while since Hook ‘N Ladders has posted a full length story about the club that we all love so much. I apologize for the delay in posts, but I hope that you’ve continued to follow along with us on Twitter and listen to us on O’Leary’s Podcast. If you haven’t, well then you’re just plain missing out! But here we are, back in the business of writing full length analyses, opinions, and other random junk – so fasten your seat belts and let’s get this thing rolling.

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May
30

From the Final to Misery: A USOC Recap and Other Thoughts on the 2012 Campaign

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

4_CupsThe Chicago Fire have 4 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup titles, more than any other MLS club. They've been in the final a total of six times, including last season's defeat at the hands of Seattle Sounders. The Fire are the "Kings of the Cup". So, when MLS clubs entered the competition in the third round last night, the Fire were looking for an easy win vs. the PDL Michigan Bucks. Apparently no one told the Bucks that they weren't supposed to win. 

Sure, you can take a look at the starting XI that Frank Klopas fielded, and even the gameday 18 and say that it's not a huge surprise that this side couldn't bring back the victory and move on to the next round. But even an MLS reserve squad should be able to beat a PDL team, if not than why are they playing on our reserve squad? What does that say about the depth of this club?

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May
09

Chicago Fire v. Real Salt Lake - Match Preview

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

Regardless of the result, tonight will go down as a very special night in both Fire and Toyota Park history. Fire original and legend, CJ Brown will be inducted into the Ring of Fire at Toyota Park during a special halftime ceremony. If you can remember back to last seasons matchup with RSL, CJ was lauded with cheers of "Ring of Fire" from Section 8 - a show of respect for the former Fire great and current RSL assistant coach. 

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Apr
30

Progress Report

Author // Raul BarrazaPosted in // Chicago Fire

The Fire are 5 2/3 games into the season with a key stretch of games coming up. The next few games should give us a better picture of how far the team has come this season but enough about the future, how has the team done up to this point?

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Apr
30

Fire Lose 2-1 at Home to Seattle

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

DSC_0238Okay, the debate seems to have calmed down over the post from last night, so now I can get to the full match recap. I'm two days late, but as most of you saw, I was a little busy warding off vicious Seattle supporters last night.

You've seen the score, you've seen the fight, you've heard about all that, let's get into the match itself.

Coming off a 3-2 victory in Toronto, I was hopeful that the offense might have finally found their stride - but I was cautiously optimistic since the outburst came against the worst team in the league. As it turns out, I was right to be only cautiously optimistic. 

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Apr
16

Chicago Fire Welcome Back Chris Rolfe

Author // JR PattonPosted in // Chicago Fire

Fresh off the disappointment of last night's match that was called early, I woke up this morning moving a little slower than normal. Then something amazing happened...I read a tweet that changed my day.

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