BRIDGEVIEW, IL - The Chicago Fire Soccer youth development program kicks into high gear for March as several clubs fare well in tournament action and players move onto the college ranks. The Chicago Fire Juniors (CFJ) in the west suburbs recently announced its upcoming tournament schedule, while the club's U15 Red and U18 Red boys teams will join a new league. CFJ-Michigan has seen two players accepted into the Super Y ODP National Team, while one former player signs a letter-of-intent to play for Central Michigan University. CFJ-Mississippi will host its annual Spring Classic Invitational soccer tournament, while 13 of the club's players sign with collegiate soccer programs.
Chicago Fire Juniors
The Chicago Fire Juniors Senior Boys teams will certainly have a busy tournament schedule in the upcoming six weeks. The Senior Boys play in the Border Battle tournament in Jefferson City, Mo. from March 10-11, then travel to St. Louis March 24-25 to compete in the Metro Showcase. The Chicago-based Juniors will meet its Mississippi sister club when the team travels to Jackson, Miss. for the Mississippi Fire Juniors Spring Classic, held March 31 - April 1. The Senior Boys will wrap up its six-week tournament tour in Rockford, Ill. for the Spring Fling Soccer Classic held April 13-14.
The two top Chicago Fire Juniors U15 and U18 boys teams will take their game to the next level by participating in the Midwest Regional League for the 2007 season. The CFJ U15 Red will compete in the Boys U15 First Division West Red, while the U18 Red side will be in the Boys U18 First Division. Both teams will face top programs from Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. The MRL is one of the best leagues in the country and provides the highest level of competitive play for youth teams in US Youth Soccer Region II (the Midwest Region) and assures the continued growth and development of elite level players.
Chicago Fire Juniors - Michigan
Congratulations to Chicago Fire Juniors-Michigan standouts Anne Steinlage and Lauren Gagnon, who were selected for the Super Y 1992 ODP National Team from the recent tryouts in Cocao Beach, Florida. The Super Y tryout, held February 8-11, finds elite players who are later named to the Super Y-League Select Teams and exposes them to U.S. Soccer Staff Coaches for further inclusion into National Team programs. Players named to the select teams are also eligible for domestic or international trips the teams may take.
CFJ-Michigan has announced that forward Amanda Loudin officially signed a national letter-of-intent on Feb. 9 to play soccer at Central Michigan University. Loudin has been a member of the Fire Juniors-Michigan for the past three years, winning a district championship in 2005 with the CFJ-Michigan under coach Javier Lopez. The Holland, Mich. native was a two-year letter winner in soccer at Hamilton High School, earning all-district, all-conference, and all-county honors as team captain in each of the last two seasons and was a top scorer in the West Michigan Women's Hispanic Soccer League. Loudin has been a part of the American Youth Soccer Organization as a referee and a coach for five years and as a player for seven years.
The CFJ-Mich. U15 Boys began the 2007 season with a bang at the recent Atletico Flames Round Robin tournament held March 3-4 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The U15s dominated the competition, tallying 25 goals while giving up just one overall through a span of four games at the Mike Carroll Soccer Complex. In the team's first test, the U15 Boys defeated JPFC (Ky.) 3-0 with goals from Nick Heyboer, Zach Willis and Michael Gagnon. Later in the day the Juniors side crushed Vipers (Ky.) by a 10-0 margin, led by dual hat-tricks from both Willis and Heyboer, as well as goals from Gagnon, Connor McMahon, Ben Honeycutt and Matthew VanSytveld.
Day two of the tournament saw the U15s romp over Croatian Eagles (Wis.) 8-0, as Gagnon scored twice while Honeycutt, Heyboer, Willis, Christian Rossi, Jordan Tejchma, and Charlie Mulliner all added to the lead. The fourth and final game of the weekend saw CFJ-Michigan win 4-0 over Michigan Nationals (Mich.), courtesy of a two-goal game from McMahon and strikes from Heyboer and Honeycutt.
Chicago Fire Juniors - Mississippi
The following Chicago Fire Juniors-Mississippi players signed letters of intent on Feb. 7, a national signing day for high school students to play at the college level. Chicago Fire Soccer would like to congratulate the following future college players: Rachel Givan, (North Carolina), Janet Self (University Alabama Birmingham), Kendal Lee (University Alabama Birmingham), Sarah Prevost (Delta State University), Heather Roberson (Mississippi College), Lauren Host (Mississippi State University), Leanna Baldner (Mississippi State University), Emily Selman (University of Arkansas Little Rock), Jason Page (Holmes Community College), Brandon Ballou (Holmes Community College), Adam McDade (Holmes Community College), Nicholas Arcemont (Holmes Community College), and Casey Ambrose (Mississippi College).
The CFJ-Mississippi U16 Girls lost a heartbreaker in the final of the Clinton Magnolia Cup, held Feb. 16-18 in Clinton, Miss. The U16 Girls defeated Clinton Rage 3-2 with two goals coming from Ashley Malloy and one goal from Joanna Turner, but dropped its following match 0-2 to Laurel FC. The girls bounced back though, defeating Memphis FC 2-1 courtesy of another two-goal performance from Malloy to reach the final - the team's first final of the year. In the final game, the U16s tied 1-1 in regulation time with a goal scored by Katie McCain, but were defeated 4-2 in penalty kicks to take second place in the Magnolia Cup.
Chicago Fire Juniors-Mississippi has announced it will host the Spring Classic Invitational Soccer Tournament from March 30-April 1 in Ridgeland, Miss. to coincide with an MLS Exhibition Game featuring the Chicago Fire. The annual tournament will feature teams coming from all over the Southeast and even a few from the North and Northeast. The Exhibition game on March 31 will pit the Chicago Fire against CD Chivas USA at Freedom Ridge Stadium with kick off set for 7:30 p.m. CT in a re-match of last year's exhibition.
"Last year we had 156 teams attend our tournament," said Kenny White, Technical Director of CFJ-Miss. "The ability to have the MLS Exhibition game tied into the tournament takes the event to another level".
For Spring Class Invitational Tournament information and an application to compete, please visit www.mississippifirejr.com. For game and ticket information for the March 1 match-up between the Chicago Fire and Chivas USA, go to www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1419501.
Chicago Fire Juniors - Elm Grove
Members of the Elm Grove U15 Girls Academy team recently competed in the Super F Champions Cup National Futsal Tournament, held in Kansas City, MO on February 16-18. The team finished with one win, two losses and one tie, eventually falling in the semifinals. Participating members included: Katie Jacobson, Kristin Becker, Lauren Wabiszewski, Karla Valadez, Jessica Kosmider, Rhianna Seltzer, Ellen Chamberlin, and Angie Behrens.