Four Fire YDP Programs Take First Place in Weekend Tournaments
Chicago Fire Juniors Program Claims Celtic Cup Sportsmanship Award
CHICAGO, IL - The Chicago Fire Juniors, the official youth soccer club of the Chicago Fire, has announced that it will conduct tryouts for the club's U-15 through U-19 Boys teams on Sunday, Oct. 31 at Seven Gables Park in Wheaton, IL from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CT. The tryouts will be held on fields A, B, C and D at Seven Gables Park, which is located between Roosevelt Rd. and Butterfield Rd. in Wheaton. In addition, a supplemental tryout will be held on Sunday, Nov. 7 at Seven Gables Park from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CT. This date will also serve as a make-up date should weather cancel the primary tryouts on Oct. 31. For more information on the Boys senior teams tryouts, please call the Chicago Fire Juniors at 630-882-8428 or visit www.chicagofirejuniors.com.
Fire Juniors Programs Display Sportsmanship, See Success During Busy Labor Day Weekend With Labor Day weekend proving to be one of the most popular times for youth soccer tournaments throughout the Midwest, club teams from the Chicago Fire Juniors Youth Development Program were out in full force, garnering accolades for their displays both in talent and sportsmanship.
The Chicago Fire Juniors actually began their busy schedule one week earlier, with 12 teams total taking part in the Elgin Classic in Elgin, IL and the FC Milwaukee Classic in Milwaukee, WI. The CFJ teams showed strong, placing five squads in championship games, including Head Coach Scott Meineke's Girls U-17 Red team that won their age group in Milwaukee and Larry Sunderland's Girls U-18 Red side that registered a second place finish in the competition. The CFJ Girls U-16 Red (Daryl Shore), Boys U-14 Red (Evan Whitfield) and Girls U-14 Red (Sinan Selmani) teams all earned second place trophies in Elgin after playing fine soccer throughout the competition.
Over Labor Day weekend, 14 Chicago Fire Juniors teams took to the fields, with two squads earning championships and the organization being recognized for its on-field demeanor. The CFJ program went 1-for-1 at the Wheeling Classic in Wheeling, IL, as the only team to travel there, Omid Namdari's Girls U-16 White side, was crowned champion in its bracket. Meanwhile, 13 Chicago Fire Juniors teams appeared in one of Illinois' largest youth soccer tournaments, the Celtic Cup in Palatine, and came away with one title. One team - Evan Whitfield's Boys U-14 Red side - came out of Palatine with a title, but the entire organization was honored for its fair play throughout the competition and received the tournament's Sportsmanship Award for their efforts.
"The Fire's Youth Development Program - the Chicago Fire Juniors, the West Michigan Fire Juniors and Elk Grove Soccer Club - has been making steady progress in our first year and a half, and in many ways we are making huge strides," said Chicago Fire Juniors Director of Coaching Larry Sunderland. "It is special that we were recognized with the Sportsmanship Award at the Celtic Cup this weekend and we believe that is every bit as important as winning first place trophies. This is youth sports, and how you play and represent yourself is what it is all about."
The Chicago Fire Juniors were not the only member of the Fire's youth development program that enjoyed success in Palatine, as Elm Grove Soccer Club - the Fire's official youth development partner for Waukesha County in Wisconsin - had two teams take first place trophies north of the border back to Wisconsin. A pair of U-13 squads, Robin Doershner's Boys U-13 team and Digital Takawira's Girls U-13 side, both won championships for the club that joined the Fire's YDP family just four short months ago.
"We are very pleased with our early season tournament success," said Elm Grove S.C. Director of Coaching Boro Sucevic. "Our affiliation with the Fire has given us instant credibility and has allowed us to draw some of the best players and coaches in the area. We look forward to continued growth and success both on and off the field as our relationship with the Fire Youth Development Programs continues to evolve."
The West Michigan Fire Juniors had four girls teams represent the club at a pair of tournaments over the weekend, with one squad able to run the table and take home a title. The WMFJ Girls U13 Premier and Girls U-18 teams both made semifinal appearances at the Troy Soccer City Classic in Troy, MI, while the WMFJ Girls U-11 Select and Girls U-13 Select teams traveled to the Mild Cup in Hasting, MI. The U-13 Select side controlled the tournament, outscoring their opposition 15-0 in four games, including a 4-0 over Portage in the final to give the team and coach Tim Overway a deserved championship.
"It was a very good tournament weekend. We had some teams that were playing together in a tournament for the first time and they did very well," said WMFJ Executive and Technical Director Ian McMahon. "The girls showed that they have the potential to develop into very good players. It was great to see a team win one of the tournaments."