Chicago Fire Youth Development update

CHICAGO - With the sight of spring just around the corner, the Chicago Fire Juniors continues both competition and training in advance of the upcoming 2006 outdoor season. In efforts to extend its relationship with the Wheaton Park District, the Chicago Fire is solidifying ongoing agreement talks. The Fire Juniors has also announced its competing squads in the upcoming Spring Fling, while the Boys U17 Red showed grit and a will to win in the recent Las Vegas Coaches Classic. Tryouts have begun for the West Michigan Fire Juniors' Y-League squads, while Chicago Fire Juniors Elm Grove continues its winter training as new fields undergo construction.

Chicago Fire to Continue Success with Fire Juniors and Wheaton Park District
Keeping in stride with being the premier Youth Development program in Major League Soccer, the Chicago Fire is excited to continue its partnership with the Fire Juniors, the official youth club of the Fire. Hosted by the Wheaton Park District, the Chicago Fire Juniors will continue its successful travel squads, ranging from ages 8 to 23. The Fire will continue to supply coaching curriculum and personnel to provide quality youth development for the suburban Chicago club.

"On behalf of Chicago Fire Soccer I'd like to extend a thank you to the Wheaton Park District for providing a home for our Chicago Fire Juniors," said Chicago Fire President/CEO, John Guppy. "The Fire Juniors provide a positive opportunity for those in the Chicagoland area to improve his or her soccer skills at the highest possible levels. We look to extend the Wheaton Park District relationship to ensure that we can provide the best possible training environment for our players."

The Chicago Fire Juniors celebrates its fourth season of operation beginning this fall.

"The relationship between the Chicago Fire, the Fire Juniors, and the Wheaton Park District has proved to be mutually beneficial for all parties involved," said Chicago Fire Director of Soccer and Team Development Roland Hahn. "The success of the club is in no small part due to the tireless efforts of those individuals at both organizations who share the Fire's vision of player development. The District's facilities and organization have helped provide us with the tools necessary to run a top youth development program."

Fire Juniors Teams Set to Prepare for Upcoming Action in 2006
The following 16 Chicago Fire Juniors teams have been pegged to participate in the Spring Fling Invitational in Rockford, IL on April 7-9: Girls U11 White, U13 Red, U13 White, U14 White; and Boys U11 Red, U12 Red, U14 Red, U14 White, U14 Blue, U15 Red, U16 Red, U16 White, U17 Red, U17 Blue, U18 Red and U19 Red. In addition to those participating in the Spring Fling, the Fire Juniors will also send the Girls U11 Red and U12 Red squads to the Mid-American Soccer Classic in Fairfield, OH that same weekend. Best of luck to all CFJ teams with their Spring 2006 seasons!

U17 Red Boys Show Well in Las Vegas Coaches Classic
This past February the Fire Juniors U17 Red Boys displayed quality soccer throughout the duration of the Las Vegas Coaches Classic, finishing the event with a 2-1-1 overall record. The Fire Juniors opened play with a 1-0 win over Gate City PVSC Stallions, followed by a crushing 5-1 performance over the New Mexico Rush Nike. The U17 Reds took on the reigning Nevada State champions, Las Vegas Premier 89 White, battling to a 1-1 draw and finished the Classic with a close result against Ohio FC Barcelona, a 0-1 loss.

Fire Juniors-West Michigan Begins Y-League Tryouts; Sees Players Selected to Michigan ODP Teams
Tryouts for all Boys U13-U20 and Girls U13-U17 Fire Juniors-West Michigan Super Y-League squads are presently taking place. Dan McAllister has joined the CFJ-West Michigan as Director of Coaching and will be heading up the Super Y-League program.

The CFJ-WM would like to congratulate seven of its players recently making the Michigan State Olympic Developmental Program team. The following players have been selected to attend ODP Regional Camps in July: Aliina Weykamp ('93 Girls); Connor McMahon, Brayden West and Christian Rossi ('92 Boys); and Anne Steinlage, Lauren Gagnon and Kaylyn Borgman ('92 Girls).

Fire Juniors-Elm Grove Continues Work Through Winter Season
Chicago Fire Juniors-Elm Grove carries on its work through the winter season, continuing successful weekly workout sessions in preparation for the upcoming 2006 spring season. Showing the competition that it never rests, CFJ-Elm Grove has had around 70 kids working hard every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon in full outdoor training sessions.

Chicago Fire Juniors-Elm Grove is also proud to announce the current construction of eight brand-new soccer fields, located near Elm Grove Park. Work is continuing now and the fields are to be completed by the end of fall 2006.