Founded in 1997, Chicago Fire are among the oldest teams in the MLS. In their long history of competing in the MLS, Chicago Fire have won 1 MLS Cup in 1998, Supporters’ Shield in 2003 and 4 U.S. Open Cup in 1998,2000,2003 and 2006. As for their last season, Chicago simply did not have the team to compete with the rest of the East. In the end, they finished 10th in their conference and 20th overall. With a bad season behind them, Chicago has added some new players, which they hope will help them on their journey to a new silverware.
Head Coach: Veljko Paunović
The head coach of the Chicago Fire since 2015, Veljko Paunović has had a long career as a professional player. In his 17 years long career, he has made 358 appearances for several clubs in addition to appearing for his national team, Serbia and Montenegro 2 times. His primary role was attacking midfielder or striker. As for his coaching career, Paunović has coached Serbian U18, U19 and U20 youth national teams. With the latter, he won the 2015 FIFA World Cup, which was the 2nd title for the Serbian U20 squad and the biggest achievement for Paunović as a head coach.
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|Date||Name||Moving from||Moving to||Mode of Transfer|
|December 12, 2018||Cristian Martínez||Columbus Crew||Chicago Fire||Waiver Draft|
|January 27, 2019||David Ousted||D.C. United||Chicago Fire||Waivers|
|December 12, 2018||Marco Ureña||Los Angeles FC||Chicago Fire||Waiver Draft|
|December 9, 2018||Fabian Herbers||Philadelphia Union||Chicago Fire||Trade|
|January 22, 2019||Przemysław Frankowski||Jagiellonia Białystok||Chicago Fire||Transfer|
|December 27, 2018||Marcelo||Sporting CP||Chicago Fire||Transfer|
|January 25, 2019||Andre Reynolds II||Chicago Fire Academy||Chicago Fire||Homegrown player|
|January 22, 2019||Jeremiah Gutjahr||Indiana Hoosiers||Chicago Fire||Homegrown player|
|January 13, 2019||Amando Moreno||New York Red Bulls II||Chicago Fire||Transfer|
|January 22, 2019||Marco Ureña||Chicago Fire||Alajuelense||Free|
|December 31, 2018||Michael de Leeuw||Chicago Fire||Emmen||Free|
|January 30, 2019||Matt Polster||Chicago Fire||Rangers||Free|
|December 28, 2018||Jonathan Campbell||Chicago Fire||Seattle Sounders||Trade|
|February 15, 2019||Daniel Johnson||Chicago Fire||Birmingham Legion||Free|
Expectations for the 2019 season
Key additions for the Chicago Fire which should help them finish the season higher than they did in 2018 were Marcelo from Sporting CP, who should fill the hole in the defence, which was the responsibility of Schweinsteiger and Vincent in the previous season. In addition, Chicago also signed Przemyslaw Frankowski, who is another great addition which should add some fire to Chicago midfield. This young and promising midfielder has got 4 caps for Poland and while he is not the most potent striker (23 goals in 134 games in Polish league), he is extremely fast, which should help with the ball movement. So, what has 2019 got in store for Chicago Fire? I believe they have got a good shot at the playoffs, that is if the new signings can prove their worth. All in all, I expect them to hover around the playoff spot throughout the season. In the end, I believe they will barely make it into the playoffs or barely miss them.