The Chicago Fire Soccer Club is currently struggling through a rough season in Major League Soccer. But there is much more to the club than meets the eye. In an attempt to build the foundation for both its future fan base and its future roster, the Fire have assembled an extensive network of youth teams that includes more than 15,000 children.
MLS, a 20-year-old league, has only recently adopted this technique, which is modeled after the structure many European clubs use. MLS teams such as FC Dallas, the Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Fire, have built strong youth soccer organizations.
The Fire have two programs: Fire Juniors — a network of clubs made up of the majority of those 15,000 players and aimed more at building a fan base — and the Fire Academy, which is focused on cultivating elite talent.
Jess Fishlock leaped into the air. Her fist rose to the gray Seattle sky as rain poured down in sheets. A roar erupted from the Reign record 6,300 fans gathered at Memorial Stadium to celebrate the first goal of the match scored by the home side. This was the key moment when the balance shifted in the Reign’s National Women’s Soccer League match against the rival Portland Thorns on July 26, a 3-0 win for Seattle.
There has also been a positive shift in women’s soccer in the United States, especially following the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The final, in which the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 5–2, attracted the largest television audience of any American soccer game in history (25.4 million viewers) and sparked enthusiasm for the women's game across the nation.
The eight-team NWSL, of which the Seattle Reign is a member, was founded in 2012 with the idea of creating a women's soccer league in the U.S. after two previous leagues folded shortly after their formation.
The Barclays Premier League kicked into action this past Saturday, ringing in the new season with an own goal, a few wonder strikes, and a big upset. Whether you’re a newly minted observer or a seasoned fan, the start of the Premier League is one of the most exciting times on the soccer calendar. Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you get into the fledgling 2015-16 season.
1. So how does this league actually work?
Teams are awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw (no shootouts, the games can end in a tie), and zero point for a loss. The season stretches from August to May, and the team with the most points at the end is declared champion. If there’s a tie in point total, goal difference is used as the decider. The bottom three finishers are relegated to the Championship (the league below the Premier League) and three teams from the Championship come up to take their spots.
U.S. soccer superstar Abby Wambach was in New York last week to share her experience as a World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist.
On Thursday, Wambach spoke to 100 kids and a handful of adults gathered in an auditorium at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. It was part of the annual Citi Kids event, which supports youth development through a variety of programs to motivate kids and help guide them in the future.
An important part of that effort is giving kids the opportunity to interact with popular and accomplished athletes — like Abby Wambach.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup wrapped up yesterday, with Mexico defeating Jamaica, 3-1, to claim the championship trophy. It is Mexico’s seventh title in the 23-year history of the tournament.
After some uneventful play for most of the first half, Andre Guardados scored on a beautiful crossover in the 32nd minute, giving Mexico a 1-0 lead, which they held through the first half.
Within the first two minutes of the second half, Jesús Corona scored again for Mexico with an on-the-ground shot from the 18-yard line, putting Jamaica down by two. Another Mexican goal by Oribe Peralta put Jamaica in a hole they could dig out of.
Chelsea FC and Adidas have a brand-new motto for the 2015-16 soccer season: “If it’s not blue, it will be.” The slogan draws from Chelsea’s nickname (the Blues) and represents the club’s ongoing mission to conquer English and European soccer.
Chelsea can’t paint its colors across England until its season begins on August 2. So they started in the U.S. instead.
Last night, the reigning Barclays Premier League champs celebrated the launch of their new kits in New York City. But the event, held in Harlem was about more than unis. The team also hosted a two-on-two, 32-team skills tournament — and made a big announcement. Along with Adidas and its affiliate club FC Harlem, Chelsea will build a $3 million year-round soccer facility for local youth players. Construction is set to begin in 2016.
Going through Women's World Cup withdrawal? EA Sports has just what you need — even if you have to wait a couple months for it. FIFA 16 hits stores on September 22, but today we get our first look at the cover, featuring Messi and American star Alex Morgan.
“It is an incredible honor to be one of the first women featured on the cover of EA Sports’ FIFA,” said Morgan. “I know people all over the world play this game and I’m really excited that FIFA 16 is putting such an important spotlight on women’s soccer. And now to share the cover with today’s greatest player is surreal.”
But Morgan’s more than just a cover star — she’s also part of the game.