Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Fans angry, but Fire boss Andrew Hauptman has support ]]>

When retiring midfielder Logan Pause received a standing ovation as he left the Fire’s 2014 finale Friday against the Houston Dynamo in the 78th minute, it created a positive memory for the season. Unfortunately, warm moments have been rare for the Fire, who ended their season with a 2-1 victory, thanks to a stoppage-time goal by Florent Sinama-Pongolle. They missed the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five seasons, and fan anger has gotten more  intense, with much of it directed at chairman Andrew Hauptman. The main charges against Hauptman are that he’s unwilling to spend money and … ]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:29:06 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fire midfielder Logan Pause ready for career finale ]]> Lead story image

Midfielder Logan Pause gets it. Every time Pause puts on a Fire jersey, he sees it as a privilege. He knows the pride and emotion the badge and colors evoke from the team’s fans. Those are things the retiring Pause never has taken lightly during his 12 years with the Fire, a run that will wrap up in the season finale Friday against the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park. ‘‘It’s something that I take a lot of pride in — representing this club, representing these fans, representing this city,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s been a blessing and a joy to do … ]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:33:53 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fire winless streak at eight with loss to D.C. United ]]>

WASHINGTON — Chris Pontius scored in the first half and Eddie Johnson in the second to lead D.C. United to a 2-1 victory Saturday against the visiting Fire in Major League Soccer action. The result stretched United’s unbeaten streak to five games and enabled them to clinch first place in the Eastern Conference a season after they finished with 24 losses and the fewest points in MLS. United (17-9-7) opened the scoring when Pontius headed a perfect cross from Johnson past Fire goalie Kyle Renish in the 31st minute. Johnson made it 2-0 when he forced a turnover in the … ]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:40:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tie dashes Fire’s hopes for playoffs ]]> Lead story image

The Fire’s long-shot playoff hopes were dashed in the most appropriate way Sunday afternoon. In a mostly uneventful game that will be remembered for the debut of their new black alternate jersey and little else, the Fire played the last-place Montreal Impact to a 0-0 tie. Needing a victory to stay alive, their 18th draw eliminates the Fire (5-8-18, 33 points) from the playoff chase with three games left and keeps them out of the postseason for the fourth time in five years. And if you hadn’t watched any of the Fire this year, the draw with the Impact (6-18-7, … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 21:17:15 -0600 <![CDATA[ Frank Yallop sees lost points in Fire’s dubious MLS record for ties ]]> Lead story image

It’s not coach Frank Yallop’s job to create marketing slogans for the Fire. But after a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Thursday night, Yallop came up with something that would be accurate — ­albeit not too exciting — about the 2014 Fire. “All season, we’ve just been the tie kings, if you like,” Yallop said. “At this point, with our group, it’s growing and we’ve got to add ­quality to it next season. It’s not ­going to be easy, but we’ve got a lot of points out of games that maybe we shouldn’t have.” Thursday’s game was probably … ]]> Sat, 04 Oct 2014 20:47:16 -0600 <![CDATA[ Frank Yallop: Opening wallet isn’t a problem for Fire ]]> Lead story image

There’s an ever-growing perception that the Fire are cheap — that under chairman Andrew Hauptman, they aren’t willing to spend big on the kind of players they need to win big in Major League Soccer. Coach Frank Yallop ­disputes that perception. ‘‘It’s not true at all,’’ Yallop said. ‘‘I’ve had great conversations with Andrew, and I told him, ‘Let’s not waste your money.’ Andrew has spent a lot of money on this team. I think it’s up to $10 million on players above the cap. He’s not afraid to spend it — it’s just spending it right. I wanted to … ]]> Mon, 03 Nov 2014 10:54:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Reunion with Dynamo’s DaMarcus Beasley recalls Fire’s heyday ]]> Lead story image

When the Fire visit the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, they’ll be reunited with one of their greatest players. The Dynamo’s DaMarcus Beasley played parts of five Major League Soccer seasons with the Fire and established himself as one of MLS’ most dangerous players, propelling him to an international career that has sent him to four World Cups. Perhaps more painfully, the sight of Beasley also will be a reminder of what the Fire once were. When Beasley came to Chicago in 2000, the Fire were two years removed from winning the MLS Cup and were one of the top teams … ]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:26:20 -0600 <![CDATA[ Harry Shipp plays well in return to Fire’s lineup ]]> Lead story image

One of the Fire’s few positives from their 3-3 draw with D.C. United last Saturday was the return of rookie midfielder Harry Shipp to the starting lineup. Shipp started the season looking like a front runner for Rookie of the Year honors but hit a first-year wall and struggled to get through. He hasn’t scored a goal since July 2, and his assist Saturday was his first since July 19. Saturday was his first start since Aug. 23 and his impact was felt beyond the assist. He challenged D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid and helped direct an offense that scored … ]]> Sun, 26 Oct 2014 07:49:56 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tyin’ shame: Fire equal mark in draw with D.C. United ]]> Lead story image

Coach Frank Yallop lamented two big calls that went against the Fire on Saturday night at Toyota Park. D.C. United’s first goal came on a penalty after Bakary Soumare was whistled in the box, and they tied the game on a free kick moments after Razvan Cocis was called for a foul Yallop didn’t see. Yallop probably had a legitimate argument on both decisions by referee Fotis Bazakos, but the Fire were incapable of closing out a game they led by two goals. That inability to finish meant the best they could do was a 3-3 tie, their 16th of … ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:25:30 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fire would be wise to follow D.C. United’s lead ]]> Lead story image

This doesn’t look like it will be the Fire’s season. The Fire enter the game Saturday against D.C. United ninth in the Eastern Conference and seven points out of a playoff spot. They have 15 ties and are one draw away from matching the league record they and the New York Red Bulls set in 2011. But when they play D.C. United, they’ll be looking at a team they’ll want to emulate. In 2013, D.C. United was expected to be a playoff contender but was wrecked by injuries and finished as the league’s worst team with 16 points and three … ]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:41:57 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fire blow another late lead on their bad turf ]]>

Like it has been all season, the Toyota Park playing surface was poor Saturday night. To keep pace, the Fire also did a couple of things they’ve been known to do this year. Lovel Palmer scored in the 11th minute but Dwayne De Rosario equalized in the 89th, and the Fire tied Toronto FC 1-1 in front of a season-high announced crowd of 18,691. The Fire (5-7-15, 30 points) stayed seven points out of the final playoff spot with seven games left. The Fire could have gained more ground, but they were once again haunted by a missed penalty kick … ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:42:16 -0600