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Chicago Fire Premier

Chicago Fire Premier are an American soccer team, founded in 2001 as part of the development system for the Chicago Fire Major League Soccer club. Until 2005 they were known as the Chicago Fire Reserves. Beginning with the 2008 season, they are referred to as the Chicago Fire PDL. The team is a member of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, and play in the Midwest Division of the Central Conference against teams from Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and South Bend.

They team plays their home games at Toyota Park in the city of Bridgeview, Illinois, the home of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club first team. The team's colors are red and white.

The team is one of the most successful in the PDL, having won their respective divisional title seven times in eight years, and hold a PDL record of qualifying for the playoffs eight straight seasons, every season they have played.

2008 Roster

Year-by-year

Year Division League Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup
2001 4 USL PDL 1st, Great Lakes Conference Finals Did not qualify
2002 4 USL PDL 1st, Great Lakes Conference Semifinals Did not qualify
2003 4 USL PDL 1st, Heartland National Final Did not qualify
2004 4 USL PDL 1st, Heartland Conference Finals 3rd Round
2005 4 USL PDL 1st, Great Lakes Conference Semifinals 2nd Round
2006 4 USL PDL 1st, Great Lakes Conference Finals Did not qualify
2007 4 USL PDL 2nd, Great Lakes Conference Finals Did not qualify
2008 4 USL PDL 1st, Midwest Divisional Round Did not qualify

Honors

  • USL PDL Midwest Division Champion 2008
  • USL PDL Great Lakes Division Champion 2006
  • USL PDL Great Lakes Division Champion 2005
  • USL PDL Regular Season Champions 2004
  • USL PDL Heartland Division Champion 2004
  • USL PDL Central Conference Champion 2003
  • USL PDL Heartland Division Champion 2003
  • USL PDL Great Lakes Division Champion 2002
  • USL PDL Great Lakes Division Champion 2001

Competition History

Notable former players

Coaches

Stadia

Average Attendance

  • 2008: 82
  • 2007: 169
  • 2006: 1,816 (2nd highest in PDL)
  • 2005: 266

Super-20 Team

The Fire Premier, in its affiliation with the MLS Chicago Fire, became a member of the USL Super-20 league in 2007. Continuing with the program's successful tradition, the team qualified for the North American Finals with an undefeated regular season record in 2007. The team moved all the way through to the North American Championship defeating MLS player development teams from DC United and Red Bull New York on the way, before falling in the North American Championship to the Player Development Academy of New Jersey, by a score of 3-1. Larry Sunderland was named Coach of the Year for the Super-20 division and players Chris Schuler (Creighton University) and Braden Fleak (Wright St. University) were named to the Super-20 All League team.

On August 3, 2008 the Chicago Fire Super-20 team became the first MLS player development team to win a league championship by becoming the North American Super 20 champions after defeating Toronto 2-1 in the Super-20 Final. The win capped a dominating finals competition in which the Fire went 5-0 and outscored the other conference qualifiers by an aggregate score of 17-2, including a 3-0 win over the DC United player development team in the semifinals. The Fire qualified for the North American Finals after finishing on top of the Midwest Conference with a record of 10-1-0. The Fire finished the season with a 15 game winning streak and a final record of 15-1-0. Their two year record of 23-2-3 is the best in North America in the Super 20 division. The team was led by captains and Super 20 League Co-MVP's Robert Younger (Illinois-Chicago) and Mark Blades (Northwestern). Mike Stephens (UCLA) and Chris Cutshaw (Bradley) were named to the All-Finals team and Matt Eliason (Northwestern) won the Golden Boot award as the leading scorer in the North American Finals with 6 goals in 5 matches, including the game winner in the 81st minute of the Championship match against Toronto.

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