The Chicago Fire will return to Soldier Field in 2020.
The club announced its return to the iconic stadium on Tuesday and also named Atlanta United as its home opener opponent on March 21st, 2020. Although the plans have been known for months, the Fire announced the official news on the anniversary of the club’s establishment in 1997.
“On this anniversary of both the Great Chicago Fire and the founding of our team, it is my pledge to deliver a world class club worthy of our city and one that represents all of Chicago – our neighborhoods, our people, our communities,” said Fire owner Joe Mansueto in an open letter on Tuesday.
“The game we love has a unique ability to unite us all – and when Chicago is united, we can accomplish anything. It is my honor to invite a new generation to stand with us, as we make our stand for you.”
The Fire previously played at Soldier Field from 1998-2001 and 2003-2005 before relocating for SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, which served as their home for the last 14 season.
The club did not qualify for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs and have already seen veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger announce his retirement this offseason.
Atlanta United, Robinson agree to contract extension
Miles Robinson’s stellar play in 2019 has earned him a contract extension with Atlanta United.
The club announced the news on Tuesday, which will keep Robinson under contract through the 2023 season. Robinson, 22, is currently with the U.S. Men’s National Team for upcoming Concacaf Nations League matches against Cuba and Canada.
“Miles’ ability and potential was evident from the day we first scouted him, and we targeted him in the draft believing he could develop into a national team player,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He patiently waited for his opportunity to break into the starting lineup, continued to put in the work needed to improve his game, and now he’s an integral part of our backline. We’re excited to secure him to a long-term contract.”
Robinson featured in all of the Five Stripes’ 34 regular season matches this season, after totaling only 10 appearances over his first two seasons. His strong play earned him his first senior call-up to the USMNT in September and he will be expected to play a major role as Atlanta United looks to repeat as MLS champs.
He is also up for the league’s Defender of the Year award, which was won in 2018 by New York Red Bulls’ star Aaron Long.
Galaxy’s Efrain Alvarez named to Mexico’s Under-17 World Cup roster
The L.A. Galaxy will likely be without Efrain Alvarez for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Alvarez has been named to the Mexico Under-17 Men’s National Team roster for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The homegrown product has registered three assists for the Galaxy in 14 league appearances this season.
Mexico begins group stage play in the tournament on Oct. 28th against Paraguay, before also facing Italy on Oct. 31st and the Soloman Islands on Nov. 3rd. Should Mexico advance into the knockout stage, Alvarez could be on international duty as far as Nov. 17th, the date of the U-17 Final.
El Tri’s U-17 side are two-time winners of the tournament, claiming the title in 2005 and 2011. Alvarez is the lone member of the 21-player roster who does not play domestically in Liga MX.
The Galaxy kick off play in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Oct. 20th against Minnesota United.