Chicago Fire FC

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The Chicago Fire were the first expansion team in the MLS, beginning play two years after the original ten. The was officially founded on the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire in 1997, in preparation for the 1998 season. Bob Bradley (later to be U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach) was the inaugural manager for the club. Under Bradley, the team experienced success in their first full season of existence by winning their first (and only) MLS Cup against D.C. United and their first U.S. Open Cup. Bradley would spend five years with the club and in his care the team would finish no worse than third in their division. In 2002, Bradley would leave for the same position in the MetroStars (of his home state, New Jersey), and the club would appoint U.S. National Team Assistant Coach Dave Sarachan.

In 2006, the club would announce the opening of the Toyota Park (now known as SeatGeek Stadium) as the latest in a slew of MLS clubs opening soccer-specific stadiums. In Sarachan’s first year at the helm of the club, he was able to replicate part of Bradley’s success by bringing home the club’s only Supporter’s Shield to date — this was also the best finish by the club under Sarachan with a defeat after reaching the MLS Cup Final. However, aside from his first year, the club’s best finish was 4th-placed in the regular season and a Conference Finals appearance (twice) which they lost to the New England Revolution both times (0-1 scoreline). Sarachan only lasted eleven games into the MLS season being dismissed after a string of losses, seven in eight matches.

Since the club’s first two coaches, Bradley and Sarachan, who both lasted five years, the club has had seven managers (including one interim) in the eight years to follow. The club has also not won any of the major trophies since Sarachan was dismissed. The club has experienced reasonable success in the regular season but has been unable to replicate this form in the playoffs (or cups). The team’s current manager is Veljko Paunović who has been with the team since 2015.



  • Winners (1): 1998
  • Runners Up (2): 2000, 2003

Supporter’s Shield

  • Winners (1): 2003
  • Runners Up (2): 2000, 2001

U.S. Open Cup

  • Winners (4): 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006

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