Chicago Growing Through Youth

After another strong performance, the Fire appear to be growing through their youth
by Kiran Balan   |   Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ladder 97 – column on Chicago Fire & the Chicagoland area soccer scene.

As the season continues, there has been a reoccurring theme with very strong performances from some of the young and new players in the Chicago Fire squad. This could be the start of new look Chicago Fire.

One of these players is Lake Forest native Harry Shipp. He is definitely catching the eye of Fire and MLS fans alike with his impactful performances on the pitch and he really has made a strong claim to potentially win MLS Rookie of the Year honors.  

As I was watching the game against Red Bull New York, he really reminded me of Manchester United winger Juan Mata. Both players have extraordinary vision when picking out a pass and in the right system can flourish. In addition, Shipp and Mata have very strong dribbling abilities, something of an asset to both clubs.

Although it is still very early in the season, there is definitely a lot to get excited about with the emergence of young players in an aging Fire squad.

There was another momentous occasion when Chicago Fire’s first homegrown player, Victor Pineda, made his professional debut, coming on for the final 20 minutes. Fire fans will be familiar with Pineda and are eager for him to be successful as the season goes on.

The young players of the Chicago Fire have a lot to prove, and there is a lot of growth being made even this early in the season.  A tough strength in schedule has also seen many players work hard to secure a starting spot in coach Frank Yallop’s starting XI. It will only be a matter of time until seasoned veterans like Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko start finding their feet and that can only help the team grow in the long run.

NEXT UP: March 29- Chicago Fire vs. DC United, RFK Stadium, Washington D.C. 4 p.m. EST, NBC Sports.


Illinois State University
Club Domestic:
Chicago Fire
Club Foreign:
Columnist for his hometown MLS team, Chicago Fire. When he’s not flying down the left wing for ISU FC or in a pick-up game, he can be seen watching the beautiful game. A die-hard Chelsea and USMNT fan, he is keen to growing his soccer knowledge.