Chicago Fire!O'Leary LanternMe in Red & White

My view of the game.   

Waiting for Soccer

My memories of professional soccer in Chicago are like those of most non-soccer fans. During the heyday of the North American Soccer League (NASL), I followed baseball, and I was only aware of the Sting when the outfield grass of Wrigley Field was marred by their chalk lines. Soccer came to the attention of the sportscasters if there was ten seconds to fill in a broadcast. Their condescension toward the "Der Shting" seemed borne of a happiness that something in sports was held in more derision than sportscasters.             
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It's Fire

It was the kind of Chicago weather when the unlicensed peddlers at el stops don't know whether to display sunglasses or umbrellas. The press conference to announce the name of our new Major League Soccer team was being held outside near Navy Pier. Apparently it was by invitation only, but a neighborhood newspaper printed the time and location, so I decided to crash it. 
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The Playmaker

Walking past a guy in shorts, I grinned and mentally rechecked the date. It was December 16th in Chicago, and the weather was mild, but not that mild. I still needed my gloves that had been inadequate the week before, but someone in shorts was a good omen. Pausing on my way to a Chicago Fire press conference, I studied the celebrity handprints pressed into cement on the wall of the former "Morrie Mages’ Sports Store." Willy Roy and Karl Heinz-Granitza had passed this way too.
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Some Foreign Field

My travels have taken me to a couple of matches in England. It is fun to see their game and the fans are interested in a Yank who follows "footy." I get asked why I like football and why the rest of America doesn’t.
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Football with Charlie

Hands down the strangest conversation I ever had about soccer was with Vu, a former Viet Cong soldier, in Hue, Vietnam. I was on a military history tour with a British group and my husband and I were the only Americans. Neither of us had been to Vietnam before, but like all Americans, we have a history there.
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