2013 Year in Review

The Fire entered 2013 with continuity the key for head coach Frank Klopas, who returned a majority of the 2012 side. Offseason acquisitions of experienced MLS players in Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere and Dilly Duka bolstered the roster for the Men in Red.

After a slow start to the season that saw the Fire go 2-7-1 in their first ten matches, the Fire would face a three-day span that would change the course of the season.

On May 23, defender Bakary Soumare returned to Chicago in a trade with the Philadelphia Union. Two days later on the morning on May 25, the Fire would execute the marquee transaction of the season when the club acquired Chicago native and two-time MLS Cup Champion Mike Magee in a trade from the LA Galaxy in exchange for the right of first refusal for Robbie Rogers. That same evening, Quincy Amarikwa scored a late, 84th minute equalizer to give the Fire a 1-1 road draw at Real Salt Lake in what could be considered the turning point of the season.

Magee made an immediate impact and scored in his first seven competitive matches for the Fire. The Fire went unbeaten through the month of June and advanced to the semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after dispatching the Charlotte Eagles, Columbus Crew and Orlando City SC.

July brought mixed results as the Fire dropped matches against Sporting Kansas City and the Vancouver Whitecaps, before opening the August slate with a 2-1 road win against the Philadelphia Union.

On Aug. 7, the Fire hosted D.C. United in the semifinal round of the Open Cup but bowed out of the tournament after falling 2-0.

The Men in Red entered the final month of the regular season fighting for playoff positioning. The Fire picked up impressive road wins against D.C. United and FC Dallas before closing out the home slate by grinding out a 1-0 win against Toronto FC on Oct. 19.

In the season finale, the Fire hit the road on Oct. 27 to face the league-leading New York Red Bulls, needing a victory to ensure a playoff spot. The Fire got off to a dream start when Magee opened scoring in the sixth minute. But with the Red Bulls looking to lock up the Supporters’ Shield, the home side would explode with a five-goal display. Amarikwa would score late in the match but it wasn’t enough as the Fire missed out on the final playoff spot due to a tie breaker.

After ending another season prematurely, the Fire parted ways with head coach Frank Klopas and President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon on Oct. 31.

The Fire acted swiftly and on Oct. 31, 2013, appointed two-time MLS Cup winner and two-time MLS Coach of the Year Frank Yallop as the club’s new Head Coach and Director of Soccer. The Fire continued to bolster the technical staff throughout the offseason, adding former U.S. International defender Brian Bliss as Technical Director, and appointing Fire Original and Ring of Fire member C.J. Brown and World Cup veteran striker Clint Mathis as assistant coaches. 

After scoring 15 goals to go with his six previously with the LA Galaxy, Mike Magee was named the 2013 MLS MVP, becoming the first Fire player to win the league's highest individual honor.