Sam Archer

With Chicago Fire players scheduled to report for duty in 10 days and the first match of 2013 scheduled to kick off in 54 days, one player hoping to make the Fire roster will be December’s Open Tryout winner, Sam Archer.

Archer emerged from a group of more than 150 players during last month’s two-day tryout to garner an invitation to the first phase of preseason training camp in Ave Maria, Fla. beginning Sunday, Jan. 20.

Archer will join the club in Ave Maria, Fla.

“From the day I started walking, soccer just took over my life,” Archer told “I just loved it from the first day I started playing and playing professionally is my ultimate goal and dream.”

A product of Queens, New York the 23-year-old forward was invited to take part in the Colorado Rapids’ preseason training camp in 2012. Though the trial with the Rapids didn’t pan out, Archer will be able to call on that experience when he joins the Men in Red in Florida.

“It definitely helps that I’ve experienced a professional environment before,” he explained. “Of course I’m going to be nervous on the first day with the guys but I know what to expect.”

The former Rutgers University standout had brief stints with USL PRO sides Harrisburg City Islanders and the Wilmington Hammerheads, and has been training on his own to stay fit over the past year.

“I’ve been playing pickup games so I could stay fit. Over the summer I stayed at Rutgers and trained every day with my friend, Nate Bourdeau.”

Archer traveled over 800 miles for December’s tryout and will hope to follow in the footsteps of Pari Pantazopoulos, who won the 2010 Open Tryout and eventually a first team contract with the Fire after impressing the technical staff during preseason.

The Mt. Prospect, Il. Product made his debut for the Fire in a 1-0 third round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win over the Rochester Rhinos in June 2011 and appeared in the club’s international friendly against storied English Premier League side Manchester United in front of 61,308 fans at Soldier Field on July 23, 2011.

“Winning this open tryout means everything to me,” said Archer. “Playing professional soccer is what I want to to do. This is the next step in the journey for me to achieve it. I’m ready to show what I’ve got.”