RELEASE:Chicago Fire Announce Freddie Braun as 2013 Open Tryout Winner

CHICAGO, Ill. (Dec. 19, 2013) The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced midfielder Freddie Braun as the winner of the Fire’s sixth annual Open Tryout. Braun will join the Fire for the first phase of preseason training camp in Ave Maria, Fla. beginning Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.

“We had a very talented pool of players at the open tryout,” said Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop. “Freddie’s composure on the ball and his technical ability were evident throughout the two-day process. We’re looking forward to have Freddie join the first team during preseason training camp in January.”

Photo by Allison Petro

A four-year standout at the University of Louisville from 2006-09, Braun signed with the Portland Timbers on Feb. 17, 2011 and made his professional debut on May 3, 2011 in a 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Over the course of two seasons, Braun made three MLS Regular Season appearances for the Timbers. On March 8, 2013, Braun joined USL PRO side Orlando City SC where he appeared in 20 games, tallying two goals and one assist, as Orlando City captured the 2013 USL PRO Championship.

“Winning the open tryout is exciting,” said Braun. “Chicago is close to home and is the team I’ve always wanted to play for. I’m really looking forward to showing the coaching staff what I can do to help the team.”

The Rochester Hills, Mich. product was a member of the Chicago Fire PDL in 2009. In 14 games, Braun totaled three goals and two assists and helped the Fire to a 10-1-5 regular-season record, the Great Lakes Division Championship and that year's PDL North American Final.

Braun will look to follow in the footsteps of defender Pari Pantazopoulos, who emerged to win the club’s Open Tryout in 2011 and a spot on the first team’s preseason roster. The Mt. Prospect, Ill. product advanced through all three phases of the club’s preseason camp to sign on as a member of the Chicago Fire.

Pantazopoulos made his first team debut on June 28, 2011 in a U.S. Open Cup match vs. the Rochester Rhinos and went on to appear in the club’s midseason friendly against English giants Manchester United at Soldier Field on July 23.

Name: Freddie Braun
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6’0"
Weight: 165 pounds
Date of Birth: May 13, 1988
Place of Birth: Royal Oak, Mich.
Hometown: Rochester Hills, Mich.
College: University of Louisville   
Past Clubs: Orlando City SC (2013), Portland Timbers (2011-2012), Portland Timbers U-23s (2010), Chicago Fire PDL (2009)