CHICAGO (March 5, 2020) – Chicago Fire Football Club and Forward Madison FC today announced a new affiliation between the two Clubs.
“We are thrilled to partner with Forward Madison FC as our USL affiliate,” said Chicago Fire FC Sporting Director Georg Heitz. “Madison is one of the best run clubs in USL and provides the opportunity for our younger players to develop at a top-tier organization.”
The new affiliation permits the Fire to loan players to Madison, which provides fans in the Midwest the opportunity to see some of the Fire’s future stars on display in Wisconsin’s capital. Players on loan will receive the chance to showcase their talents in USL League One while being afforded a clear pathway to the first team. In addition, Forward Madison FC may utilize select Fire Academy players for games and training sessions. In this scenario, Academy players would retain their amateur status in relation to NCAA eligibility.
“We’re excited to work with the Chicago Fire as our MLS affiliate in 2020,” said Forward Madison FC Chief Operating Officer Conor Caloia. “We feel this partnership will have a significant impact on our fight to deliver a championship to Madison this season. Between the ownership, management team and coaching staff for the Chicago Fire, there is a great energy in that organization right now that aligns well with where are we going.”
Based in Madison, Wisconsin – approximately three hours from Chicago by car – the Flamingos play their home games at historic Breese Stevens Field. Per the affiliation, a member of the Fire’s technical staff will be present at each Forward Madison home game to monitor the development of players. Furthermore, the affiliation allows the two clubs to share technical and performance resources as well as an opportunity for a friendly match at a date to be determined.
Coached by former Chicago Fire assistant Daryl Shore, Madison finished its inaugural campaign with an overall record of 12-7-9. The Flamingos first season was highlighted by an exceptional U.S. Open Cup run, as the club went further than any other League One team, eventually falling to Saint Louis FC in the third round of play.
This affiliation marks the second USL League One affiliation in Chicago Fire history. The Fire were previously affiliated with Lansing Ignite.