CHICAGO, Ill. (September 16, 2011) The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and the Indiana United Soccer Club Development Academy announced today a formal partnership that will allow outstanding players in Indiana a local option to be connected to one of the top player development programs in the United States.
“Providing quality development and soccer growth to young players in the Indianapolis community is an exciting step for our club,” said Fire President Julian Posada. “We want to be the MLS club of choice in Indianapolis and this is the first step in becoming a part of the Indianapolis soccer community.”
With the arrangement, the Chicago Fire player development program casts its net wider by adding a highly successful academy partner with a proven resume in player development. The partnership brings together the highest ranked MLS youth program (No. 7 in Soccer America’s 2010 rankings) and winner of a U.S.S.D.A. national championship in 2010 with Indiana United Soccer Club, operated by Carmel United Soccer Club (ranked No. 6 by Soccer America) and winners of U.S.S.D.A. national championships in 2008 and 2009.
“Bringing Indiana United under the Chicago Fire umbrella is a phenomenal step for us,” said Director of Player Personnel Mike Jeffries. “It’s a club that has had a proven track record of success in developing players in and around Indianapolis and we look forward to incorporating their players and coaches into our program.”
With the new partnership, Indiana United’s U15/U16 and U17/U18 Development Academy teams, who compete with the Fire in the U.S.S.D.A. Great Lakes Division, will now be known as Indiana United-Fire Academy. Similar to the Fire’s relationships with its Juniors affiliates outside Chicagoland, Indiana United players will receive the opportunity to play for the Fire in the U17 Generation adidas Cup, Chicago Fire Premier Development League and MLS reserve matches and have a direct path to a career in Major League Soccer as potential future Home Grown players.
Along with the tremendous opportunity that will be provided to Indiana United players, Fire Academy technical staff will conduct regular exchanges with Indiana United Academy technical staff in developing, observing and identifying players as well as a collaborative coaching curriculum.
“We are simply thrilled at the opportunity to partner with the Chicago Fire,” said Indiana United and Carmel United President Dan Meador. “The Fire’s ability to provide additional technical assistance for our already outstanding coaching staff, exposure to best-in-class training and coaching curriculum associated with an MLS franchise and additional exposure for our players will truly help us meet our stated mission of developing our players to their fullest potential.”
ABOUT CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club was founded on October 8, 1997 as a Major League Soccer expansion team. The Fire won the MLS Cup in its inaugural season in 1998 and was crowned the champion of U.S. Soccer's national tournament, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. In June 2006, the Fire moved into its world-class home of TOYOTA PARK, located in Bridgeview, IL. For more information on the Chicago Fire, please visit the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
ABOUT TOYOTA PARK
Located 15 minutes from downtown Chicago and minutes from Midway airport off of I-55 on Harlem Avenue, TOYOTA PARK is the Midwest’s preeminent outdoor live entertainment and sporting facility. Opened in 2006, TOYOTA PARK not only serves as the home of the Chicago Fire, but also hosts a variety of sporting events, special events and concerts by national and international artists. In 2010, TOYOTA PARK hosted Jimmy Buffett and Phish, while welcoming back Eric Clapton and his Crossroads tour.