Chicago Fire v Toronto FC

Chicago Fire re-signs key attacker Chris Rolfe

1 Comment

Whatever happens around Toyota Park as the Frank Yallop era begins, this much is certain: Things will go a lot better if Chris Rolfe regains his feet and get himself pointed in the right direction.

I was among the set just certain that Rolfe was in for a huge 2013 season. Well, that didn’t happen – and then some. Rolfe’s inability to make hay was a big reason the Fire’s season went south from the jump.

By the end, his production (four goals, one assist) was easily the worst of his seven MLS seasons. (Rolfe is actually even more experienced than that, having spent two seasons in Denmark before returning to Windy City soccer in 2012.

Rolfe’s disappointing season was obscured somewhat by Mike Magee’s unbelievable, heroic effort to rescue the Fire season. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough, although Magee’s MVP season gave everyone something to look and talk about – which meant we didn’t have to focus on how things had gone to dreadfully sideways for Rolfe.

Well, he got a mulligan on Wednesday.

The Fire had originally declined Rolfe’s option, but the club announced on Wednesday it had re-signed the versatile midfielder-forward. Rolfe, 30, surely took a salary cut in order to remove himself from the re-entry process.

When Rolfe is confident and on one of his rolls, he can carry a team – which will surely be a relief to Magee, who had to carry the Fire for months in 2013.

Hilarious “Friends” spoof video ‘starring’ Messi, Ronaldo (video)

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 9.53.49 AM
Leave a comment

Given the rivalry surrounding the two megawatt superstars plying their trade in Spain, you may be surprised to learn that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best of friends.

[ MORE: Top USMNT-Mexico rivalry moments ]

At least that’s what this spoof video conveys, as the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars help each other navigate tax season and toilet troubles.

Brilliant stuff, from FootbOle:

Top USMNT-Mexico moments: Looking back ahead of Saturday

PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25:  Landon Donovan #10 of United States celebrates his goal with teammates Carlos Bocanegra #3 and Alejandro Bedoya #22  against Mexico during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship at the Rose Bowl on June 25, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Leave a comment

You could argue its the biggest match between the U.S. and Mexico outside of the 2002 World Cup’s Round of 16, and there would be few arguments against you.

The United States and Mexico will tangle on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the winner advancing to the 2017 Confederations Cup finals in Russia.

It’s only so often that these rivals match up in a “do or die” match. Sure World Cup qualifiers carry critical import, but they don’t always become the decisive moment in the qualifying cycle.

[ MORE: Spurs’ teen shining at center back for U.S. U-23s ]

Aside from the aforementioned World Cup match and the first match in the rivalry — see 1934 below — no other match has carried as much international weight as Saturday.

So with anticipation high, let’s dance backward in time to the Yanks’ best moments in the rivalry. And let’s also imagine what would have to happen to put Saturday in the mix.

(Of course, our apologies to Mexican fans. We aren’t including the times you slapped American soccer in the face).

2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 — “Dos a Cero” to the fourth power

There is no more celebrated score line in USMNT history than the 2-0 hurting it put on Mexico in four successive home World Cup qualifiers.

2002 — World Cup Round of 16

Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan prodded an upset of the world’s then-No. 7 ranked nation, as the USMNT carried a feel of destiny through its best World Cup.

1934 — World Cup qualifier

Aldo Donnelli scored all four goals as the States won the first recorded match against Mexico, and it was a big one. The winner would go on to the 1934 tournament in Italy, while the loser would go on a tour of European friendlies. The States won, and wouldn’t win again until the qualifiers for the 1982 tournament.

2012 — First win at Azteca

It may’ve been a friendly, but Michael Orozco’s finish will go down as the Yanks’ first ever winner in the fortress of Mexico City.

1980 — World Cup qualifier

Though it meant little to the Yanks’ fate in the 1982 tournament — the U.S. finished last in a group with Mexico and Canada — it was the first win over El Tri in 46 years.