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2019-2020 High School Bounce

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August 2020
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Archive for August 20th, 2020

Tonight’s Crew SC opponent, Chicago Fire FC: Sebastian Pelzer new Technical Director


Sebastian Pelzer


After the hiring of Heitz, CFFC announced on December 28th, 2019 that Sebastian Pelzer will take over as Technical Director. Pelzer, a former German defender who had a successful 16-year professional career, will work on all aspects of the Fire’s football operations. Pelzer will report to new Fire Sporting Director Georg Heitz.

In his role as Technical Director, Pelzer, 39, will scout and evaluate players locally and abroad; help establish relationships with clubs around the world; work closely with Fire Head Coach Raphael Wicky and the coaching and technical staff; as well as help with the football operations budget and team salary cap.




Tonight’s Crew SC opponent, Chicago Fire FC: Georg Heitz is new Sporting Director



Georg Heitz


On December 20, 2019, Chicago Fire FC hired Georg Heitz as Sporting Director. Heitz, a highly accomplished football executive with close to 20 years of experience, will oversee all aspects of the Fire’s football operations, including first-team and Chicago Fire Academy decisions.

Heitz will lead player acquisition and scouting; manage the coaching staff, technical staff and youth development programs; as well as oversee the football operations budget and team salary cap. He reports directly to Club Owner and Chairman Joe Mansueto.

Heitz, who speaks three languages (English, French, German), comes to the Fire after an extensive career as a high-level football executive in Europe. Prior to joining Chicago, Heitz spent eight years (2009-2017) with Swiss Super League club, FC Basel 1893.




Tonight’s Crew SC opponent, Chicago Fire FC: New Designated Players

Robert Berić



On January 18, 2020, Chicago Fire FC announced that the Club had acquired Slovenia National Team striker Robert Berić via transfer from Ligue 1 club AS Saint-Étienne. He is under contract with the Fire through the 2021 season with a Club option for the 2022 season.

Berić, 29, made his Chicago Fire FC debut on March 1st, 2020 in the season opener against the Seattle Sounders. In his debut with The Fire, he scored his first career goal in Major League Soccer

With more than 330 appearances in the top divisions in Slovenia, Austria and France, the striker has scored 123 goals in his career, including 12 goals in the UEFA Europa League and four in the UEFA Champions League. Internationally, Berić has earned 25 caps for the Slovenia National Team, producing goals in UEFA Euro qualification (2016) and in the UEFA Nations League (2018-19).

Berić originally began his career in Slovenia, featuring for NK Krško, NK Interblock and NK Maribor from 2007-2013. Ahead of the 2013- 14 campaign, Berić transferred to the Austrian Football Bundesliga, signing with Sturm Graz. Berić will occupy an international roster slot on the Fire’s 2020 roster.

Then on February 19, 2020, Chicago Fire FC acquired winger Ignacio Aliseda via transfer from Superliga Argentina side Defensa y Justicia. Aliseda, 20, was added to the Fire’s roster as a Young Designated Player. He is under contract with the Fire through the 2023 season.

Aliseda began his professional career with Defensa y Justicia in 2018 and has spent the past two seasons with the club, making 38 appearances across all competitions. In 2018, at just 18 years old In his second season with the club, Aliseda made 18 appearances during the first half of the 2019-20 campaign, including appearances in the Copa Argentina, Copa de la Superliga and Sudamericana.

Internationally, Aliseda has earned two caps for the U-23 Argentina National Team.

Five days after, Chicago Fire FC announced on February 24, 2020 that the Club acquired holding midfielder Gastón Giménez via transfer from Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. Giménez was added to the Fire’s roster as a Designated Player.

He is under contract with the Fire through the 2021 season with a Club option for the 2022 season. He is CFFC’s third and final Designated Player.

Giménez, 28, comes to Chicago with more than 225 appearances across the last 10 seasons in Argentina. He joins the Fire from Superliga Argentina side Vélez Sarsfield, where he has made 47 appearances across all competitions since the beginning of the 2018-19 campaign. Additionally, at the international level, Giménez has earned one cap for Argentina’s senior team, featuring in a friendly against Mexico on Nov. 17, 2018.



Tonight’s Crew SC opponent, Chicago Fire FC: Meet new head coach Raphael Wicky

Raphael Wicky Chicago Fire head coach 2017 photo By Дмитрий Голубович https galery 1017683 photo 677034, CC BY-SA 3.0, https


On December 27, 2019 The Chicago Fire Football Club announced that Raphael Wicky will be the Club’s new head coach. Wicky is the ninth full-time head coach in Club history.

The former Swiss international brings 27 years of experience as a player and coach in Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. Wicky most recently coached the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team, helping them qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The 42-year-old transitioned into coaching shortly after his playing career ended. His first head coaching job came at Swiss club Servette FC before moving to one of Europe’s top youth systems at FC Basel, leading the U-18, U-19 and U-21 sides to success beforetaking the helm of the first team in 2017.

Wicky guided the senior squad at Basel, one of Switzerland’s most successful clubs, to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, the best Champions League result in Swiss history. In that competition, Basel defeated some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Manchester City, Manchester United and Benfica.

Prior to joining the Fire, Wicky was named head coach of the U.S. U-17 MNT on March 8, 2019. He guided the team to a record 17th FIFA World Cup berth after an impressive qualifying run in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship. Under Wicky’s leadership, the U.S. finished in second place in the Concacaf Championship after outscoring its opponents 28-5 and holding a clean sheet streak for 323 consecutive minutes.





Tonight’s Crew SC opponent, Chicago Fire FC: Fire’s Herbers gets new contract but team sees same player

Fabian Herbers

Chicago Fire FC announced on Aug. 18 that the Club has signed midfielder Fabian Herbers to a new contract.
Herbers is under contract with the Fire through the 2023 MLS season with a Club option for the 2024 season. Herbers, 26, originally joined the Fire from the Philadelphia Union on Dec. 9, 2018. In two seasons with Chicago, the midfielder has made 22 appearances (11 starts) in regular season action, tallying three goals and one assist. In 2020, Herbers has appeared in each of the Fire’s first five matches, including three consecutive appearances in the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Fla.
Prior to signing with the Fire, Herbers was selected sixth overall by the Union in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. In three seasons with Philadelphia, Herbers made 53 regular season appearances from 2016-18, tallying four goals and nine assists.
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