The Chicago Fire Soccer Club, partners and supporters nearly 800 strong joined together this afternoon to kick off the 2015 season at the 17th Annual Chicago Fire Season Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Magellan Corporation. At the event, the Fire introduced the 2015 squad, donned their new secondary jerseys and celebrated the expansion of the P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth, Soccer) Program.
“What a terrific day to celebrate the season ahead,” said Atul Khosla, COO, Chicago Fire Soccer Club. “This has been a fantastic offseason, both on and off the field and we look forward to our first MLS match of the year this Friday and to the home opener March 14. A special thanks, as well, to our friends at Magellan Corporation. Their support today was central to the success of the event.”
Chicago Fire players including David Accam, Kennedy Igboananike, Shaun Maloney and Mike Magee wore the new kits for the first time publicly. The design pays homage to the Club’s history with inspiration drawn from the Chicago flag. As one of the three Fire kits to be worn in 2015, the jerseys feature the Quaker logo on the chest. Comcast SportsNet Chicago anchor and reporter Jen Lada served as the emcee.
“There is no sport more global than soccer and our association with the Fire has bolstered our international presence. Our partnership with the Fire has been wonderful. Attending Chicago Fire games is exciting, fun and family-friendly. We are accordingly happy to grow our relationship with the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and presenting the Season Kickoff Luncheon is a fantastic part of our relationship with the Fire.” states Bob Arthur, President of Magellan Corporation.
“This was a great event,” said Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop. “To gather with the Fire community while raising funds to support the work of the Foundation is a special way for us to start the season.”
Proceeds from the event, which raised more than $85,000, benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation. The team announced Monday that the Foundation is expanding its P.L.A.Y.S. Program, an innovative afterschool soccer program it runs in partnership with the Academy for Urban Leadership (AUSL), that integrates social and emotional learning in soccer.