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The Chicago Soccer Conversation

Brian Sandalow and Dan Santaromita have years of experience covering professional soccer in Chicagoland. They teamed up for a podcast about the Chicago soccer scene, with a focus on the Chicago Fire. There's also plenty of talk about the Chicago Red Stars, minor league soccer in Chicagoland, the U.S. women's and men's national teams, and more about the wide world of soccer. We try to have some fun, mixing insight, analysis and news with an entertaining show.

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How ambitious is Joe Mansueto with the Fire?

Brian's story on Mansueto regarding Wicky and Heitz: https://chicago.suntimes.com/2021/7/21/22587955/chicago-fire-owner-joe-mansueto-no-plans-to-make-changes-with-georg-heitz-raphael-wickyBrian's story on Mansueto and Soldier Field: https://chicago.suntimes.com/2021/7/24/22590856/fire-committed-to-soldier-field-looking-to-make-it-work-at-lakefront-venueNetflix show Heist's episodes on Pappygate: https://www.netflix.com/watch/81153328?trackId=200257859


28 Jul 2021

Rank #1

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Fire get demolished in Nashville, Red Stars being carried by own goals

The Fire got rocked in Nashville so Brian and Dan tried to figure out where the team's momentum went before shifting to some potential Alvaro Medran drama. Meanwhile, the Red Stars are being carried by own goals in one of the weirder soccer things in the world.


21 Jul 2021

Rank #2

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Fire finish homestand by showing signs of progress

2022 World Cup futures odds: https://theathletic.com/2702800/2021/07/12/world-cup-2022-futures-odds-france-still-favored-after-early-euro-2020-exit-followed-by-brazil-and-england/


14 Jul 2021

Rank #3

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Both teams win and the Fire Academy gets a trophy

The Fire had a dominant win, the Red Stars also got a shutout victory and the Fire U-19s won the MLS Next Cup. In what may be the most positive episode of the show to date, Brian and Dan talk about the Fire's demolition of a shorthanded Atlanta team, the Red Stars' road win and the significance of the Fire Academy's accomplishment.


6 Jul 2021

Rank #4

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Fire hit rock bottom before sort of offering hope

The Fire lost to fellow last-place team FC Cincinnati at home in a performance that was even worse than the result. Brian and Dan try to put it in context as the Fire's season continues to spiral downward. They also discuss some interesting quotes from the 3-3 draw against Philadelphia.


30 Jun 2021

Rank #5

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Two off weeks didn't fix Fire's problems

The Fire returned from two weeks off with a 2-0 loss at Columbus and a starting lineup that looked even worse on paper. With a four-match homestand coming up, Brian and Dan try to figure out what the Fire need to do to call it successful. Meanwhile, the Red Stars got one point from two matches in four days. Plus, is it hard to watch MLS with the Euros going on?


23 Jun 2021

Rank #6

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Special new Fire logo episode

The Fire unveiled their new logo so Brian and Dan got together for an emergency episode of the podcast to discuss what they think of it and what it means for the club. Is the logo any good? Is the Chicago flag going to be on everything in Chicago sports now? Plus, they throw in some talk about the Bears looking into moving out of Soldier Field and how they could affect the Fire.


19 Jun 2021

Rank #7

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Patreon teaser: Evaluating Joe Mansueto's ownership

With both the Fire and Red Stars off this past week, Brian and Dan opened the show wrapping up some news items before sharing our first Patreon exclusive episode. The last 42 minutes of the show is about the state of Joe Mansueto's ownership. What has changed (or not changed) for the club? How has he done so far and what should be expected going forward?


17 Jun 2021

Rank #8

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Analyzing the Fire proposed training facility

Fire's training facility proposal: https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/dcd/general/cffc_060321_draft.pdfSun-Times story Brian contributed to on the training facility: https://chicago.suntimes.com/city-hall/2021/6/4/22519425/chicago-fire-soccer-club-hanson-park-performance-centerDan's Euro 2020 draft: https://theathletic.com/2637627/2021/06/08/euro-2020-pool-odds-athletic-writers-draft-rank-and-breakdown-all-24-teams/


10 Jun 2021

Rank #9

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Are the Fire's finishing problems fixable?

For the second straight game the Fire dominated at home, but finishing was a problem. This time it was a loss, which has Brian and Dan wondering why the Fire can't finish. Plus, the Red Stars took a loss, but Mallory Pugh's play continues to be a beacon for hope.


3 Jun 2021

Rank #10