Who are the Chicago Fire Juniors?
Established in 2004 as the official youth soccer club of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, the Chicago Fire Juniors are the only professionally based youth soccer club in the United States. The Chicago Fire Juniors are part of the Chicago Fire (MLS) Player Development Program and are an integral piece of the Player Development Pyramid.
This "Pyramid" creates a progressive developmental structure providing players the opportunity to move from introductory play, competitive play and elite youth play into professional academy formats (Fire Academy U16, U18) and professional development programs (Super 20, NPSL, PDL) – finally, onto the Fire MLS team. The Chicago Fire Juniors, in association with the Chicago Red Eleven of the women’s W-League, replicate the Player Development Pyramid for females by providing young ladies the opportunity to play at a high level.
The Development of the Chicago Fire Juniors Nationwide
The Chicago Fire currently have ten affiliate clubs in the Chicagoland area and throughout the United States. In 2010, the Chicago Fire added satellite affiliates in Florida and Louisiana and locally with the Fire Juniors South. In 2012, the Juniors program once again expanded its reach outside of Chicagoland, partnering with Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club to establish the Kentucky Fire Juniors in Louisville and relaunching the Michigan Fire Juniors with Grand Rapids-based Rangers Soccer Club while continuing the program's reach locally by adding the Fire Juniors West. In 2013, the Chicago Fire Juniors program partnered with Chicago-based FC Drive to form Chicago Fire Juniors City.
The eight Fire Juniors clubs now include:
Chicago Fire Juniors Philosophy
The Chicago Fire Juniors believe in the Pyramid of Player Development. From the base of the pyramid, where one finds the greatest number of participants from the recreational player and beginning player, to the top of the pyramid, where we find our first division professional player - our program has the capacity to meet every player's goals…male or female.
Our professional coaching staff is equipped to meet every player's developmental needs - from bottom to top. We follow a curriculum that is both age and ability based and allows the flexibility to accommodate those who are excelling as well as those who need additional help. Because of our soccer club's unique distinction as the first program to follow a professional soccer club model - one club, from youth recreational teams to our elite teams and Academy teams - finally to the ultimate, Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire (men) - there is no other club in the United States that is committed to player development from bottom to top.
Why the Florida Fire Juniors? Meet & Greet Slideshow
The Florida Fire Juniors is a first class professionally run organization that will produce teams who will consistently compete at the highest level and consistently develop players who play at the highest levels. The Florida Fire Juniors maintains the infrastructure for player and team development that produces the highest quality player and team results. As part of the Chicago Fire Player Development Program, Florida Fire Juniors players have access to unparalleled opportunities for soccer development…opportunities that no other club can provide. Youth to professional, top quality leadership and coaching, always ahead of the curve and leading the way…
The Chicago Fire Juniors… "Leading the Evolution of Youth Soccer!"
The Chicago Fire Juniors have demonstrated results in the top state leagues, regional leagues and national leagues (NISL Premiership, MRL, US Club, Super Y, USYS National League, USSF Academy), as well as over seas. Our players are regularly recognized on ODP, Regional and National Teams. Ours teams participate in the most prestigious of tournaments including such tournaments as Dallas Cup, Disney Showcase, Orange Classic, Raleigh Invite and Final Four Showcases. The Chicago Fire Juniors is proud of its long list of alumni currently playing college soccer and looks forward to continuing that tradition.
Florida Fire Juniors Academy Philosophy
The philosophy of the Florida Fire Juniors Academy is to give our young soccer players the best possible development opportunity in preparation for the rest of their soccer experience. During our Academy training program the Academy Director and his coaching staff will focus on enhancing our players footwork, skills, technical ability and their enjoyment the game. Our aim is to make all of our academy players familiarized and comfortable with a ball at their feet to create technically sound and creative soccer players.
Players of academy age are able to absorb positive habits and attitudes which create fantastic platforms for excellent development further down their soccer road. It enables coaches to develop a fun and positive atmosphere to develop creative skillful players. At the Florida Fire Juniors we stress player development vs results. It is important at the academy age that more importance is put on the technical and tactical development of the player rather than win at all cost mentality that can sometimes hamper players development. Success goes hand in hand with player and team development.
“Too often in this country, youth coaches sacrifice learning skills for winning games.” - Former USWNT player Mia Hamm.