Chicago Fire FC begins 'new brand identity'
The Chicago Fire's new owner is going for a new look in its new/old stadium.
The Fire on Thursday announced a "new brand identity" that includes a new badge and new uniform colors. The club had considered a new name but decided just to become a "Football Club" instead of a "Soccer Club." It is now formally known as Chicago Fire FC.
"As a Chicagoan, it was important to me that our new brand identity reflect the power of our city's origin," Fire owner Joe Mansueto said in a club news release. "I've always loved the Chicago Fire name. I think of the people who rolled up their sleeves and committed to rebuild what would become a world-class city, one that my family and I love so much. The new badge including the Fire Crown represents that spirit."
The Fire this summer announced it is returning to Soldier Field, where it began play in 1998. It left Soldier Field when Toyota Park opened in Southwest suburban Bridgeview in 2006.
Mansueto bought into the club in 2018 and became sole owner in September.
The Fire has struggled in recent years, making the playoffs just twice in the past 10 seasons. The club finished last in the league in attendance this season.
The Fire also announced Thursday that it picked up the 2020 contract options on Raheem Edwards and C.J. Sapong. It declined the options of nine players, leaving the team with 14 on the roster.
Aleksandar Katai, Nicolas Gaitan, Diego Campos, Stef Cleveland, David Ousted and Richard Sanchez were among the players whose options were not picked up.
Kenneth Kronholm and 15-year-old Gabriel Slonina of Addison are the only goalkeepers on the roster for now. Slonina plays in the Fire's academy.
Captain Dax McCarty and homegrown defender Grant Lillard (Hinsdale) were traded away last week.
Sapong is the only forward on the roster.
The decision to keep Edwards is curious because he played in just four games last season, falling out of favor with coach Veljko Paunovic to the point he wasn't around the team most of the season. Paunovic was fired last week.