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Never Let Them See You Sweat: Chicagoist Takes the Field for Fire Media Friendly

By Kim Bellware in News on Jul 9, 2010 9:38PM

We at Chicagoist have nothing but love for our hometown MLS squad, the Fire, so we were positively geeked when they asked us to participate in the team's annual media game at Toyota Park Wednesday. Chicago media personalities, including folks from The Trib, The Sun-Times, Univision, Fox Chicago and WBBM, played alongside Chicago Fire staff for the abbreviated 40-minute friendly, with the Red and White teams competing for a mini cup that Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas jokingly assured us was "solid gold."

Temperatures were scorching well in the 90s for the noon kickoff, where match referee, Fire Senior Manager of Marketing Operations, Jason Kolisch, instituted a no slide tackling and no off-sides rule. After the White team's kickoff, each side built strong offensive plays during the first quarter, but tough goalkeeping from both teams kept play at a draw until White broke through to net a goal around the 15th minute. After a few rough plays outside the White goal box, a player for Red was issued a yellow card to end the half.

At the start of the second half, The Red team came back in full force, blindsiding the White team with a goal to tie the game. To keep the excitement up, Fire midfielder Marco Pappa acted as the stadium's vuvuzela orchestra of one as his teammate, goalie Andrew Dykstra, coached from the sidelines. Things were looking to end in draw with both teams hustling as the clock wound down. With less than five minutes to game, the White team found the back of the net once more to win the game, 2-1.

Players, coaches, staff and friends gathered post-game for team photos and a short ceremony during which Fire owner, Andrew Hauptmann, presented the cup to the White team (for which he also played). Hauptmann, Klopas and others from the Fire family thanked everyone for sweating it out on the pitch, before all the media wonks hit the showers to return to work.

And in case you were wondering, Chicagoist was totally on the winning team.