Things aren’t going well for the present-day Fire. They’re buried in last place in MLS, will miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six years and are playing out the string of another lost season under interim coach Brian Bliss.
On Saturday when the Fire host the New England Revolution, their fans will be reminded of a better time around the club.
At halftime, Ante Razov will be inducted into the Ring of Fire. Razov, a member of the club’s 1998 MLS Cup champion, is the Fire’s all-time leading scorer with 76 goals. Fellow inductees Frank Klopas, Lubos Kubik, Peter Nowak and Peter Wilt are expected to be in attendance.
As for the current group, the Fire are trying to get some positive results to end a disappointing year. Bliss said during a Monday conference call the team is in good spirits and that he hasn’t seen the finger-pointing and divisiveness that can come with a bad year.
“That doesn’t seem to be the case, at least from what I’ve noticed,” Bliss said.
Around the world
The Sky’s Elena Delle Donne and Courtney Vandersloot have accepted invites from USA Basketball to participate in a training camp in Spain and also play in exhibition games in Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic. The training camp and exhibitions are in preparation for next year’s Olympic Games.
DePaul coach Doug Bruno is one of head coach Geno Auriemma’s assistants for a team trying to sneak in some work with a team that isn’t together often. That will still be the case for this gathering, which will be without players in the WNBA Finals.
“It’s one of the obstacles that we have every Olympic year; the amount of time we get with our players,” Auriemma said in a news release. “This is another example of that. We are going to have 10 days together, so we’ll have a couple practices and a couple games but we are going to be missing some players.”
Back at it
The Wolves opened training camp Tuesday in Hoffman Estates. Among the familiar names back in camp with the Wolves are forward Pat Cannone and goalie Jordan Binnington and many more are expected back from the parent-club St. Louis Blues before the season begins Oct. 10 against Milwaukee.
The Wolves are watching plenty of roster battles in St. Louis, and one is between young defensemen Joel Edmundson, Petteri Lindbohm, and Colton Parayko. The Blues figure to have room to keep one – maybe two – and the others would be expected to join the Wolves.
Legendary Israeli basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv is facing Italy’s Armani Milano on Thursday at the United Center. Prior to the game, Maccabi will gather with fans at a sukkah on the north side of the building.
The sukkah – which is a hut-like structure covered with vegetation – is built as part of the Jewish holiday Sukkot. The holiday recalls the time the Jewish people wandered in the desert wilderness and the surrounding clouds.