Fire hire Posada as new president

Fire hire Posada as new president

Friday, Sept. 17, 2010
11:42 AM

By Justin O'Neil
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Fire have had an up and down season on the field during what can be described as a transition year, and that movement forward continues off the pitch with the hiring of new President Julian Posada.

Posada has a background in media, most recently serving as founder and president of Caf Media. Previously he served as general manager of Hoy, the Tribunes Spanish language Chicago newspaper. The new president does not have a background in sports operations, but the Fire are hoping that Posada will help them continue to reach out to Chicagos sizable Hispanic community.

The Fire filled the presidents position after Dave Greeley, who has been president for the past two seasons, resigned on August 4. The presidents position is one of many to have changed for the Fire this season. Head coach Carlos de los Cobos been unable to find the right formula on the field in his first year, and it looks like the team will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The team also exited from the Superliga in the group stage and lost to third division side Charleston Battery at Toyota Park in the U.S. Open Cup.

The Fire started slow in league play this season before having a nice patch upon the arrival of designated players Nery Castillo and Freddie Ljungberg, but have dipped in the table again. With captain Brian McBride retiring as of the end of the season, the future of the Fire is up in the air.

The team has several good young attacking players to build around in Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko, and Collins John. Despite the young attacking talent and the addition of Castillo and Ljungberg, the Fire have struggled to score goals this season, notching just 28 goals in 22 games. Technical director Frank Klopas and general manager Peter Wilt will need to see if the teams attack will need a further makeover in the offseason.

One of the bright spots this season has been rookie goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who has earned several save of the week nominations after taking the starting role from Andrew Dykstra.

The Fire need to make up nine points on the Seattle Sounders in order to qualify for the playoffs, although they have two games in hand. The team has not won since August 18, scoring just two goals in two draws and two losses. Virtually every game is a must-win for the club, and they will be on the road against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Morning Update: Dwyane Wade comes up clutch in close win vs. Kings

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AP

Morning Update: Dwyane Wade comes up clutch in close win vs. Kings

Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively vs. Kings

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Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively vs. Kings

Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively vs. Kings

It was a gift and the Bulls weren't going to look it in the mouth as Dwyane Wade was poised to finish off another one of his sterling defensive plays with a breakaway dunk with the game tied and Arron Afflalo and DeMarcus Cousins trailing.

Lightly touched by the small of his back by Cousins, Wade miscalculated his liftoff and missed the dunk but was bailed out by the refs for a foul with 14 seconds left.

Then, he bailed the Bulls out.

Wade had his fifth fourth-quarter defensive play, stripping Cousins on a steal on the ensuing possession with the Sacramento Kings having a chance to win, leading to a Michael Carter-Williams dunk and finishing a 102-99 win Saturday night at the United Center.

It was a clock-turning performance for Wade on both ends of the floor, even if his missed dunk is a reminder that he is 35 years old. 

"I took off too far as I look at the instant replay," Wade said. "I should've took maybe one more dribble. Can't say I felt 35, I just took off too far (laughs). But hey, sometimes you get calls, sometimes you don't. I'm a person who hasn't gotten a lot all year so I'm not gonna apologize for nothing."

Stripping Cousins on his spin move was the finale, but he swatted an Arron Afflalo corner triple in the fourth, smothered Ty Lawson at the rim twice for blocked shots to end the third and tortured Lawson again in the fourth for another steal that led to him following up a Jimmy Butler missed layup with a follow and foul.

"Just a read," said Wade on stripping Cousins. "We knew he was gonna go to DeMarcus at that point. Once we forced him left, I knew he had to come back to the right hand. And being in the right place at the right time, the ball was right there for me."

Wade played like a desperate and motivated man, putting up 30 with six rebounds and four assists on the second night of a back-to-back is proof positive he took Friday's loss to Atlanta personally and used his play to back up those feelings.

He took to twitter to apologize for the poor effort against the Hawks, producing his best all-around performance as a Bull.

"We've been good in desperate moments," Wade said. "We haven't been good in non-desperate moments, when we win three in a row or playing a team that we should beat. But (in) the desperate moments I like us."

He scored 13 in the fourth, along with the last of his four blocked shots and all three of his steals took place in the final 12.

"I thought he was terrific," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He was aggressive all game long, taking the ball to the basket, getting to the line 15 times. He came up with two big plays."

Hoiberg threw out different lineups and rotations, playing Paul Zipser as a sixth man and having the second-round draft pick close the game. Zipser took advantage, hitting three triples and scoring 13 points.

"I thought it was night and day from last night," Hoiberg said. "Our energy was really good all night long. We got just enough stops to find a way to win."

Cousins dominated the game with 42 and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes, the only Kings player in double figures all night.

"He was pretty much unguardable for the majority of the game, Taj did a solid job on him," Hoiberg said. "When Robin was on him, they put him on the perimeter and let him shoot threes. He's a monster."

Back-to-back triples from Cousins gave him 40 and tied the game at 97, as a third one rimmed out with a little under two minutes left.

Cousins dominated the start of the third quarter, hitting midrange jumpers over Lopez and taunting the Bulls bench after hitting a jumper to put the Kings ahead, 70-63 midway through the third.

But the Bulls stayed close, with Hoiberg choosing to sit Rajon Rondo for the second half after playing him six minutes in the second quarter, using Wade as a point guard and going with Carter-Williams for defense, along with Zipser, who didn't look scared of the moment.

"I like the wrinkle coach put in there, putting him in early," Wade said. "He gave him an opportunity and he helped us big time."

Butler scored 23 with seven assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes, didn't have to play the hero for once and made fun of Wade's apology tweet.

"He was due for a big night," Butler said. "He can tweet again if he can come out again and give us 30 and some big steals and big dunks."

"I think that's what called of him, to score baskets and guard. It's kinda sneaky. You never really expect it until it happens."

It looked like the worst was over when the Bulls made a short run to end the third, surviving the onslaught from Cousins — and surviving their own experimenting with Zipser instead of going with Denzel Valentine, switching things up altogether.

But the tone was set by the leaders, who can only manufacture but so much urgency on a nightly basis.

"I like this team when we're desperate," Wade said. "A desperate team, we're not bad."