Fire release 2011 MLS Regular Season Schedule

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Fire release 2011 MLS Regular Season Schedule

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011
CSNChicago.com

The MLS released the Official Schedule for 2011 Thursday, and the Chicago Fire will be battling at home at Toyota Park for 17 games. The Men in Red will kick off their 14th MLS season when they travel to Dallas to challenge MLS Cup runners up FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday, March 19. The Fire take on Sporting Kansas City for their home opener on Saturday, March 26.

DateOpponentHomeAwayTime (CT)
Saturday, March 19
DallasAway7:30Saturday, March 26
Kansas City
Home
3:00
Saturday, April 9
Seattle
Away
3:00
Thursday, Apr 14
Portland
Away
10:00
Sunday, April 17
LA Galaxy
Home
3:00
Saturday, April 23
HoustonHome7:30Saturday, April 30
ColoradoAway8:00Saturday, May 7
VancouverHome7:30Saturday, May 14
TorontoAway6:00Saturday, May 21
PhiladelphiaAway7:00Saturday, May 28
San Jose
Home7:30Saturday, June 4
SeattleHome7:30Thursday, June 9
Kansas City
Away9:00Sunday, June 12
ColumbusAway3:00Saturday, June 18
New England
Away6:30Wednesday, June 22
Real Salt Lake
Home
7:30Sunday, June 26
New York
Home1:00Saturday, July 2
ChivasAway9:00Saturday, July 9
LA Galaxy
Away9:30Saturday, July 16
PortlandHome7:30Wednesday, August 3
PhiladelphiaHome8:00Sunday, August 7
VancouverAway6:00Saturday, August 13
New York
Away6:30Thursday, August 18
DCHome8:00Sunday, August 21
TorontoHome6:00Saturday, August 27
ColoradoHome7:30Saturday, September 10
San Jose
Away9:30Saturday, September 17
ChivasHome3:00Sunday, September 25
New England
Home3:00
Wednesday, September 28
Real Salt Lake
Away8:00Saturday, October 1
HoustonAway3:00Wednesday, October 12
DallasHome7:30Saturday, October 15
DCAway6:30Saturday, October 22
ColumbusHome7:30

Boosted by Bastian Schweinsteiger's big salary, Fire rank fourth in MLS payroll

Boosted by Bastian Schweinsteiger's big salary, Fire rank fourth in MLS payroll

The Major League Soccer Players Union releases player salaries twice a year and it always makes for good statistics and headlines.

While the numbers the Players Union release aren't always perfectly accurate, for the most part it gives a good view of who makes what and what teams are spending big or not. Some players are listed lower than their actual salary for a variety of reasons, but teams stay quiet on this matter so this remains hazy.

It's also important to note that these salaries are not what the player costs against the cap. Transfer fees factor into a player's cap hit and are among the other costs that aren’t included in the salaries listed.

With that in mind, today the MLSPU dropped the salary numbers, dated April 15, 2017. Here are some of the interesting notes on the salaries:

  • The big news from a Chicago Fire standpoint is that Bastian Schweinsteiger's $5.4 million salary is seventh-highest in the league and is a big reason why the Fire moved from 20th to fourth in payroll since the last time the Players Union released salaries. By the time the numbers were released last September, the Fire had already shed designated players Gilberto and Kennedy Igboananike. Those two combined to make just over $2 million, which would have put the Fire just outside the top 10 in the league rankings.


  • Schweinsteiger makes more than the listed payrolls of four teams (Minnesota, D.C., Montreal and Houston). Montreal was the biggest drop in payroll in terms of rank (eighth to 21st) with Didier Drogba ($2,116,667) coming off the books. The LA Galaxy shed the most amount of money from a year ago, just over $6 million, with Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard coming off the books.
  • Schweinsteiger is the fourth-highest paid midfielder.

Jorge Bava ($267,133) is sixth-highest paid among goalkeepers. Last year's Fire starter, Sean Johnson ($220,008), is ninth.

Nemanja Nikolic ($1,906,333) is the seventh-highest paid forward. David Accam ($820,937.50) is 15th and Michael de Leeuw ($564,212.50) is 25th.

Johan Kappelhof ($570,000) is ninth among defenders.

  • Among returning Fire players, Luis Solignac has the biggest listed raise. He had his option declined by the Fire in the offseason, but still re-signed, implying that the option was for more than what he ended up signing for. Solignac's listed guaranteed compensation went from $85,000 to $328,312.
  • The next biggest percentage raise is Jonathan Campbell, who went from $78,125 as a rookie to $109,875 this year. This is a bit ironic considering Campbell has already been on the bench more this season than in all of 2016, when he led the team in minutes played.
  • Homegrown player Djordje Mihailovic is the highest-paid among the rookies, coming in at $80,000.

Here are the players listed as making $2 million or more:

Kaka (Orlando): $7,167,500.00

Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto): $7,115,555.67

Michael Bradley (Toronto): $6,500,000.00

Andrea Pirlo (NYCFC): $5,915,690.00

David Villa (NYCFC): $5,610,000.00

Gio Dos Santos (LA): $5,500,000.00

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Fire): $5,400,000.00

Jozy Altidore (Toronto): $4,875,000.00

Clint Dempsey (Seattle): $3,892,933.50

Diego Valeri (Portland): $2,607,500.00

Tim Howard (Colorado): $2,475,000.00

Miguel Almiron (Atlanta): $2,297,000.00

Maxi Moralez (NYCFC): $2,000,000.04

For more number nerdiness, Jonathan Tannenwald has some league-wide numbers and charts at Philly.com. He has the MLS average salary at $326,319.23 and the median salary at $135,002.

Arturo Alvarez went nuts when Leo Messi scored El Clasico winner

Arturo Alvarez went nuts when Leo Messi scored El Clasico winner

Even professional soccer players can be fans when Barcelona and Real Madrid play each other in their epic El Clasico meetings.

Barcelona won at Real Madrid 3-2 on Sunday in one of the most entertaining games of the year (ever?). Leo Messi scored the game-winner in the final kick of the game to stun the crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Given the epic rivalry between the two teams and the significance of Messi scoring his second goal of the game to score a game-winner at the home of the fans who hate him most, it was enough to excite even neutral fans.

The reaction of a Barcelona fan? Well, just see how Chicago Fire midfielder Arturo Alvarez reacted when he was watching with some teammates.

Alvarez watched with teammates McCarty, Michael Harrington and Drew Conner.

"I'm a big Messi fan," Alvarez said after training on Tuesday. "I love his game... and to win like that in the last minute.

"I had a good time watching the game with Dax and Michael and Drew. Just enjoying the game."

Some Fire teammates will get together to watch big games when they have a free weekend. The Fire played at Toronto on Friday, which meant they had an extra day free last weekend and took advantage.

"Whenever we have a chance to watch a good game like that we all get together a watch a game," Alvarez said. "If you love the game how can you not love those two teams going at it."