Chicago soccer notes and news

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


 Photo by Jeff Vorva

Gilberto, shown during a preseason practice, has taken some time away from the team for personal reasons.



WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Toyota Park, Bridgeview

WHY: This will be a fourth-round game in the Lamar Hunt Cup before the Fire returns to Major League Soccer action June 18.


WHEN: 5 p.m., Sunday

WHERE: Toyota Park, Bridgeview



LAST TIME: Portland beat the Red Stars, 2-1, Aug. 9 in front of an announced crowd of 15,858 in Portland. Alyssa Mautz had the lone goal for the Red Stars.

Gilberto’s season put on hold for personal reasons

The only player who was scheduled to make a million bucks on the Chicago Fire has a hazy future with the team.

Gilberto, the highest-paid player on the team at $1.14 million according to has just two assists and multiple reports say the team is trying to buy out his contract. He missed the Fire’s last game against defending MLS champion Portland May 28 as he took personal time off, according to coach Veljko Paunovic.

General Manager Nelson Rodriguez said Monday the Gilberto told him he was “not in a state of mind” to return but added the organization has not discussed  buying out Gilberto’s contract  nor has had discussions with a team from Brazil.

The GM also said that if Gilberto doesn’t fulfill his obligations, the tam will discuss the situation with Major League Soccer and the player’s union.

Gilberto, 26, had five goals in 10 appearances for the Fire in 2015.

Kennedy Igboananike is the second-highest paid Fire player at $901,000 while David Accam is third at $771,000.

Orlando City’s Ricardo Kaka is the highest-paid MLS player at $7.1 million this year. Giberto ranked 21st in the league. There are 22 players slated to make $1 million or more in 2016.

Cup runneth over

The Fire enters the Lamar Hunt Cup competition in the fourth round by hosting the Indy Eleven on Wednesday.  

Since 1998, the Fire have compiled a 39-13-4 record in Open Cup play, including a 26-1-1 record in matches played in Illinois, reaching the semifinal round 11 times and the final six times.

The Fire previously hoisted the Dewar Trophy four times, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. 

Red Star scores big goal against Japan

Chicago Red Stars defender Julie Johnston scored a goal in the 27th minute Sunday in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2-0 exhibition victory over Japan in Cleveland in front of a crowd of 23,535.

Christen Press, another member of the Red Stars, also played in the game.

Red Stars goalie Alyssa Naeher did not get in the game nor Friday’s 3-3 tie against Japan as Hope Solo was in the net for both matches.

All three return to the Red Stars on  Sunday, when they host Portland in a battle for first place in the National Women’s Soccer League.