Fire Soccer and Mississippi United Soccer Club announce a partnership that
establishes the fourth branch of the Fire Youth Development Program's official
youth club system, Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi.
the agreement, the Fire has again expanded its youth development program
outside the Chicagoland area, this time into the state of Mississippi, a first
for any Major League Soccer organization. Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi
will model itself after other existing Chicago Fire Youth Development Program
expansions in the states of Michigan (CFJ - West Michigan) and Wisconsin (CFJ -
Elm Grove). Like its predecessors, the newly formed Chicago Fire Juniors of
Mississippi will afford children in age groups from U11-U-19 in the Jackson
metro area the chance to play for its competitive club squads.
the addition of another Fire Juniors satellite club, we have strengthened our
commitment to providing players with the best Chicago Fire training methods
possible, regardless of a location," said Chicago Fire President and CEO
John Guppy. "We fully expect Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi to thrive
just as our flagship program in Wheaton and its satellites in Michigan and Wisconsin
did, and look forward to seeing the quality of player coming out of this new
Fire Juniors of Mississippi will implement the curriculum and philosophy
utilized by the other three Chicago Fire Juniors programs. Chicago Fire Juniors
of Mississippi expects to draw approximately 400 travel players in its first
year, with boys and girls teams participating in age groups ranging from
Under-11 to Under-19. Participants in the Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi
system will have the same opportunities afforded to the other three clubs,
including the chance to partake in player exchanges, participation in national
and international tournaments and access to wellness and nutrition programs.
unprecedented development with our new Mississippi-based Juniors program is
further proof of our commitment toward youth development," said Chicago
Fire Director of Soccer and Team Development Roland Hahn. "The Fire
Juniors has developed a number of quality players within our own Midwest
programs. With committed personnel here eager to give the best youth soccer
instruction, we aim to continue that success with expansion into
Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi agreement is another step in the Fire's
mission to identify future MLS talent in Chicagoland and beyond. On the field,
Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi will be under the guidance of Technical
Director Kenny White, whose expansive soccer coaching and management experience
includes stints as the State Director of Coaching in Alabama and an assistant
coach for the New Orleans Gamblers of the then USL A-League. Chicago Fire
Juniors of Mississippi will be outfitted by adidas, the official uniform
supplier of the Chicago Fire, Chicago Fire Juniors and Major League Soccer.
opportunity to align ourselves with a professional organization such as the
Chicago Fire is a tremendous plus," said White. "Our goal is to be
one of the premier youth soccer organizations, and this initiative helps to put
us at the forefront of youth soccer development. We are extremely grateful that
this partnership has materialized."
Fire's association with its newest affiliate will also expand the
brand-awareness of the Chicago Fire name and image in the Jackson area, where
the Fire will spend a portion of its preseason schedule for the next five years
as part of an agreement reached with the town of Ridgeland.
Mapp, a member of the Chicago Fire grew up in the Reservoir area of Rankin
County and started his soccer career playing with the Reservoir Futbol Club
that later merged with other clubs to form Mississippi United. The club has
grown into the largest division I club in Mississippi and one of the most
successful. This year the club will field approximately 25 teams in Under 11
through Under 19 boys and girls.
the Chicago Fire Juniors formed in April of 2003, the club's three branches
have provided thousands of youth soccer players ages 8-23 access to the
unparalleled resources of the Chicago Fire organization, providing young
players across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin the highest possible
level of youth soccer development. The Chicago Fire Juniors, under the
leadership of Director of Coaching Larry Sunderland, feature top-level,
nationally licensed coaches with access to high-quality fields and facilities
in each of its now four locales. For more information on the Fire's Youth
Development Department and its initiatives, visit www.chicagofirejuniors.com.
To receive more information on the Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi, please
visit www.mississippifirejr.com or contact Kenny White at (601) 624-3766 or via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.