Chris Brady dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of Fire


After the Fire’s loss to the Philadelphia Union last Saturday, goaltender Chris Brady texted a friend and former teammate who understands what he’s been through. In the 90th minute, Brady skipped Joaquín Torres’ seemingly harmless shot from outside the box 18 yards, allowing what turned out to be the game-winning goal and allowing the friend to mentally correct his mistake. I wanted to know how you dealt with it.

On the other side of the conversation: Gabriel Slonina. A year ago, Slonina was his teenage starting goalkeeper for his Fire in 2022. His season was at times a struggle, but he overcame those setbacks.

Now 19, Brady is a young goalkeeper with big names and potential, experiencing his first full campaign as an MLS starter.

“It was a more general text. It wasn’t very personal,” said Brady. “He mentioned something I was already trying to do pretty early on. [which] The next week of training was making sure I was very sharp, very good and very clean in preparation for the next match.

Brady’s next test was Saturday night at frigid Soldier Field when the Fires tied FC Cincinnati 3-3. The Fire are without Xherdan Shaqiri, Jairo Torres (upper right leg) and Federico Navarro (upper left leg) through injury, while Kay Kamara and Fabian Gerbers received his two yellow cards in Philadelphia. Suspended from participating.

The Fire took a 3–1 lead with goals from Kappel Psibilko and Rafael Chichos in the first half and Chris Muller in the second half. Junior Moreno scored in the eighth minute to give Cincinnati an early lead, and Sergio Santos beat Brady in the 84th minute to cut Fire Edge in half.

Cincinnati tied the game in the 87th when Moreno scored the second, robbing the Fire of their first win. Brady, who made five saves and was not responsible for all three goals, appears to have earned the team’s trust.

But coach Ezra Hendrickson indicated that he didn’t use his treatment of Slonina as a guide for Brady, even though they were fairly similar in age and developmental stage.

“As a coach, it’s important to read your players because they have different ways of dealing with devastating situations,” Hendrickson said. “But from reading Chris and being around him, I think he’s very strong mentally. I think he’ll be fine.”

Fire counts on it, even if he has to deal with the inevitable ups and downs again from a young and talented goalkeeper.

“It’s growing pains, but we’re confident in him and his abilities,” Hendrickson said.

Brady said being able to deal with growing pains is a sign of maturity, not something to hide.

Brady also mentioned what he’s heard in the past from U-20 national team coach Mikey Barras. Mistakes and bad moments should be learned from, not just erased.

“‘Whenever the game doesn’t go your way, whenever the play doesn’t go your way, it’s a scar,'” Brady said, recalling Ballas’ message. It will heal very quickly if you just keep making progress and don’t dwell on it.

If Brady listens to those words, even if Slonina falls ill like last year, she will be able to recover.

“He’s been through it,” said Brady. “It’s nice to know someone can get over it and get back on track. [Slonina] bottom. Hopefully that’s what I’m trying to do. “


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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