Illinois is a mid-western state in the United States of America. It is marked by farmland, forests, rolling hills, and wetlands. Hence it is known as the Prairie State.
Like every other state in the United States of America, Illinois is also home to various soccer teams that are based primarily in the state.
Today we will be spotlighting the top soccer clubs in Illinois.
1. Chicago Fire FC
Chicago Fire was founded on October 8th, 1997, as one of the first expansion teams to participate in the inaugural American Major League Soccer (MLS).
It is undoubtedly the most popular soccer club in Illinois.
The City of Chicago-based side got its name from the great Chicago Fire, which occurred in 1871.
The Eastern Conference franchise side has been one of the mainstays in the MLS since 1998.
They have won the MLS Cup and Shield on one occasion each.
They have also won the US Open Cup 4 times in their history.
Chicago Fire currently plays out of the 61,500 Soldier Field stadium in Chicago, Illinois.
Popular soccer players like Freddie Ljungberg, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Gabriel Slonina played for Chicago Fire.
2. Chicago Red Stars
Red Stars is a professional women’s soccer team that is based in the City of Chicago.
They were founded in 2006 and currently competes in the American National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
The Chicago-based side is one of the most competitive teams in the NWSL, having finished runners-up on two occasions in 2019 and 2021.
The Red Stars play their home matches at the SeatGeek Stadium located in Bridgeview, Illinois.
3. RWB Adria
Adria is an American soccer team that plays in the lower division Midwest Premier League.
The club was founded in 1959 by Croatian immigrants who settled in Chicago, Illinois. RWB regularly participates in the US Open Cup.
Interestingly, the most high-profile soccer player who played for RWB Adria is the legendary Portuguese Eusébio, who briefly played at the club in the late 1970s.
They play their home games at the Hales Franciscan High School located in Bronzeville, a neighborhood in the south of Chicago.
4. Panathinaikos Chicago
Panathinaikos Chicago is a lower division American club side with strong Greek influence.
It is currently the only team in Illinois that participates in the National Premier Soccer League — the 4th division of US Football.
They were founded on July 1st, 2020, by father and son Dimitrios Chronopoulos and Dionissios Chronopoulos, a pair of supporters of the Greek club of the same year.
The American-based pair established the side to service communities in the Chicago area as serve as a sort of vehicle to promote the brand of the main Panathinaikos club in Greece.
They currently play out of the Nike Sports Complex located in Naperville, Illinois, and compete in the National Premier Soccer League.
5. Chicago House AC
CHAC is a Chicago-based side owned by Lindsey Morgan Sacks.
They were founded in 2020 and currently compete in the Midwest Premier League.
They play their home matches at Stuart Field, located in the Illinois Institute of Technology.