MONTREAL – This Saturday will be a special day in Harry Shipp’s lifetime.
Born in Lake Forest, some 40 minutes north of Chicago, Shipp has followed the Chicago Fire for “over 15 years,” as he pointed out in a letter to the supporters that he penned last month. He is purely a product of Illinois soccer and of the Fire, who signed him as a Homegrown Player in January 2014.
This Saturday, Harry Shipp will play a first game this season in front of his fans – but these fans aren’t Illinois-born anymore. Shipp will instead make his home debut for the Montreal Impact.
“It’s going to be exciting, this being my first game here.” Shipp said on Friday morning. “It’ll be fun, with lots of fans. Last week was a little more nervous for me, just because it was my first game with the team in general. This week, I’ll just be able to settle down, play and enjoy it in front of this new atmosphere.”
Shipp will not be venturing into an altogether new territory, however. He has already played one game at the Big O – on April 12, 2014, when Shipp played 75 minutes in a 1-1 Chicago tie against the Impact.
The Impact’s new No. 14 obviously hopes for a different scenario this time. And he wants to be at the heart of it all on the Olympic Stadium field.
“We have to be confident, playing out of the back,” Shipp said. “When they step up to play, you don’t just want to kick it long every time. You want to feel comfortable and get guys in numbers around the ball so you can build up from the back.”