CHICAGO — For the most part, a number of professional teams in Chicago are currently in the midst of a rebuild or in the middle stages of constructing a winning team.
But there is one that is the opposite – as their building toward a contender was done in previous years.
Now after a few deep playoff runs, the Chicago Union are hoping to take the next step toward a league championship.
The ultimate disc league team starts their 2023 season in the American Ultimate Disc League on Saturday at home against the Indianapolis AlleyCats at 6:30 p.m. at De La Salle Institute, 3434 S. Michigan Ave. It’s the first of 12 games – with six at home and six on the road – during the regular season that extends through the end of July.
They’re looking for their first AUDL title after two strong seasons in 2021 & 2022, advancing to the league final last August.
“We’re just really hungry for another win,” said Union player Luke Brennan of the 2023 season. “Obviously it hurt last year to make it all the way to the top and then lose in the championship. Definitely look forward to working hard and hopefully winning that.”
Started in 2013 as the Chicago Wildfire, the Union have built itself into one of the best teams in the AUDL. In 2021 they won the Central Division with a 10-2 record and advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament.
Last season, the Union went 11-1 to win another Central Division title and made it all the way to the league final before losing to the New York Empire in August.
There are a few changes to the roster this year with some key player departures, including All-AUDL first team selection Pawel Janas. But a strong core returns in hopes of chasing that first championship the Union have been building towards the last few years.
“We’ve got a lot of new guys on the team who are really excited to put in a lot of work,” said Brennan.
Larry Hawley has more on the Union’s start to their season from WGN News Now in the video above.