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Chicago Fire Discuss Recovery in MLS with McDavid USA and Other Top Brands

Date: 6/28/11

CHICAGO – Tuesday, June 28, 2011 – For the Chicago Fire, recovery isn’t about ice baths and down time. It’s about commitment to body restoration that takes place around-the-clock, any time the players are not practicing or competing.

Recovery gear is not only integral to the team’s regimen, it’s mandatory – and according to the Fire’s assistant athletic trainer, Matt Zalewski, it has become a key ingredient to productive travel.

“With our schedule, it’s not uncommon for us to get on a plane immediately after a practice to travel across the country for a game.  And then, right after the game is over, we’ll board the plane again to travel back home,” Zalewski said. “We require the guys to wear the gear while traveling in order to combat pressure changes and minimize the damages after playing. For them to give 110 percent on the field, they need to take care of their bodies off the field and oftentimes, in the air.”

Chicago-based sports medicine and protective apparel company McDavid USA has noticed this trend with the Fire and other athletic teams and responded with a different research and development approach than many of its competitors.

“The market has become saturated with products that are now being designed for comfort rather than for increasing performance,” Rey Corpuz, director of marketing said. “Our recovery apparel brings back snugness, the way compression was always meant to fit. It makes for the most effective gear after intensive workouts and competitions, yet doesn’t restrict movement at all.”

Corpuz says McDavid achieves this technology blend of performance and comfort by ensuring the large muscle groups are secured by the fabric differently than the knee cap, elbow and other fulcrum regions.

The company’s most recent product launch is the True Compression Recovery System, consisting of a two-piece shirt and pant suit, socks, tights and arm sleeves.

McDavid is one of several brands the Fire has used and had great success with, according to Zalewski.

“There’s a range of great apparel out there,” Zalewski said. “Our players naturally benefit the most from product that covers the lower extremities. Socks and full length tights are equally crucial, although many of the guys prefer one over the other. Some of the players even sleep in them. The gear helps the team feel more refreshed and lessens soreness.”

Recovery apparel is already a staple to the Fire, and Zalewski believes it is something the league is also starting to look into further. 

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