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Thursday, October 6

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Fire Thu May 08 2008

Sometimes Things Don't Work Out, Sometimes They Do

Bruno Menezes, we hardly knew you. After a year of being on the fringes of the squad, the Chicago Fire released the Brazilian in favor of Paraguayan defender/midfielder, Lider Marmol. I could have sworn he was waived Menezes sometime last year, but apparently it didn't happen until yesterday. He came in at a strange time for the team. Dave Sarachan was on his last legs as a coach, the team had a serious injury crisis, and it was playing incredibly badly. Not a great situation to be introduced to a team. In limited time last year (2 starts, 3 games total) I thought he had potential to help out on the right side. The fact that he played under four coaches in a year (Sarachan, Hamlet on an interim basis, Osorio, and Hamlet again) and he takes up one of the precious foreign player slots meant the timing and the situation just never turned out right for him. Also, I think he should have gone with the Brazilian style single name and been known simply as Bruno. That might have helped.

New players getting lost in the shuffle at a changing club is hardly an MLS phenomenon though. World soccer is full of situations like this. Just ask Matt Pickens,

who's already looking for a new club after five months at QPR in London. He played some reserve games, but never got a shot with the first team. It didn't help that QPR has been bankrolled with some serious investment money recently, and will be looking to spend a lot of money this summer on players that will get them to the Premiere League by 2009. With the ambition to play in Europe, and a passport that lets him do it, don't expect to Pickens back in MLS anytime soon. Certainly doubtful he'll be back for the Fire given how John Busch has been playing this year.

Pickens and Bruno can take heart from the example of John Thorrington. After being part of a highly regarded US youth national team that included the likes of Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley and signing with Manchester United, things didn't quite work out for him. He knocked around a few lower division teams before ending up spending the better part of three seasons on the Fire's injury list. Then he got released and it looked like his career could be over. Then he got one last chance when he was brought back in to fill out the roster late last season. He scored a massive goal against David Beckham's LA Galaxy to help the Fire into the playoffs and now he's the team's leading scorer this season. You can see if he keeps up the hot streak tonight on ESPN2 when the Fire take on DC United in the MLS Game of the Week.

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