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Wednesday, October 27

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Fire Fri Mar 20 2009

Offseason Shenanigans - Or Lack Thereof

Things have been so quiet this off-season for the Chicago Fire that it's almost escaped attention that their season kicks off Saturday night against FC Dallas. You can check the game out on Fox Chicago at 7:30pm or, if you like watching soccer in bars, Section 8 lists a few viewing parties on their website.

Now, a quiet offseason is not necessarily a bad thing. The Fire didn't need to make any major changes to their roster and they haven't. Tim Ward has been added to fill out an already deep defense and Bulgarian striker Stefan Dimitrov has been signed as the backup target guy for Brian McBride. Wilman Conde has played defensive midfield - the one area the Fire doesn't have a lot of depth - a few times during preseason. Other than that, the roster's mostly unchanged the team that came within 45 minutes of reaching the MLS Cup Final. And let's not forget, the Fire have had Brian McBride from the start of preseason this year, rather than having to learn how to play with him on the fly. After all of last year's offseason drama, for most Fire fans no news is good news.

Still, if you have to read something to get ready for Saturday's game, check out this Q&A with Fire coach Denis Hamlet where he addresses issues like playing Chris Rolfe in midfield, the situations with Lider Marmol, Tomasz Frankowski and Wilman Conde, and being the first black coach in MLS.

Oh, and the MLS Players Union released the salaries for this year. Get ready for the Justin Mapp backlash!

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Dunl / March 20, 2009 11:54 AM

Also check out Section 8's Fire Season Preview.

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