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Marry/Boff/Kill: Alex

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Unassuming Brazilian broke through as a starter in 2013, was part of most-successful central midfield partnership

Alex showed more bite than expected as a central midfielder, but do his attacking ideas hold up?
Alex showed more bite than expected as a central midfielder, but do his attacking ideas hold up?
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

"Marry/F**k/Kill" is a game of the Internet age, and the rules are simple: name a group of three people ("Iron Man and Thor and Captain America," "Blanche, Rose or Dorothy"), and ask the crowd to choose one fate for each of them - one to partner with for good, one explored for a connection but not kept, and one cast off into the outer darkness. Fans of 30 Rock will recognize this game in its safe-for-primetime version, Marry/Boff/Kill, which name we're borrowing because we do not want SB Nation getting angry emails.

Here at Hot Time, we're going to use the game to talk about players - specifically Chicago Fire players, naturally. We're going to use it as a way to talk about the roster. It works like this: ‘Marry' indicates a willingness to keep the player regardless of cap issues or any other considerations; ‘Boff' (i.e., ‘F**k) means that we're, uhh, f**king the player over, asking for modifications to their contract or running them through the Re-Entry Draft process - we're interested but not on these terms; and ‘Kill' means terminating the player's contact with CF97.

We're going to present some kind of argument for each outcome, and let the community have their say. I mean, why not? We already have an entire week of marrying, boffing and killing under our proverbial belts, and if you missed any of it, it can all be found under our Marry/Boff/Kill Story Stream, while we examine last week's results in M/B/K: Week 1 Wrap-up.

Alex, #71, 24 years old

2013: 30 appearances (18 starts), 1625 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist

MLS career: 47 appearances (24 starts), 2330 minutes, 3 goals, 1 assist

$110,000 base salary, $119,950 guaranteed

Alex grew into a starter's role in 2013, displaying enough versatility to play in central midfield or on the left wing. His most successful outings came in the middle; his knack for playing as the second man in on challenges and his solid partnership with Jeff Larentowicz drove the Fire through their most successful stretch of the season. Still, there are those who claim the unassuming Brazilian should be depth at best. Through the magic of totally unaccountable, anonymous voting, you can let us know how you feel! (Optional accountability available in the comments section, for those brave souls who wish to express a more rounded opinion.)

The case to ‘Marry'

When Alex and Larentowicz were paired together from the start in the center of midfield, the Fire won almost two-thirds of the time. Hyped as an attacking midfielder when signed for FC Wohlen in Switzerland, Alex has surprised with his work rate and defensive ability, while still providing enough going forward to balance the squad. And his cap number is lovely for a borderline starter - consider that he made less than Wells Thompson, and the Sao Paolo native starts looking like a bargain.

The case to ‘Boff'

The question is, does he offer enough going forward? The 2013 Fire featured almost no playmaking from ‘the hole,' that precious area above the penalty area, which is where you'd expect a playmaking central midfielder to have an impact. Alex seems more comfortable in the attack when driving in from the left wing, which would be fine, if the Fire didn't already employ Dilly Duka, whose best moments come when driving in off the left wing. If Frank Yallop considers Alex depth and not starter material, it's possible they'd offer him a new deal that's flat, instead of the raise he doubtless craves. That's as close to ‘boffed' as Alex is likely to wind up.

The case to ‘Kill'

He's not terribly expensive, and he's shown well as a defensive, possession-oriented midfielder, but he does still take up an international slot, and he's not the No.10 we imagined him to be. It's possible that a revamped scouting group can turn out a better playmaker around this price. Alex getting cut seems unlikely in the extreme, but we haven't gotten any indication from Yallop about his plans yet, so who knows? If you're an Alex hater, get your click on. Just please, if you would, explain yourself in comments.