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Fire It Up!: Friday Morning Links

Here are some Friday morning links and analysis to start off the day.

Jonathan Daniel

Last night I ran across a couple of Chicago Fire related articles that I felt were worth sharing.

Bob Gosman over at the Barrington Courier-Review wrote a short piece on Mike Magee. The piece is sort of fluffy, but it is still a quick, worthwhile read. Gosman included a couple of quotes from Illinois native, former Fireman and former teammate of Mike Magee, Brian Plotkin. One of the quotes about Mike Magee playing on the U-16 team struck me as interesting:

To this day, Plotkin vividly remembers the performance Magee put on at the international Dallas Cup when the two were playing up an age group at the U-16 level.

"We were one of the first American teams to win that tournament," Plotkin said. "I think he had hat tricks in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals."

I tired to find something to corroborate Plotkin's quotes, but I couldn't find anything about Magee scoring hat tricks for the U-16. He did score an important, game winning goal for the U-20 squad at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship against Paraguay,

However, in trying to corroborate Plotkin's quotes, I did run into an journal style article on the US Soccer website from a young Mike Magee in 2003 talking about trying out with some teams in Europe and mentioning Bob Bradley inviting him to train with the Chicago Fire while being home.

As for the other forward on the Fire, Anthony Zilis has an article up about Chris Rolfe and how he is going to fit in the line up with his new team mate Juan Luis Anangonó. In the article, Zilis has a couple of quotes from Patrick Nyarko, who seems to think that Rolfe will be playing back in the midfield underneath Magee and Anangonó.

"Personally, I think [Rolfe is most effective] behind the striker because of the tremendous qualities he has," Nyarko said. "Underneath would be perfect for him. You know he's honest defensively, he would do the defensive work, too."

Last season, Rolfe had an amazing stretch of games playing in central midfield. Towards the end of the season, teams had figured out how to neutralize Rolfe in central midfield. Personally, I think the Fire have better options to play in midfield than Rolfe, but Frank Klopas isn't shy about putting his best XI players out on to the field even if it means putting a player in a position that he is not particularly effective in.

Lastly, the MLS website has put together a scouting report video for the upcoming match against the Dynamo on Saturday.

So according to Matt Doyle, the Fire a middling team who can beat the bad teams and lose to the good teams. It hurts, but I can not say that I disagree with him. What result this season has been the biggest for the Fire? I can think of three matches as candidates and two of the matches were draws: 3-1 win over New York Red Bulls; 2-2 draw against Portland Timbers; or 1-1 draw against Real Salt Lake. My vote would have to go for the draw against RSL simply because they are a tough at Rio Tinto and the Fire are not particularly good on the road.

It is also interesting that Corey Ashe will be back for Houston and got some attention from Doyle and Matt Haiek. Playing opposite of Ashe will be right back Kofie Sarkodie who is just as dangerous in adding width and supporting the attack. Sarkodie is tied with Will Bruin for most assists on the Dynamo squad with 4.

Our usual pre-game stuff will be hitting Hot Time in Old Town later today along with some new stuff, so stay tuned.