Longtime Chicago Fire midfielder, Logan Pause, has re-signed with the club after having his option declined at the end of the 2013 MLS season. It was pretty much expected by most that Logan would be returning to the club for 2014, but it appears that it took a little while for both side to negotiate a new deal.
Frank Yallop had the following to say about Logan in the press release:
"From ownership on down, we felt that it was imperative to have Logan remain an important part of this club," head coach Frank Yallop said in a press release. "Logan has been an integral part of this team for the past 11 years, and he is a natural, respected leader."
2013 was a down year for Logan. Between injuries and the arrival of Jeff Larentowicz and Egidio Arévalo Ríos, Logan's playing time in 2013 dropped to 905 minutes over 15 appearances. That is the lowest amount of playing time Logan has ever logged as a member of the Fire. In every season prior to 2013, Logan has broken the 1,000 minute mark, and 2007 was the last year that Logan did not break the 2,000 minute mark.
While 2013 might look like an outlier in Logan's career at the moment, it is most likely an indicator of the direction Logan's career is heading. Jeff Larentowicz is still with the team, and, unless he gets injured, Logan will most likely be filling in as a role player when needed.
At this juncture, Logan's value to the Fire might be less on the field, and more off the field. If there is one thing Logan is, it is that he is a leader. He doesn't just lead by being an old guy on the team. He leads by playing rightback because there is no one else on the depth chart who can. He leads by breaking two ribs and and suffering a pneumothorax, yet only missing two games. There are a lot of young players joining the Fire this year, and Logan can provide the example of how to be a professional.
Welcome back, Logan.