When: Friday October 24th at 7PM CST
Where: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
Where to Watch: Toyota Park stands, NBCSN
Hey, What Happened?
The 2014/2015 Chicago Fire preseason tour went into Washington DC hoping to get a little positive momentum heading into the season finale versus Houston. That positive momentum did not happen, as DC United proved they had much more to play for and came out the victors 2-1 as they locked up the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. The culprit to the Fire's undoing last week was the same problem they've had all year - the defense. The first DC goal came from the head of an unmarked Chris Pontius, while the second goal which was scored by Eddie Johnson came off of a give away by the Fire defense. The lone bright spot was Harry Shipp's well-taken goal that came off a great through ball from Patrick Nyarko. To make matters worse - much worse - Nyarko, a second-half substitute, had to be substituted after just 21 minutes when he stretched in the wrong way and tore his ACL, ending his preseason almost before it began. That injury will rule him out until next July at the earliest.
Hey, What's Happening?
This is it! It's finally here! The end of the 2014 season! Tonight, the Fire host the Houston Dynamo in a farewell match not just to this forsaken season but to Logan Pause, a Fire player who has been with the team since being drafted from UNC in 2003. This match also could feature a 'welcome back' to one of the all-time fan favorites in DaMarcus Beasley. Oh, and it's Dom Kinnear's final match on the Dynamo bench. Other than that, these two teams have nothing to play for.
Hey, What Should Happen?
It doesn't matter if either team wins this game, as neither team can make the playoffs. It doesn't matter if the Fire add to their record of mediocrity by drawing their 19th game of the season. If the result is unimportant, though, the game still promises to be much more: It marks the end of the 12-year career for Logan Pause.
In a sense I grew up watching Logan Pause play professionally. I graduated from college in December of 2002 and shortly thereafter - in January of 2003 - the Chicago Fire selected Logan Pause in the Superdraft. Since then Logan has not missed a season with the Men in Red and I haven't either. Seeing him progress into a team leader, captain, and mentor was something to see. He learned from one of the best, Chris Armas, on how to play one of the most important positions on the field. Pause was one of the few players who took being a teammate above and beyond what was called for. Logan showed how to a professional on and off the field as well as taking time out for supporters and their events. He's been just pure class and one of the last players on this team that has a connection to the last cup won by this franchise, the 2006 US Open Cup.
Players like Logan are few and far between. What I mean by that is that rarely now-a-days you find that player that is happy staying with one club their entire career. Players like CJ Brown, Steven Gerrard, Francesco Totti, Paolo Maldini, Tony Adams, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and Jamie Carragher. They are all a breed of player that is going off into the sunset. Logan Pause is one of those players that should be remembered not just for his steady play on the field but for what he did off of it.
Hey What's Going to Happen?
90 minutes left to this season. A season that has been filled with disappointment and let downs around every corner, just when you thought that Yallop and company had turned things around somehow the team would find its way back to the error filled and inconsistent ways that have plagued us all season long. Why should the end be any different? Since both Houston and Chicago have absolutely nothing to play for, I'm going to go with a 0-0 tie. Just put an end to it already and let's look forward to starting 2015 undefeated.