As one era of Chicago Fire soccer ends, another one will begin. Long time captain Logan Pause has announced that he will retire at the end of the season. Pause has spent his whole 12 year career in Chicago and the team will honor him on October 24, which is the regular season finale.
Logan Pause has been the first player that comes to mind when you think Chicago Fire soccer for a long time and his effect on his team will carry on past this season. Ever since being drafted by the Fire in 2003 out of North Carolina, Pause has been a consummate professional, the anchor in the midfield and a leader off the field. All of the success that the Fire has had in the past 12 years is partially owed to Pause.
The rest of the season will give Fire fans a chance to honor and thank the long-time captain for his years of service. He is tied with Cobi Jones and Pablo Mastroeni for second longest tenure with one club in MLS, only behind C.J. Brown.
At a press conference Pause said that "I'm leaving the game and this profession with gratitude and joy to these gentleman sitting next to me, this wonderful club, this fantastic city, wonderful teammates past and present. The last 12 years I've been given some of the most amazing life giving experiences. I've poured my absolute heart and soul every single day, games and practice, but what I've gotten in return has been way more than I can remotely explain from this club, from this city, from the fans from my teammates and coaches."
Over the span of his career, Pause made 281 appearances for the Fire with three goals and eleven assists. He also made 14 playoff appearances and earned six international caps. Off the field, Pause was renown for his work in the community as he was named the 2009 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year and has been on Chicago Fire Foundation Board of Directors since 2009.
In the past couple of years, Pause has struggled with injuries and took a pay cut this year to stay with the Fire. At 33 years old, it seems like a good time for Pause to close the curtain on what has been one of the greatest Fire careers of all time. We can only hope that Pause stays around the sport or the Fire in the future because he is one of those guys that the sport needs. He also deserves a spot in the Ring of Fire which hopefully will happen soon.
The regular season has nine games left so Fire fans should take time to appreciate the leadership, commitment and passion of Pause one last time. In an ideal world, the team would have more than nine more games because Pause deserves one last playoff run. What do you say Fire? Let's send Logan out in style.