One of the true under-the-radar development stories of the 2014 MLS season was the maturation of English winger Grant Ward. Coming into a strange league in a foreign country as a 19-year-old cannot be easy, and Ward overcame those difficulties (and a broken foot) to become a familiar face in the gameday 18.
Apparently, Tottenham was pleased with what they saw, as news comes today that Ward will stay in London with Spurs rather than return for another go-round with the Fire in 2015.
"It's Tottenham's decision," said Fire VP of Communications Doug Hicks. "They own the contract, and they want to keep him."
MLS famously does not approve loan deals without a buyout clause, which is a rider on a loan contract that allows the loaning team to purchase the player's full rights for a fee. Whatever Ward's buyout fee was, it was clearly more than the club was looking to spend. Once the Fire declined to exercise the buyout, Tottenham apparently was not interested in discussing another loan, or a lower fee.
All of which is to say: So long, Grant Ward. We'll always have that final assist.