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Marry/Boff/Kill the 2015 Chicago Fire: Ty Harden

Veteran defender struggled with injuries after being acquired in a trade for Quincy Amarikwa - who then tore it up at San Jose

Instead of the lowlights he suffered with the Fire, here's a career highlight from 2015 that came against the Men in Red: His first career goal, a game-winner, on March 22.
Instead of the lowlights he suffered with the Fire, here's a career highlight from 2015 that came against the Men in Red: His first career goal, a game-winner, on March 22.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

"Marry/F**k/Kill" is a game of the Internet age, and the rules are simple: name a group of three people ("Iron Man and Thor and Captain America," "Blanche, Rose or Dorothy"), and ask the crowd to choose one fate for each of them - one to partner with for good, one explored for a connection but not kept, and one cast off into the outer darkness. Fans of the dearly-departed sitcom 30 Rock will recognize this game in its safe-for-primetime version, Marry/Boff/Kill, which name we're borrowing because this is SB Nation, and there's, like, kids in here, maaaaaaan.

Here at Hot Time, we're going to use the game to talk about players - specifically Chicago Fire players. We're going to use it as a way to talk about the roster, player by player, in terms of their performance, contract details*, and potential going forward. And we'll do it all with an eye toward 2016 and beyond.

It works like this:

  • ‘Marry' indicates a desire to keep the player at their current number or sometimes a bit more;
  • ‘Boff' (i.e., ‘F**k) means that we're, uhh, f**king the player over, asking for modifications to their contract or running them through the Re-Entry Draft process - we're interested, but not on these terms; and
  • ‘Kill' means we're not even interesting in hooking up - a 'nope.' If under contract for 2016, we'd prefer terminating the player's contact with CF97.

We have previously placed David AccamKingsley BryceJon BuschGreg CochraneRazvan CocisDaneil CyrusPatrick Doody and Collin FernandezAdaílton and Eric Gehrig up for a vote. Today's subject is 31-year-old centerback Ty Harden.

Ty Harden

2015 stats (with Chicago): 3 appearances, all starts, 270 minutes.

2015 stats (total): 5 appearances, 4 starts, 393 minutes. 1 goal, 1 assist.

MLS career stats: 103 appearances, 88 starts, 7862 minutes. 1 goal, 1 assist.

31-year-old defender. $71,663 base, $75,078 guaranteed.

The Case for 'Marry:' He doesn't cost much, and seems like a nice enough guy. And he got his only goal and assist of his career (which began as a rookie in 2008 with the Galaxy) in 2015 - maybe he's peaking! I'll be honest, there's not much here.

The Case for 'Boff:' There's not much room between Ty's deal an league minimums for his age and experience, but I don't want to strikethru this option again, so here's a possible rationale: Harden is apparently a very hard worker. Maybe having a guy like that around, grinding hard every day for the league minimum will shame the younger guys into improving their work habits. A sort of player-coach deal.

The Case for 'Kill:' When Harden arrived, the guy he was traded for - Quincy Amarikwa - was stone cold, unable to buy a goal. The Fire defense was struggling a bit. There was a catch: He needed a couple weeks to get well. In those couple weeks - which stretched out as rehabilitations can - Amarikwa became the Human Torch for San Jose, boosting them up the West; meanwhile, Chicago's defensive concerns became a sort of zombie outbreak of miscommunication and confusion. So the timing was terrible.

Still, Harden got his look during a three-game stretch when the club was still officially in the playoff hunt. The team collected zero points in those three games, and Harden (perhaps understandably) looked wooden, slow afoot and of thought. He'll be 32 next year, and hasn't been a regular starter anywhere since 2011. Maybe it's time.

Have your say, Fire family: Ty Harden: Marry? Boff? or Kill?

*Please note that we are taking the MLSPU salary information at face value in this exercise. It's common knowledge that the information isn't 100 percent correct, yes. If someone from the front office would like to provide us with superior data, we would be deeply appreciative.