On behalf of people who love the Chicago Fire as a soccer club - rather than, say, an employer, or a comic foil, or a long-term investment - I'd like you, dear reader, to reach way down deep into the things which make you furious. I want you to conjure that employer who had it out for you, or the kid who pushed your kid into a puddle. A crooked judge. A deceitful friend.
Are you there? Now you're in the proper mood to join me in saying: GO F*CK YOURSELF, 2015.
2015 dawned without a conspicuous outburst of hope, granted. We hoped the Fire would be competitive. They were, in the sense that the Fire did not actively score goals for the opposition (with the exception of Adailton, Avatar of Ill Fortune). But at no point was there a sense that this was a team who had a clear template of how they wanted to play, of how they hoped to turn effort into results. And the results - oy.
Rolling a 20 in Awfulness
A club that was once truly among the elite of MLS lost 20 games - twenty! - to finish at the foot of the table, 20th out of 20. The guy who had masterminded this descent from not-quite to holy-f*ck-not-anywhere-close was canned after about 20 months in charge.
He was replaced - in a move that has become familiar to watchers of the franchise - with nobody. His technical director saw the year out, but the play was still muddled. Then all those guys were fired - all the coaches, and scouts, and administrators - and replaced with two guys, Nelson Rodriguez and Vjelko Paunovic.
And half the players were let go, saving only the young and gifted on the roster, which seemed positive ... but we enter the new year with 15 players, meaning we need something like 10-15 more players. The Fire have five open international slots, no meaningful scouting apparatus, and less than three weeks until training camp.
2016 may be rainbows and unicorns; hope pertains, always. But as 2015 closes, it's palpably dark in Fire-land. On behalf of those who love the club, let me say once again: GO F*CK YOURSELF, 2015.