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Exit Interview: Michael Harrington

Harrington struggled to find his form at either outside back slot

MLS: Chicago Fire at Philadelphia Union Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Harrington, DR/DL

6-ft-0, 170 lbs., 30 years old

2016 MLSPU salary: $125,000

2016 Stats

19 appearances, 16 starts, 1291 minutes, 1 assist, 1 red card

Career MLS Stats

240 appearances, 212 starts, 18,884 minutes, 5 goals, 19 assist, 23 yellow cards, 2 red cards

Scouting Report

Harrington is almost exactly the player he always has been - a combative, two-footed defender who doesn’t stay connected to the team shape well ... unfortunately the one thing missing is the pace that used to allow him to outrun some mental mistakes ... seems to fall into spacing and positioning ruts - too pinched in or too far forward ... can whip in a cross and doesn’t waste a foul, so if this were the English fourth division in 1962, he’d be class

2016 Recap

Harrington was brought in to provide depth, someone who could maybe even bring experience to the XI. At one point in the season, Harrington was arguably at blame for all four goals surrendered in a single game, a Hall-of-Shame performance where he was often caught out ball watching or out of position. The well-traveled flank defender rarely had a half-decent game. There was a bright side: Harrington’s lack of quality prompted Paunovic to start Vincent for most of the second half of the season.

Harrington was really bad. He was inconsistent, played shoddy defense, didn't provide offensive support, and sometimes wandered off into la-la land and simply allowed goals. What’s worse, after he consistently got burned on the flanks by attacking wingers, the whole league tilted their game-plan to run right at him.

Once Vincent showed he could handle starting on the left, Harrington’s staggering displays on the right led to Kappelhof’s near-permanent use on the outside down the stretch.

2017 Outlook

Unfortunately, Harrington has a guaranteed contract for 2017. He probably will be used for depth and maybe for experience. He even could be exposed for a late draft pick in the expansion draft but that is unlikely. Harrington will probably play minimal minutes in 2017 unless someone goes down with an injury. Paunovic will opt for Vincent as they want to grow Vincent into a solid MLS left back, which means giving him minutes. After 2017, Harrington will likely leave the Fire as his contract runs out.