The Chicago Fire might’ve fallen backwards into the Historical Failures pile this last season - taking, perhaps, the place formerly occupied by that rounders club on Waverly and Sheffield - but the misty 2016 season was not without its mellow fruitfulness. Today, Major League Soccer declared Matt Lampson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper, MLS Humanitarian of the Year.
Lampson’s charity - which buoys people who (like Lampson) are stricken with early-onset cancers - has raised "more than $30,000" since 2014, and will collect $5,000 from MLS for this award. Lampson himself has been cancer-free since 2007, but remembers well the terror associated with that word.
In league play, Lampson set a team-record shutout streak of 412 minutes, but was considered largely disappointing, albeit within the strictures of a team which absolutely did not succeed at any level (1-6-4 record, 18 goals in 11 appearances). Prior to his time with the Fire, Lampson was a Columbus Crew homegrown player, garnering a few MLS appearances and precious little else to speak of - but his work off the field remains exemplary, as this award demonstrates.