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Preview & Gamethread: Chicago vs Portland

The Chicago Fire search for a trophy in the final game of the preseason as they take on the Portland Timbers in their home stadium to close out the Simple Invitational.

The Chicago Fire has one last chance for some preseason hugs against Portland Saturday.
The Chicago Fire has one last chance for some preseason hugs against Portland Saturday.
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

With only seven days until the start of the MLS season it is comforting to know the Chicago Fire have signed ... Matt Lampson.

While a third goalkeeper is a welcomed addition and Lampson certainly seems deserving of the contract, the lingering "final touches" on contracts to lock up John Goossens and Arturo Alvarez is now slightly uncomfortable. Contract offers have reportedly been made to both players but the signatures have yet to hit the paper.

I know it's all but official, but this is still the Fire and nothing but a 100 percent legal, binding contract will make me feel warm and fuzzy.

But until then, the Fire have one more preseason match against Portland tonight at 7 p.m. for the Simple Invitational Trophy. A win or draw gives the Fire and Veljko Paunovic their first trophy since that glorious Desert Diamond Cup triumph 2014. Spoiler alert: the Fire's regular season that year didn't go so well.

The Fire have been wildly entertaining to watch this preseason and this game could be the most explosive yet. I expect both Paunovic and Portland coach Caleb Porter to start their A teams as both get ready for opening weekend. The first 45 minutes should be a good heat check for the Fire, especially in front of what is sure to be a raucous Timber Army.

I will be most interested in watching how the backline performs after a shaky performance against Vancouver and facing nearly no danger against Minnesota. The defense has options, but also the most questions heading into the season.

Be sure to check back here for starting lineups and post game coverage. And since it's the last preseason game of the year, why not make this a Gamethread too. I know that's what Twitter is for and all, but hey, clicks and such.