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Happy Holidays from all of us at Hot Time

A brief note before we close the office for the year

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

What a year this has been.

A slate of major signings for the Fire, including former Bayern Munich and Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger. A huge run of games that saw a formerly hapless squad force themselves into the Supporters’ Shield conversation. A Red Stars side that stumbled out of the gate before more-or-less pulling themselves together. The MLS All-Star Game at Soldier Field. A third place finish for the Fire before a demoralizing one-and-done performance in the MLS Cup Playoffs. A similarly disappointing one-and-done playoff appearance for the Red Stars. Lots of renewed hope, plenty of good stuff to build on in 2018 (for both teams), but also lots of unresolved questions.

2017 was, in many respects, an exercise in taking the rough with the smooth.

Covering soccer in Chicago this year has been a roller coaster for us at Hot Time— and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re grateful to have two amazing teams to write about and cheer for in this, the best city in the world. And we’re excited to do this all again next year.

But for now, the Christmas and New Years’ holidays are upon us. It’s time for us to take a little bit of time for ourselves, reconnect with friends and family, and reflect on the past year.

We’re locking up the Hot Time office for the year. Sean might have a special Football Manager miniseries for you next week, but for the most part we’ll see you all back here the first week of January. (If there’s any big Hot Stove happenings over the holidays, we’ll get you caught up after NYD.)

Thank you for reading our coverage of the Fire and Red Stars and for being part of the Hot Time community. For all of us here at HTIOT, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.