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Hot Time Friday Mailbag And Open Thread: “What’s Wrong With Ketchup?”

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Plus: “Is the academy system working?”

MLS: Eastern Conference Knockout Round-New York Red Bulls at Chicago Fire Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to our new Friday Mailbag!

At heart, I’m a sports radio guy, so I love interactions with listeners/readers of any endeavor I do. So it goes without saying that I’ve wanted to do this for a while. Because I’m not Drew Magary, there won’t be a thousand-word preamble before every post. There will just be a reminder to use the #AskHotTime hashtag when asking questions on twitter. If you don’t have or don’t use Twitter, post a question in the comments and start a discussion! It will be fun!

I’m going to answer the second question first, No, I don’t think it matters all that much. The Chicago Fire do not have a dedicated lower division team. Instead of a squad of reserves that are all or mostly under contract to the squad, they have a partnership with a USL club, the Tulsa Roughnecks. What this means is that the partner team can’t concentrate on just getting the Fire Homegrowns minutes. Their number one priority is to win games, not develop talent. Whether you like it or not is entirely up to you, but the players who went to college seem to be more successful than those who didn’t.

I think the academy is fine. It’s developed some real talent (Conner, Mihailovic), but also had some real high profile misses.(Vic. Pineda, Shipp (sad face emoji), Fernandez).

This one is tough, because Accam was so important to how the Fire offense worked. I really really want to say Aleksandar Katai, their new loanee, will fill that hole. Partly because it’s the obvious answer, and partly because he’s had to go through a lot in his career, and I’d love him to find balance and happiness here.

I expect the Fire to make the playoffs at a 5th or 6th seed. A little step back to be sure, but that’s what happens when you sell away a known asset like David Accam, and come back with a relative unknown like Katai. But if Katai is good. I can see them challenging TFC for first as well.

I actually disagree with you. I think making the playoffs for two years in a row would be a fantastic achievement, considering it hasn’t been done in 9 years. Progress to me for this year is winning a playoff game. But at the same time, just getting there and being competitive would be enough for me.

(I say that now, but if we’re leading the supporters shield or something in August or whatever, It’s Champions League or bust. Also, make the Open Cup final.)

Ketchup is not a bad thing, and it has a multitude of uses. As a condiment on burgers and fries, to be sure. But also as an ingredient in barbecue sauces, meatloaf glazes, and chili.

Just because it doesn’t go on hot dogs or with eggs doesn’t mean it’s not useful.