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Friday Mailbag & Open Thread: Just Make Your Beef At Home

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Plus: If Red Stars players played for the Fire...

MLS: Orlando City SC vs. Chicago Fire Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

I hate this time of year. The week between the end of preseason and the beginning of the regular season is misery. It doesn’t help that the Fire don’t get to play until week 2 because there are 21 teams in the league. So we get an extra preseason game. Hooray!

Send your questions for the season opener to #AskHotTime on Twitter. Let’s get started with this week’s batch.

That’s an interesting question, because it’s not just one player. Daniel Johnson, John Bakero, and Mo Adams all need to have big half seasons to keep the Fire afloat until Michael DeLeeuw and Djordje Mihailovic can return to full fitness. Yes, Adams will most likely be coming off the bench for most of his playing time, but Bastian Schweinsteiger is far from a spring chicken, and I don’t expect him to play as many minutes as he did last year. Alexander Katai needs to have a breakout year more for his own sake, rather then the Fire’s, as this is his redemption tour. And with Jonathan Campbell out for the first 6 weeks of the season, whoever starts next to Johan Kappelhof, be it Christian Dean or Grant Lillard, is going to need to come up big. So, the short answer to your question is “all of them.”

It’s got to be John Bakero. He plays the glamour position, and therefore will be the most visible rookie on the squad. He’s also the rookie on tap to get the most playing time, depending on the situation at center back. He’ll also be in the position to run the show early in the season, playing at being the #10 style play maker in the squad. It’s definitely Bakero.

After FC Dallas got embarrassed in the Champions League this week (LOL, btw), the smart money is on the Fire. But the real winners are the fans. Or something.

I mean, Probably not? I honestly couldn’t tell you one way or the other, but It has to be telling that he never got a shot last year with all the goalkeeping struggles the Fire had between Matt Lampson (I seriously almost typed Matt Pickens) Jorge “Giant” Bava, and Richard Sanchez. Maybe he’ll get a shot this year, but who knows.

Speaking of goalkeepers,

Alyssa Naeher to Richard Sanchez is the biggest gap in terms of relative skill to their position for me, so I’d like to have one of the best goalkeepers in the world, please. I also think a player of Sophia Huerta’s skill would fill a lot of problems the Fire have. As for the other direction, Schweinsteiger is an obvious answer, who doesn’t want another world class talent on their team.

Make it yourself. It’s not hard. This is the recipe I use. https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/how-to-make-chicago-style-italian-beef-at-home-sandwich-recipe.html

Two things that are of the upmost importance, make sure you use good bread. Find a local bakery who’s baguettes you absolutely love and use those. Good bread is the most important part of a good sandwich. (good pastries and donuts are a plus) also Import Marconi giardiniera, or make it yourself.