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2009 MLS Season Preview: Chicago Fire

The Recent Results: Chicago had a fantastic 2008 and, let’s face it, they were the 2nd best team in the league last year. They barely lost 2-1 to CMB in the MLS Cup Semifinal and they just missed out on the Supporters Shield because of, you guessed it, CMB. They were #5 in the league in offense and #2 in defense as well. They were damn good.

The Man in Charge: Costa Rican coach Denis Hamlett had a very successful first year with the team in 2008 and there is no reason he can’t make the Fire even better in 2009. He’s been with the team (originally as an assistant) since it was formed, and he knows the squad inside and out. I think he’s poised to take them to the top.

On the Offensive: There are not many teams with more offensive firepower (pun intended) than Chicago. Blanco is still a crafty little bugger and there is probably nobody better in the air than Brian McBride. Plus, Chris Rolfe and Justin Mapp are two of the best young players in the league. The Fire’s offense is still incendiary (ditto above).

For the Defense: The defense is the one question mark for the Fire this year. Prideaux and Brown are getting pretty old. But, in their defense (puns are just flying tonight – sorry), Segares, Pause and Robinson are younger chaps. Busch is one of the best keepers around too, so I think the Fire will once again be one of the stingiest defenses in the league. 

Movie They Resemble: The Fire remind me of The Untouchables. Blanco is Elliot Ness and the rest of the Fire are his FBI agents. They work as a team to fight against their enemies tooth and nail. The Fire, like the movie, will probably win many awards this year too. Thank God they don’t have Kevin Costner though. That would sink them for sure (hey, even a Waterworld pun)!