The words Tradition, Honor, Passion have been as much a part of the Chicago Fire as the players and coaches. Since its first day on October 8, 1997 the 126th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire. In its inaugural season it accomplished something no expansion team since has done it won the MLS Cup and the US Open cup. Thanks to the incredible vison of its first President and General Manager Peter wilt who won one MLS Cup 3 Open Cups and a Supporters Shield in his tenure. Along with Wilt Coach Bob Bradley assembled a team of talented players. The Fire will again celebrate the anniversary of the great Chicago Fire, for its 20th it would like again to celebrate a return to the passion that drove them to an unprecedented double. Just as in 1998 when Wilt and Bob Bradley assembled a team of champions; new GM Nelson Rodriguez and Head Coach Veljko Paunovic hope the team they have assembled can return to its winning tradition.

Who would be in your list of great passionate players? I thought of many players, C.J. Brown, Brian McBride, Blanco, Logan Pause, Gonzalo Segares and Sean Johnson. The players who stirred my passion as a fan since I came to the Fire in 2008. For those fans lucky enough to be there in 1998, there will be I’m sure many more. The Polish trio of Peter Nowak, Roman Kosecki and Jerzy Podbroznyy, long time Chicago stalwart Frank Klopas, defender Lubos Kubik, recent Ring of Fire inductee Ante Razov, and goal keeper Zach Thornton who lead the team to victory in 1998. So who will become the 2017 version? Perhaps David Accam who has already made a giant mark on the team, perhaps the Dutch trio of Michael de Leeuw, Johan Kapplehoff and John Goossens, how about the young defensive pair Jonathon Campbell and Brandon Vincent. Can these players return the Fire to Tradition, Honor and Passion? If pre-season is any indicator it is bringing hope to the Longtime Fire Faithful

A great test will come on Saturday will come when the Fire take on 2016 MLS cup finalists Toronto FC for the last pre-season tune up. When the regular Season starts will this team write their names on the Fire tradition, Honor and Passion? Will we be saying their names in tales told at Fire gatherings as fans recount how they were there when they saw the greats play? The words inscribed everywhere in the Halls of the Fire and Jerseys be chanted with pride again.


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