The Fire finished pre-season with a perfect 6-0 record. They defeated MLS Cup finalists Toronto FC 4-1, scoring three goals just in the first half. So Fire fans is it time for sweet dreams of trophies? Is it time to burn the proverbial wooden spoon? Given the Pre-season record and the re-ignited passion seen in the players in pre-season, hope is starting in the hearts of the Fire faithful.

A big boost to the team has been the offseason acquisition of Midfielder Dax McCarty, who by his own admission “hates to lose.” The addition of Juninho the team gains a strong leadership presence on the field that has been lacking in past seasons. The retention of strong core players, David Accam, Michael de Leeuw, Johan Kapplehoff, Brandon Vincent, Joao Meira, Arturo Alvarez, Jonathon Campbell will allow for more cohesiveness on the field this season, unlike past seasons where there was a huge turnover in player personnel. The back line which last year gave up 58 goals seems to be more solid this year, only allowing 6 goals in 6 games. They scored 18 goals in six games. Second year coach Veljko Paunovic seems to have a vision and a plan for the team this season. One which the all the players are excited to execute. A strong start will go a long way on the road to the playoffs.

So will the newly renewed passion and tactical plan lead to a return to a winning tradition? The first test of the 2017 season will come this Saturday as the Fire visit bitter rivals the Columbus Crew then return home the following week to face Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake. Once again the Harlem End and Section 8 will once again be filled with chants of “who’s the best” and the responses ring out ‘fire Fire Fire” I think this season those words will ring true.

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