Whatever happens around Toyota Park as the Frank Yallop era begins, this much is certain: Things will go a lot better if Chris Rolfe regains his feet and get himself pointed in the right direction.
I was among the set just certain that Rolfe was in for a huge 2013 season. Well, that didn’t happen – and then some. Rolfe’s inability to make hay was a big reason the Fire’s season went south from the jump.
By the end, his production (four goals, one assist) was easily the worst of his seven MLS seasons. (Rolfe is actually even more experienced than that, having spent two seasons in Denmark before returning to Windy City soccer in 2012.
Rolfe’s disappointing season was obscured somewhat by Mike Magee’s unbelievable, heroic effort to rescue the Fire season. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough, although Magee’s MVP season gave everyone something to look and talk about – which meant we didn’t have to focus on how things had gone to dreadfully sideways for Rolfe.
Well, he got a mulligan on Wednesday.
The Fire had originally declined Rolfe’s option, but the club announced on Wednesday it had re-signed the versatile midfielder-forward. Rolfe, 30, surely took a salary cut in order to remove himself from the re-entry process.
When Rolfe is confident and on one of his rolls, he can carry a team – which will surely be a relief to Magee, who had to carry the Fire for months in 2013.