The Chicago Fire is enjoying a dream start to the season, is leading the Eastern Conference and is doing so with an impressive wealth of talent on a deep and balanced team.
With that all in mind, how much should the Fire give up to acquire former U.S. national team star Brian McBride? The former Fulham captain is ready to return to MLS and wants to play for the Fire, but the Fire will have to make at least one deal to make that happen. There is no question that if Chicago could add McBride without giving anything up you could install the Fire as MLS Cup favorites today (actually, you could probably say it anyway.)
Unfortunately for the Fire, acquiring McBride isn’t going to come cheap and team officials will have to decide whether adding McBride is worth shaking up team on a roll right now.
So here is the question. How much should the Fire be willing to give up? If Chicago has to trade for a designated player slot, as well as an allocation slot from Toronto FC, you would have to wonder just how much of that depth and talent the Fire would be willing to surrender. If McBride is willing to pay for a non-DP salary for the second-half of the MLS season then things would be much easier, but if he wants a multi-year DP deal, the Fire could be forced to make a difficult choice.
Does Chicago mess with some very good chemistry right now or does it sacrifice talent and depth for a chance to add a quality veteran striker in McBride, who has been playing at a high level for years now? Does the Fire pass on the hometown hero and look for a more modest deal to make for a proven striker? Or does Chicago stand pat with its current squad?
Head coach Denis Hamlett and technical director Frank Klopas will certainly be earning their money on this one.
What do you think the Fire should do? Share your thoughts below.