Leading By Example

CORR: Pause's magnified role with the Fire

Hidden behind the retirements of Chicago Fire defender C.J. Brown and forward Brian McBride, defensive midfielder Logan Pause quietly had a noteworthy individual 2010 season. 

On Thursday, former Fire and current U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley called up Pause to the squad for a friendly against South Africa. And earlier in the week the Fire dished out their team awards, with Pause earning the most valuable player honor. 

"Obviously I'm humbled by the award, and that's very nice for all those who participated in the voting process," Pause said. "But it's a tough one for me to truly enjoy. When your team doesn't make the playoffs, I consider how the team's body of work is a direct reflection of me. And I feel personally that I'm still in a spot where I can get better. I'm healthy and I continue to learn every day. Those things have been bright. But that's a tough award to accept when you don't make the playoffs." 

With the leadership of Brown and McBride no longer with the Fire, this team will be searching for someone to take on the captain role. And whether head coach Carlos de los Cobos decides to give Pause a game-time armband next year, Pause is Chicago's de facto captain simply for being a part of the Fire system for eight seasons now. 

"I'm not the coach, but Logan does have those kinds of qualities, for sure," technical director Frank Klopas said. "I think that a lot of times he's a guy that doesn't stand out. When you evaluate every game and the hard work this guy does, the running, the balls he wins, the sacrifices, he knows his role. He's not the flashiest guy, but he's a great leader on the field." 

To read the rest of this story, visit ESPN Chicago.