Fire, Banner part ways

Veteran midfielder moves on after four seasons in Chicago

A number of new players poured into Chicago Fire training camp last Wednesday but one that wasn’t there and was confirmed Monday won’t be returning to the club is midfielder Mike Banner.

A product of SIU-Edwardsville, Banner has been out of contract since the beginning of the year, with the club and the player unable to come to terms on a new deal.

“We appreciate Mike and what he provided to the club during his time in Chicago,” Fire head coach Frank Klopas said from the team’s training camp in Ave Maria, Fla. Monday.

Selected 34th overall by the Fire in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, Banner appeared in 54 regular season matches, tallying three goals and three assists for the club. Hailing from Washington, D.C., Banner saw perhaps his most productive season coming in 2009, when he appeared in 22 games, tallying two goals and three assists while deputizing in midfield and as a full back.

Hampered by injuries last season, Banner did not make a first team appearance for the club but appeared in two reserve matches during 2011.

Jeff Crandall is the Team Writer for the Chicago Fire. Follow him on Twitter @JefeCrandall.