Without Pause: Though not starting, Fire captain praises "good form" of current central pairing

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- After nearly a month away from the field with a lower back injury, Fire captain Logan Pause returned as a late sub in the Fire’s 4-1 victory over D.C. United on July 20.

Since then, the 11-year club veteran has made just one other substitute appearance, coming in the team’s 1-1 draw at Houston on July 27 before going unused in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Philadelphia as the Men in Red pushed for three points.

Though the story of a club captain appearing more a sub isn’t all the common, Pause admits that he’ll have to work his way back in to usurp the current starting central tandem of Jeff Larentowicz and Alex.

“I think right now our midfield is in good form, we’re getting results and I think it’s a good thing,” he told Chicago-Fire.com Tuesday.

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If there’s a source of depth anywhere on the current Fire roster, it’s in the central midfield with Pause, Alex, Larentowicz and Daniel Paladini.

All four have put in consistent performances this season which allowed Fire head coach Frank Klopas to use a more consistent rotation system as the team navigated the early rounds of this year’s U.S. Open Cup.

With the Fire currently in another familiar three-game in eight-days scenario, could Wednesday’s semifinal be Pause’s first start since suffering the back injury on June 22 at Columbus?

“It’s up to the coaches,” said the Fire captain. “We did well with those Wednesday / Saturday / Wednesday games in June – we got through that by shifting guys around. Regardless of whether I’m called upon or not, the guys in front of me will also be ready to help get us the win and advance.”

Should Pause step on the field in Wednesday’s semifinal, he’ll become the club’s all-time leader in U.S. Open Cup appearances, moving past former teammate C.J. Brown with 26 games under his belt.

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Though the only player on the Fire roster who has experienced two Open Cup titles, Pause said he doesn’t have to impart much wisdom on his teammates before they step on to the pitch for Wednesday’s high stakes match.

“I don’t think there’s a lot to say. We’ve talked about this tournament being a really important competion and one of our goals as a team is to life trophies.

“Wednesday is just one step closer – it’s not the championship game but we know there might not be a day after tomorrow.”