BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – It would have been strange to see longtime Fire veteran Chris Rolfe run out in another kit in 2014.
“I’m really excited that we reached an agreement before the Re-Entry draft,” Rolfe said in a statement. “I’m happy to stay longer in the city I want to be in and the club I want to be with.”
The club’s second all-time leading goal scorer’s return for an eighth season with the Men in Red seemed like it might be in doubt as he entered phase one of the MLS Re-Entry Draft last Thursday. The veteran of 176 MLS appearances went unselected, which allowed Frank Yallop and his staff to continue working towards a deal this week.
Chicago-Fire.com reported Tuesday that both Rolfe and club captain Logan Pause had opted out of Wednesday’s Phase Two Re-Entry Draft, seeming to indicate that deals for both players weren’t far off.
“It was an interesting situation with an old staff leaving and a new staff coming in,” Rolfe told Chicago-Fire.com Wednesday. “The budget situation made it take a little time but in the end I was happy negotiating with Frank and Brian [Bliss], I had a good experience working through it with them.”
Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, Yallop indicated at Saturday’s Season Ticket Holder Town Hall that the club was looking to lower Rolfe’s wages to better fit into the club’s salary budget while giving the player a longer-term deal to stay in Chicago.
“We reached a deal that worked for both of us,” Rolfe said.
With his future in Chicago secure, Rolfe is ready to start working on the field with Yallop on the field as well as reuniting with former teammate and now assistant coach C.J. Brown.
“My conversations with Frank have gone very well and I’m looking forward to playing for him. I’ve heard nothing but good things from other players in the league. Picking up C.J. was a no-brainer and I’m really excited to be coached by him now and just to have him back with us at the Fire.”
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