Soccer MLS

Chicago Fire’s 5 Key Players to Their 2014 MLS Season

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5 Players Who Are Key to Chicago Fire's 2014 Season

Chicago Fire
Getty Images

It seems as though the offseason was very busy for many clubs; Chicago Fire was definitely one of them. It signed many players to its club in hopes of adding depth to its lineup. Chicago had even made moves during the 2013 MLS season, which added players that now help define Chicago as a club. Those players were able to showcase their talents last season and will now have a whole season to help Chicago. It is ready to make history and win more matches.

With the 2014 season approaching Frank Yallop has already started making some changes. The preseason matches have been used as a rehearsal for the upcoming season, and he has taken risks with the players and even adjusted the formation. New players mean new rules, because they won't always play the same way. This is why preseason matches are so valuable, especially after a busy preseason. The players get to know each other on the pitch just as the coach does.

There are some players I think will help carry the club to the playoffs; actually, I'll go as far as saying caring it to the Eastern Conference finals. I believe this season's Chicago club is not one to be reckoned with. It has always had passion and now it's beginning to add better and better players. If it gets its form and chemistry in order, then Chicago may go all the way. I cannot wait to see how this season pans out for it.

Jackee Arce is a soccer writer for Follow her on Twitter @knackeredwriter, “like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

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5. Benji Joya

Benji Joya
Jonathan Dyer - USA TODAY Sports

Benji Joya is a 20-year-old player who Chicago Fire signed on loan from Santos Laguna for this season. Joya is a midfielder, which is a very inconsistent position for Chicago. Joya played for Santos first team, but only made four appearances. I think this is a worthy risk for Chicago as Joya has already began scoring goals for the club in the offseason.

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4. Patrick Ianni

Patrick Ianni
Casey Saplo - USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Ianni joined Chicago Fire alongside other former Seattle Sounders defensive player Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. Both are strong defensive players, which is what Chicago needs. Ianni will help add depth to the back of the formation. It has its offense in order, and I think he will help give the club a more defensive edge.

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3. Jeff Larentowicz

Jeff Larentowicz
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Larentowicz was added to Chicago Fire last season and was not given any consistency in position. This year, Frank Yallop has stated Larentowicz will be the bridge between the midfield and defense in a 4-1-4-1 formation. It will be a different position, but he is well equipped and will be able to help the club out more.

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2. Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson
Casey Saplo - USA TODAY Sports

Sean Johnson continues to be one of Chicago Fire's best assets. He is the best goalkeeper in the Eastern Conference, and Chicago needs to hang on to him. It has upped its defensive line this year, but a good goalkeeper is still necessary to keep the club up top. Johnson will definitely be the one to keep the club from falling too far behind by keeping goals out of the net.

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1. Mike Magee

Mike Magee
Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

Even though Mike Magee has only recently joined Chicago Fire's offseason after healing from an injury, I don't think that will stop him from being Chicago's best player. Putting Magee in the forward position may have been the best decision Chicago has ever made. It's new formation will rely heavily on the striker, and when Magee is playing I have no doubt he will be successful.