Preps Talk

Striker Rolfe returns to Fire

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Striker Rolfe returns to Fire

The Fire scored only three goals in its first four matches, but that shortage of firepower could be alleviated with Mondays signing of Chris Rolfe.

Rolfe, 29, was a popular striker for the Fire from 2005-09, when he had 40 goals and 20 assists in 149 games across all competitions. The Fire got him as a third-round draft pick out of the University of Dayton, and his performance in his first stint with the club earned him his first U.S. national team callup as well as the chance to play for Danish SuperLiga side Aalborg BK.

Aalborg and Rolfe had a mutual parting of the ways recently, freeing Rolfe to return to the club where he began his pro career. With Aalborg, Rolfe had six goals in 32 matches over three seasons.

After getting his first U.S. cap while with the Fire, in a 2005 match vs. Scotland, Rolfe added 10 more in subsequent years and earned his first international point with an assist.

Rolfe is to arrive in Chicago late Monday and will make his first appearance with the club at a Wednesday training session at Toyota Park. The team has Tuesday off, following Mondays 1-0 win over Houston in a reserve team match in Bridgeview.

"Im thrilled to return to Chicago. The Fire has always been a special place for me," said Rolfe. "I look forward to getting in and putting in the work to help the team."

Coach Frank Klopas welcomed Rolfe back to the club, calling him "a proven goal-scorer with experience in MLS and abroad....Hell help us as we push for the MLS Cup."

30 Days to Kickoff: Maine West

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30 Days to Kickoff: Maine West

School: Maine West

Head coach: Jason Kradman

Assistant Coaches: Steve Piha, Mike Smith, Russ Swenson, Dan Wilson, Mike O'Brill, Matt Boswell, Tony Manicke, Ryan Willett, Trent Greco, Rashad Daviston, Joe Duszynski

How they fared in 2016: 4-5 (2-3 Central Suburban North Conference), missed the 2016 IHSA state playoff field

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 25th vs Streamwood

September 1st @ Larkin

September 8th vs Buffalo Grove

September 15th @ Wheeling

September 22nd @ Glenbrook North

September 29th vs Maine East

October 6th @ Vernon Hills

October 13th @ Highland Park

October 20th vs Deerfield

Biggest storyline: Can Maine West become playoff eligible in 2017?

Names to watch this season:  Senior TE Matt Kentgen Senior DL Walter Hutt

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will need to reload on both sides of the football with just 7 starters back (3 offense 4 defense) this fall. .

EDGY's Early Take: Maine West is looking to continue to take positive steps forward after just missing out on a five win season in 2016. Look for the Warriors to get the football into the hands of senior TE Matt Kentgen as much as possible and if the underclassmen can develop West could again challenge for a state playoff slot in 2017.

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