One Big Question: Does a new era mean a more successful team?
I don't think Chicago hired Georg Heitz and Raphael Wicky because they want to field a team of 30-somethings. Both Heitz and Wicky have longer and more successful histories with younger players, including at FC Basel where Wicky worked his way up from the academy to the first-team job.
That couldn't be more different from the Fire, who consistently fielded one of the oldest (and least-successful) teams in MLS last decade, a span during which they "won" two Wooden Spoons, made the playoffs only twice and won zero playoff games. Chicago entered the 2010s as one of the league's most historically successful clubs, and exited it as an afterthought.
Now they're an afterthought with three open DP slots, a move back downtown to (gigantic) Soldier Field and whispers of a real commitment to making use of the surfeit of talent in the Chicagoland area.
Slovenian striker Robert Beric looks like he'll be the first through the door:
It all sounds right, and if they bring in two from the trio of high-end DPs – names like Rodolfo Pizarro and Bebelo Reynosa have all been mentioned – in addition to Beric and some sensible, lower-level roster building, the 2010s will feel like a bad, distant memory real quick.
But they don't right now. Right now the past is the present and it feels like the future as well. The new era can't just happen on paper – it's got to be out there on the field, and soon.