When the Fire reports Saturday for its first training camp under coach Frank Yallop, midfielder Logan Pause will be there.
It wasn’t a sure thing until Friday, when the Fire announced Pause had re-signed for a 12th season. In December, the Fire declined Pause’s option, so a return wasn’t guaranteed.
In the end, the Fire will start a new era with its most senior player. And that was welcome news to Pause, who was confident he’d come back.
“My everyday routine and preparing was as if I was going to be returning and playing for Chicago all along,’’ Pause said. ‘‘That was my hope, that was my prayer, along with my intention. I’m really just blessed and fortunate that [owner] Andrew Hauptman and Frank and his staff have the confidence in me to return for another year.”
Clearly, it also meant something to the Fire.
“From ownership on down, we felt it was important to have Logan remain a part of this club,” Yallop said in a news release. “Logan has been an integral part of this team for the last 11 years, is a natural, respected leader, and we’re excited to have him back.”
Pause might not be the only familiar face returning.
At a precamp news conference during which the team formally introduced C.J. Brown as an assistant coach and Brian Bliss as technical director, Yallop said the Fire is trying to bring back midfielder Marco Pappa.
The Fire sold Pappa in 2012, but he was released Jan. 3 by Dutch club SC Heerenveen. Yallop said the Fire has been talking to clubs ahead of it in the allocation order to trade up, then re-sign Pappa, a free agent.
The Fire also acquired forward Giuseppe Gentile via the waiver draft.