The Chicago Fire may not have as many titles as the LA Galaxy or the star power of the New York Red Bulls, but the proud midwestern franchise boasts some of the toughest players in Major League Soccer history.
The Fire burst onto the scene in 1998 by winning the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup and enjoyed a great deal of early success, winning the 2003 MLS Supporters' Shield and three more U.S. Open Cups in 2000, 2003 and 2006.
Those first years solidified Chicago's identity as a hard-nosed, technically sound squad not afraid to go toe-to-toe with any other team.
And from that personality came a wealth of talented players. Listing the five best to ever suit up for the Fire is no easy task, but I will give it a shot. Please feel free to respond in the comments with your own best of the best.
The top five is an exclusive club. Any player who makes the cut had to not only demonstrate excellence on the field—statistically and otherwise—but also exemplify what it means to wear the badge.
And in that spirit, the rankings only pertain to accomplishments in Chicago. Brian McBride, for instance, may have had a prolific career, but his glory days lie with the Columbus Crew and Fulham, so he didn't crack the upper echelon.
These are my picks for the best Chicago Fire players of all time.