Former Fire midfielder/forward Chris Rolfe was kind enough to take some time to answer some of your questions. Here are his responses:
**How does Aalborg compare to playing with the Fire so far? Good luck in Europe, Chris!
First of all, it's somewhat nice to go through pre-season at our home training grounds and to be in our homes at night. I really enjoyed a lot of my time in pre-season with Chicago that was spent in Florida, California, Mexico etc., but those are long trips that kept us away from home. I think the staff is doing a great job of easing us back into shape and taking advantage of the long time span before the 2nd half of the season commences.
**Do you get noticed when you're walking around town more there than in Chicago? What town are you in now and how do you like it? What are your feelings with the organization? Would you ever want to come back if things don't work out over there?
Come back to a match this season if you can. Best of luck!
I'm in downtown Aalborg now, and it is a very small city compared to Chicago, yet it's the 4th largest city in Denmark. It's cold here and I'm usually bundled up walking around, so not many people have recognized me yet. However, a few times when I've spoken a few people have put two and two together and realized that I'm the new "American footballer". I'm very happy with the organization so far. The whole staff seems to care about the well-being of the players and the club as a whole. At some point in my career, I would imagine I'd be led back to MLS. Thanks, I hope to make a game at some point this year. **If the Fire/MLS tried harder to renew your contract with a decent offer a year before your deal expired (like they did with Mapp) do you think you'd still be in Chicago? Was the Aalborg offer appreciably better than MLS's final offer?
It's hard to say what would've happened had MLS/Chicago made an appealing offer the summer of 2008 instead of waiting until the summer of 2009. However, I know I would've been more apt to sign a contract in '08.
**What do you miss most about Chicago and the states?
Do they have Chipotle over there?
Did you hate Hamlett?
Although the food has been very good at the club for lunch everyday, I would say that dining out in Chicago is what I miss the most. I've been to two (probably the only two) Chinese restaurants in town and they're not even close to as good as Ben Pao's or Big Bowl... maybe not even Panda Express. There are no Chipotle's, but there's a good Mexican restaurant close by.
**What was the hardest part of leaving Chicago? If you could change one thing about MLS what would you change? What are you looking forward to the most this year in Denmark?
One of the hardest things about leaving Chicago was losing a number of relationships with good guys on the team. I enjoyed our group and was comfortable around them. Another difficulty was leaving the Fire with only an Open Cup Championship. I felt like we had great teams all five years I was there, yet we never quite made it. That will always stick with me. I'm excited to play in a new league and settle in with the new team.
**Do the women look better in Denmark then Chicago? Do you think you'll come back to the MLS?
Luckily for all of us, there are beautiful women in both cities!
**Are you planning any changes to your goal celebration? Are you likely to be starting, and what formation is Aalborg likely to play? Will they have you playing forward or midfield?
I haven't thought much about goal scoring celebrations, yet. The answers to the other questions are for us to know for now...
**What players from the fire are you going to miss the most while you are in Denmark?
Unfortunately, I'll miss everyone. I tried to get to know each player last year, and the Fire have a great group of guys there.
**Chris, how do you think the move to Denmark will effect your national team chances? Were you invited to the camp this January?
The national team isn't something that I necessarily make decisions like this around. I know that if I'm challenging myself to learn and grow as a player, I will have a better chance to succeed. Therefore, if this proves to be a situation that can improve me, it will only help my chances with the national team.
**There are several American players in Denmark. Who have you talked to about playing in Denmark? What are their observations? Do you plan to get together with them on a regular basis?
I was able to talk to Danny Califf, Mike Parkhurst and Heath Pearce before I made the choice to come here. They all had good things to say about the league and the country, as well as some negatives, which gave me a basis for my decision. Mike is the only one left in Denmark now, and he lives on the other side of the country.
Thanks for the curiosity, everyone. All the best for a good and successful 2010 in Chicago!
Thanks a ton to Chris for taking the time to answer the questions. He's a really good guy and I think I speak for everyone when I say best of luck in Denmark!