It's not often that professional soccer players can say they have spent their entire careers wearing the colors of just one club. The Fire drafted Logan Pause with the 24th overall pick in the 2003 MLS Superdraft and 11 years later he's retiring from the only team he's ever played for as a pro. In his rookie season he made 21 appearances on a team that won the Supporter's Shield and the US Open Cup while learning from the likes of Chris Armas and Jesse Marsch. He's been a fixture in red since then, whether it was at right back early in his career or in the familiar holding midfield role he's mostly known for.
Up until last season he never made less than 21 appearances in a season and will end his career among the club's all-time leaders in games and minutes played. Pause has never been a flashy player but has always been steady and consistent when called upon. One of the common quotes from coaches and teammates when asked about Pause's contribution to the team has always been that his greatest attributes didn't show up in statistics. As a steadying influence he's acted as a coach on the field. He's also a player who has always been highly respected in the locker room by players and coaches, and off the field by fans.
As a player who continued to put the best for the organization at the forefront he accepted a significant pay cut to return to the Fire in 2014. He didn't grumble or complain but continued to work with younger players, talked to and encouraged academy players regularly, and set an example for how a professional should conduct himself. New Homegrown signing Collin Fernandez cited Pause as a big influence in his development as a player just last week.
“It’s with joy and humility that I announce this season will be my last as a professional soccer player,” said Pause during his retirement press conference this afternoon. “I’m leaving the game and this profession with gratitude and joy to these gentleman sitting next to me, this wonderful club, this fantastic city, wonderful teammates past and present. The last 12 years I’ve been given some of the most amazing life-giving experiences. I’ve poured my absolute heart and soul every single day, games and practice, but what I’ve gotten in return has been way more than I can remotely explain from this club, from this city, from the fans from my teammates and coaches.
It's a good bet that Pause will be around after the 2014 season concludes as he has already had preliminary conversations with Andrew Hauptman and Frank Yallop about potential roles within the organization going forward but he didn't want to make that important just yet. "The focus is on what the team is trying to do over the next nine games," said Pause. ""If he's (Yallop) willing, I'm sure we'll sit down and talk and go from there but that's really all it's been so far," he continued.
Yallop also noted that the club was looking to returning his loyalty once the season ends. "I think it goes hand in hand. When you're loyal to a team they take care of you and that's what we plan to do," said Yallop.
Pause, the player won't be remembered for highlight reel touches or fantastic finishes. What he should be remembered as is a guy who understood what it meant to be a professional soccer player in Chicago and conducted himself on and off the field with that in mind.