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Thornton Goes Through a Rapid Change

By Todd McClamroch in News on Mar 2, 2007 7:26PM

2007_03_02_zach.jpgThe Chicago Fire officially announced that goalkeeper Zach Thornton has been traded to the Colorado Rapids for a conditional draft pick in the 2008 supplemental draft. A trade for Thornton comes as no surprise as the Fire had not renewed his contract.

Fire President John Guppy commented, "Zach Thornton played an integral role in helping the Fire build a winning tradition during the club's first nine years, and the atmosphere here will be different as we carry on without him ... with the changes planned at the goalkeeper position we worked hard to find a suitable fit for Zach during the offseason, and we're glad to see that this process has ended in a situation where he will challenge for first-team minutes. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank Zach for his outstanding contributions to the Chicago Fire both on and off the field and wish him great success with Colorado."

Thornton, a five-time All-Star and 1998 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, was instrumental in the Fire's MLS Cup championship in 1998 and the Fire's 1998, 2000, and 2003 U.S. Open Cup titles. But it was the 2006 U.S. Open Cup, in which backup keeper Matt Pickens shined, that led to the Fire making the shift towards the future and naming him the number one keeper.

Thornton joins fellow goalkeepers Matt Jordan and Bouna Coundoul on the Rapids roster. The Fire will match up with the Colorado Rapids in Denver on April 15.

Photo provided by Chicagoist_Todd (Flickr).