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Fire cautiously optimistic about season, ending playoff drought

General manager Nelson Rodriguez recalls the excitement he felt when the Fire emerged from the 2016 preseason with an unblemished record.

The Fire promptly followed that up with a regular season that produced only seven victories and a MLS-worst 31 points.

So after the Fire wrapped up this preseason with a 6-0 mark, Rodriguez couched his enthusiasm. He traded enthusiasm for a cautious optimism that is also peppered with confidence based on a team he feels is better equipped to fac

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