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Heads-up on Sebastian Grazzini and the Chicago Fire

Houston Dynamo v Chicago Fire

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - APRIL 15: Sebastian Grazzini #10 of the Chicago Fire moves the ball past a fallen Brian Ching #25 of the Houston Dynamo during an MLS match at Toyota Park on April 15, 2012 in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Sometimes news is straight-forward. For instance: Team X wants Player Y. Player Y wants a paycheck and likes the scene. So they sign a deal, cookies and punch are served at the news conference and pictures are snapped while everyone stands around like kings of the freakin’ world. All is swell.

Of course, life does get messy, and these things don’t always have such a ice cream-and-cake beginning, middle or end.

So, this is your official “Keep an eye on this one” warning about this difficult-to-dissect situation in Chicago with playmaker Sebastian Grazzini (pictured).

The news is that Chicago has exercised its option to keep Grazzini around Toyota Park for another season. If the Fire is to climb out of Eastern Conference middle class and issue a serious challenge to leaders D.C. United, New York and Sporting Kansas City, the veteran Argentine midfielder will need to play a leading role.

And he will – assuming he’s a happy Argentine midfield camper. Will he be?

Here’s an exhaustive, well-researched examination of the entire, clumsy episode from Tweed Thornton at his Chicago Fire blog.

Meanwhile, here’s the bottom line in the bigger picture: Influential players who are truly unhappy with the state of affairs can turn toxic, and quite fast. The next step is locker room division, players taking sides and a poisonous wedge that does no one any good.

I’m not saying any of this will happen at Toyota Park; it’s just a “heads-up,” something to keep a close eye on.

FYI, Grazzini isn’t with the team for tonight’s match against Sporting Kansas City (8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network) .