Here are a few notes from today's Fire practice out at Toyota Park...
**McBride update -**
Forward Brian McBride once again took part in full training with the squad today and he looked good, showing no signs of pain in his surgically repaired right shoulder and saying that he feels like he can play in Saturday's game at Real Salt Lake.
"It's feeling good, everything's good," said McBride. "I've been in full training [for the last week] and there aren't any issues but we'll see whether [I play on Saturday] or not."
Head Coach Denis Hamlett wouldn't say whether or not McBride would play on Saturday, but he did tell me that "all of the players are ready except for Gonzalo Segares [MCL sprain], Tim Ward [broken metatarsal], and Daniel Woolard [high ankle sprain]."
What can we take from this? Well, certainly no definitive judgments can be made based on the quotes the Fire was giving out, but if I had to guess, I would say McBride will be available to play on Saturday night. Don't take that for more than an educated guess though, as the Fire very well could have no intention of playing the 37-year-old McBride this weekend. We'll just have to wait and see...
**More Injury Updates -**
Midfielder John Thorrington (listed as probable for Saturday night's match with a hamstring strain) had an abbreviated practice today, as he headed to the locker room early as a preventative measure.
Despite his shortened training today, Denis Hamlett said Thorrington (who took part in full training yesterday) is "doing well," and that the team was just being "cautious" by holding him out of the end of today's practice.
Denis wouldn't say if Thorrington would play on Saturday night, so we'll just have to wait and see on this injury as well...
On another note, defender Wilman Conde (who has missed a lot of time recently with a hamstring injury) should be available for Saturday's game. Wilman - who has been participating in full training for a little less than a week - isn't listed on the injury report and all indications point to him being able to play against Salt Lake.
**Temo Time -**
As I noted in an earlier post, midfielder/forward Cuauhtemoc Blanco played the full 90 minutes and scored the game winning goal in Mexico's 1-0 World Cup Qualifying win over Honduras last night. The Fire took note of the performance of Temo, who captained 'El Tri' on Wednesday.
"He's on a mission," said Hamlett of Blanco. "He loves when there's pressure, when everything's on the line. That brings out the best in him."
Blanco is listed as available for Saturday night's game in Utah, but after playing a total of 164 minutes in the last 7 days the Fire may choose to give him a rest.
"I'll check in with [Blanco] at some point today," said Hamlett. "We'll see how he's feeling and then go from there."
Looking at how the Fire have used Blanco after he has returned from past qualifiers, I would guess that he won't start on Saturday night but will be available as a sub.
That's all I have for now. However, I did interview Chris Rolfe today and I'll be back tomorrow with a full post on his impending move to Danish club Aalborg, so look out for that. I'll have a preview of the Fire-Salt Lake matchup ready for tomorrow as well so be sure to come back and check both of those things out.