Fire Practice Report -- 9/10

John Thorrington

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.


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  • Sam,

    I've heard and read that they are bringing in extra bodies to fill out practice squads due to the injuries. Any info on who the bodies are?

    Are there any plans to fill Soumare's roster spot? I would imagine they have some room under the cap to at least fill out the roster. I saw a comment from Klopas stating that there's no quality out there, but I saw FC Dallas signed a defender with MLS experience yesterday. Kelly Gray, was also released by San Jose a month ago. He's not great but he's better than Austin Washington and he would not be very expensive.

    Is Rolfe expecting to start the rest of the year or will Hamlett question his commitment to the team? Does Rolfe fear gettting punched at half time?

  • In reply to cesba:


    The team is bringing in some extra bodies to fill out the training sessions. The team has been doing this throughout the whole season -- though most of the time the players are college players on summer break. This time around it's more of a random group of guys. Some of the players have been used in training sessions for a good amount of time while others are kind of new to the scene. I even heard that Baggio Husidic's older brother came in for one of the practices...

    As far as I know there isn't anything in the works, but Frank could definitely be working on something without my knowledge. I know in the aftermath of Baky's departure, Denis said that he would prefer if the team waited it out a little before signing a new player but the final decision is with Frank and the ownership.

    And as far as Rolfe's role with team for the rest of the year, it won't change as long as his form doesn't drop. He told me today that he is fully focused on the remainder of the MLS season so nothing should change on that front.

    And I like the final question, you gave me a nice little chuckle here. I don't think Rolfe is too worried about any violent encounters with Denis though. If it were to come to that though (which it won't...) my money would be on Denis.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Thanks for the info Sam.

    Does anyone have any theories about what exactly Klopas and Hamlett are waiting for with only 6 games left? The roster freeze deadline is next week, so they're going to wait it out until they're shorthanded with noone to blame but themselves.

    Ward, Segares, and Woolard don't appear to be close to coming back next week so that logic makes no sense to me.

  • In reply to cesba:


    So does Hamlett mean that he would rather just keep the roster at 23 for even the rest of the season before finding someone to fill up the roster?

    However i know that the young english player James Sinclair who came at the start of June to try out, but agrovated his hamstring in June which meant the fire didn't sign him. He is still a free agent. He is a good family friend with one of my close friends, met him this summer when he was in Chicago and he mentioned how the last 2 years has been difficult for him at Bolton, and all he wants to do is play and enjoy his soccer again.

    Maybe we will see him back for the rest of this season or next year.

  • In reply to MythosFC:

    Sinclair could be a possibility for the Fire. But I'm not 100% sure what the Fire plan on doing with their open roster spot. If I had to guess I would say they won't sign anyone, but it could go either way. I'll try and get some answers on this topic the next time I head out to Toyota Park.

  • In reply to MythosFC:

    That would be good if you could find out some more information about the fires thoughts on him. I know Sinclair wants to come Chicago but at the same time i doubt he will hold out on european teams since he's been injured for a large part of 2009.

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