Mid-Week Update

Chicago Fire v New York Red Bulls

Hey everybody, I just got off the phone with Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett so it's time for the Mid-Week Update. Here we go...

**Injury Updates --**

**Gonzalo Segares --**

Segares, who has been out with a left MCL sprain since August 9th, is getting closer and closer to making his long-awaited return to the lineup.

"I've been training like everybody else [for the last four practices]," said Segares, who also said that he is "100%." "When I'm cutting it's fine, it hasn't hurt me or anything. The only thing that has hurt a little bit has been when i strike the ball depending on how i hit it." Despite making what appears to be a full recovery, don't expect Segares (who isn't completely match fit) to make his return to the starting lineup this weekend.

"It's going to be hard for me to come in as a starter since I've been out so long," Segares said. "I'll take it as it is. I will wait for my chances and when i get called upon i will play and definitely be ready."

**John Thorrington**

Thorrington, who has been out since August 19th with an injured groin, isn't listed on the injury report for this week and has participated in full training for the last three practices.

Like Segares, it isn't likely that Thorrington will start the match on the field but it is possible that we could see him make an appearance off the bench.

"There are always concerns," Hamlett said regarding throwing a newly returned player into the mix. "You still want to make sure you put a player in that's in good form and so that's something that you've got to make sure you continue to push
along in training sessions."

**Tim Ward --**

The Fire's regular right back, Ward has been out since August 5th with a broken left metatarsal. He is listed as doubtful on this week's injury report but has trained with the team as a neutral for the last three practices.

Hamlett said they'll find out on Friday whether or not Ward is able to play on Sunday but -- given where Ward is in training -- I don't expect to see him out there.

**Wilman Conde --**

Conde, who has been out since October 2nd with a hamstring/hip injury, suffered a setback this week in the form of a migraine headache.

"He's got some issues still with the hamstring and he picked up this migraine headache too," Hamlett said. "So were just trying to get him all sorted out. We'll have to wait and see with him."

This is the second week in a row in which Conde -- who hasn't trained since Monday -- has dealt with a non-soccer related health problem (he had the flu last week).

**Reaction to the Schedule Switch:**

I asked Denis Hamlett how he felt about MLS pushing Game 1 of the New England series back a day. Here's what he had to say.

"What are you gonna do man? They moved it and we adjusted and changed our flights. We gave the [players] the day off yesterday and we got back to training today ."

**Hamlett answers your questions:**

Due to some computer troubles, I only saw the first two questions that were asked in the comments section this morning. I did ask Hamlett about them and here is what he had to say.

**patrickhattrick:** With the lack of momentum going into the final regular season games, do you plan on playing for a tie in NE, or do you press them and look to make a point to grab momentum in the playoffs?

**Hamlett:** You always go out there and play for a win. That's the mindset and that won't change. You deal with the situation as the game develops and how you play out the rest of the game but you play for the win.

**TKing:** How is Hamlett going to prepare differently for the playoffs than he does for normal games?

**Hamlett:** You pay more attention to details, the smaller things because those are things that make a difference. The concentration level needs to be high too. It's playoff time, this is what players and coaches work for throughout the season, to get to this
point, to have an opportunity to become a champion.

That's all I have for now, but I'll be back tomorrow morning with more playoff content for you all.


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  • nice update sam,,,thanks for being the fans voice

  • thanks for updating and answering some of our questions for us. i atleast give kudos to the coach for answering you questions every week.

  • You were definitely having computer problems: My comment and TKing's are mixed-up. I asked about preparation, he asked about strategy. Thanks for doing the interview.

  • Sam,

    SI is saying Blanco is gone to Veracruz this January.

    Here's the story....complete with quotes from Blanco

    Any thoughts/confirmation from the Fire FO?

  • Thanks for the updates! Dissappointing but good to know.

    Did he say if blanco will start? Thats the one everyone wants to know.

  • In reply to TKing:

    He wasn't definitive on whether or not Blanco would start on Sunday but he did tell me that Temo's leg is "responding well" to training. My guess is that -- barring any setbacks -- Blanco will get the start.

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