It's pretty easy to see why this season was a frustrating one for Fire defender Gonzalo Segares. After being a stalwart in the backline for years for the Fire, Segares was forced to the sidelines this year, only playing in 12 regular season games due to a combination of injuries and national team call-ups.
Adding to Segares's woes were the multiple injury setbacks he experienced towards the end of the season only days before he was set to return to action.
"The season was sort of crazy," Segares said on Tuesday afternoon. "It was hard for me to sit out at the end of this year, not being able to play and watching my teammates play. That was really tough for me because I wanted to be there, I really mean that. I worked so hard to recover from this injury but it was tough because I had these two setbacks."
But now Segares, whose contract expired at the end of the season, is looking towards the future - and a possible move to Europe.
"I'm looking at trying to move and see if I can play in Europe," said the 27-year-old Segares. "That has been a goal for me since getting into this league. It's been a dream of mine since I was a kid as well so now that's it's kind of like my last moment to take that opportunity I'm going to go on and take my chance and see what happens."
Segares, who said that he "won't ever close the door with the Fire", said that his agent is working on setting up a series of overseas tryouts for the Costa Rican National Team left back.
"We're trying to figure out where maybe to go," Segares said. "There's nothing really concrete now. I'm just trying to get stuff done here; trying to get my knee back to 100% and... hopefully something will come up."
Segares said that he isn't worried that the left MCL sprain that kept him out of all but 25 minutes of action since August 9th will affect the way European teams look at him.
"If it was an ACL or something like that I would've been a little bit more concerned," he said. "But it's a knee injury that a bunch of guys have had... I could be at 100 % in two weeks so I don't think it will be a concern."
It would be a big loss for the Fire if Segares was to leave the club and go to Europe. When healthy, he is one of the best (and most consistent) defenders in the league and his defensive skills and attacking knowhow have served the Fire very well in his five years with the club.
Given his aforementioned skills - coupled with his ability to play on the left side - I think we may have seen Gonzalo play his last game in a Fire uniform. Much as we saw with Chris Rolfe earlier this year, the time is now for Gonzalo to make a move and I think in the end he will end up in Europe. I'll obviously have more on this situation as the offseason moves along but for now it's looking like the Fire has a very slim chance at retaining the services of one Gonzalo Segares.