Let's rewind to Thursday's draft for a minute. The Fire picked up a couple of defenders, two midfielders and even a keeper with their selections, but neglected to draft a forward -- seemingly a position of need -- with any one of their five picks.
On the surface (assuming the Fire took need into consideration when making their picks) not drafting a forward makes little sense. After all, the Fire lost Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Chris Rolfe this offseason -- two players who are certainly more than capable of getting up top and scoring some goals. The club now only has four "true" forwards -- Brian McBride, Patrick Nyarko, Calen Carr and Stefan Dimitrov -- on the roster and you would think the front office would have used the draft to help fill out a relatively thin front line. The fact that the Fire didn't add a forward in the draft leads me to the quite obvious conclusion that they will be bringing one in before the offseason is over. That someone could be the Liberian born, naturalized Dutch citizen Collins John. It was reported last week that the Fire was taking a look at the 24-year-old striker and though Frank Klopas and the Fire staff has repeatedly declined to comment on the situation, it appears that the two parties are close to agreeing to a deal. I've been told by a source close to the situation that John "wants to sign with the Fire" but that Klopas wanted to meet with him face to face in Europe before the sides put pen to paper.
Personally, I'm not so sure that the Fire should be bringing in John. Granted, he has had success in the English Premier League with Fulham (where he lead the team with 11 goals in 2005-06) but he has produced next to nothing in recent years. He's bounced around from team to team, struggling for playing time and not putting up numbers. More concerning (to me anyway...) is [the fact that his fitness and attitude have been cited as problematic](http://www.goal.com/en/news/462/netherlands/2009/03/03/1136275/nec-terminate-fulhams-collins-john-loan). Those concerns -- along with the fact that he is likely to recieve a relatively high salary -- is what really scares me about John.
One positive that I can take out of the situation is that John had the best season of his career while playing alongside Brian McBride at Fulham. I'm guessing (I can't confirm due to the Fire's refusal to comment on the situation) that Klopas spoke to McBride about the above issues and it seems as if Brian vouched for his ex-teammate.
If the Fire does indeed sign John, they better make sure that he's coming to Chicago for the right reasons -- to score goals and win -- and not for what some based in Europe may view as an easy MLS payday. Players like that can kill a locker room and simply put, the team can't afford to have that type of guy on the roster. Maybe we'll get the chance to see if John is that type of guy or not. Here's to hoping he isn't...