Updating the Collins John situation

collins john.jpg

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...

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  • I understand your concerns, but as long as I've been a Fire fan I've only seen one player that I thought was wanting for effort, and that was Soumare the first half of last season. The Fire locker room is full of players that really own the tradition, honor, passion mantra. Notice the lack of support Baky received from the players even after Hamlett clearly crossed the line. I can't imagine that after five minutes with Brown, Thorrington, Pause, and McBride that John would be under any illusions as to what was expected from him. I think its just as likely that he's a young man who lost his way and is looking to reunite with a respected mentor (McBride). That being said, it does comfort me that Frankie Fire wants to have a sit-down. I don't think Mr. Klopas is one to beat around the bush.

  • In reply to DDT5583:

    "I understand your concerns, but as long as I've been a Fire fan I've only seen one player that I thought was wanting for effort, and that was Soumare the first half of last season."

    Wanchope?

  • In reply to Byron:

    Wanchope did not lack for effort, he was just old.

  • In reply to milicz:

    agreed milicz

  • In reply to DDT5583:

    Looks to me McBride needs another experienced guy and this is the worse person to have up front with him...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Why would McBride need another "experienced guy" with him? I will gladly take anybody that is young and played in the top league in the world.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    If John has this label then I bet he is coming over here to try to get rid of it. I would rather have John than drafting a rookie in the 3rd round of an MLS draft. There is no doubt about that. If we get John, hopefully we could then rest McBride and not have to play him the full 90 like we had to last year. Im getting excited about this season. A lot like the previous 2 seasons, and we all know how they ended up...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Following Fulham back then for a little bit because of all the Americans playing on that team, I think that this could be the sleeper move of the year. I think John has what it takes to do well here. He comes from the EPL, and although seems to have lost his way around the goal lately, I think he can find his touch here.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Sam this is the type of article I was talking about well done.

  • OK, admittedly I have also thought that Mapp was dogging it, but he doesn't seem to draw too mush ire from his teammates. I'm starting to think that he may be narcoleptic like I am, in which case I go from frustrated to very impressed with his level of play.

  • Hey Sam,

    Is Carr out of contract?

  • In reply to Chow:

    Chow,

    I've gotten in touch with the Fire people and they are working on figuring that out and letting me know. I'll post an answer as soon as I hear something.

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