*Very sorry this is going up so late. I had to deal with some issues and was kept away. Rest assured tomorrow will literally be chock full of posts. I'm planning on setting a record for number of entries. I intend to hold to that.
On another note, this post is meant to update the situation revolving around Fire defender Krzysztof Krol. It is completely factual. All quotes were transcribed (and in some cases re-transcribed) during, or immediately before, the writing of the report.*
After practice on March 16th, a group of several reporters -- myself included -- interviewed Fire Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos. de los Cobos was asked how he felt about the roster. After talking a bit about the forwards and midfielders, de los Cobos began to speak about the defenders. This is when he first mentioned that the Fire was looking at a left back from El Salvador who had played -- and started -- in the Fire's friendly against Houston. Eventually, de los Cobos would identify the player as Deris Umanzor.
After de los Cobos had finished speaking about the Salvadoran left back, Orrin Schwarz of the *Daily Herald* asked what the potential signing of Umanzor meant for on-loan defender Krzysztof Krol -- who was brought in this January presumably to play left back. Here's what Schwarz asked, verbatim:
"So Krol would move inside..."
de los Cobos responded:
"Maybe, maybe. He [Krol] has good qualities, he's very strong but he's not speed. We need more speed for the sides. Normally the teams have very speed on the sides -- on the wings -- and for that reason we are thinking of this player to help us."
From what I've heard, this quote upset Krol. The Fire spent the week after de los Cobos gave the above quote prepping for last Saturday's season opener against the New York Red Bulls. According to de los Cobos, Krol got sick in the build up to the opening match. Here's what he said:
"Last week, before the match Krzysztof was sick. [He] missed maybe two days."
Krol did not play in the match against the Red Bulls. Mike Banner, a natural midfielder, played the full 90 at left back.
I spoke with Krol after practice Tuesday in an effort to shed some light on this whole situation. Unfortunately, the majority of my 39 second interview with Krol is impossible to transcribe due to background noise. Here's the only question I was able to recover:
Me: "Do you feel you're fast enough to play left back in MLS?"
Krol: "I [played with] Palermo; they said I was so quick. [I played in] Poland; they said I was so quick. So I don't understand."
Clearly, Krol thinks he's fast enough to play left back. Frank Klopas also thinks so -- and he told me as much on his way off the training field yesterday. So, why did de los Cobos say that he feels the Fire need more speed on the wing? It seems as if there are two possible answers.
It could be that he misspoke. The Fire's head coach is still learning English (and is doing so at a remarkable rate by the way) and something could have been 'lost in translation' (used for lack of a better term) when de los Cobos gave the quote. I have been told that de los Cobos feels awful about giving the quote.
The other alternative is, of course, that de los Cobos actually believes that Krol doesn't have the pace to play on the left flank. For now, I'll leave that up for you all to decide. The facts are all here.