Houston Moves, Where Are The New Signings, and 2011 Roster Rules

MLS announced today that the Houston Dynamo are moving to the Eastern Conference to make way for the inclusion of Vancouver and Portland in the West.  The new conference alignment keeps the balance of power in the West, so not much has changed in terms of the Fire's standing in the East. 

East : Chicago, Columbus, DC, Houston, New England, New York, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Toronto

West : Chivas, Colorado, Dallas, Los Angeles, RSL, San Jose, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver

Houston suffered through a down year last season and their current state is not much different than the Fire's.  Their major additions so far have been Jason Garey, Hunter Freeman, Jordan Graye and top pick Will Bruin.  Dominic Kinnear has hinted at a possible DP addition but nothing appears imminent from the sound of things. Houston's addition doesn't change much in the East unless they have some major additions in the waiting. It's still New York and a mad scramble between eight others as things are currently set. 

Where Are the New Guys?

The Fire officially opened the 2011 season today as players who are currently under contract reported for physicals and introductions.  Where are the new signings that have been talked about recently you ask?  They are coming although not as quickly as some would like.  It seems a few more days of patience are in order. 

The Fire offered these comments over the last few days through their Facebook page:

 

 

 

"....signing international players takes time. There are visa, travel, ITC and other issues unique to signing internationals. We've been consistent in stressing these points so fans understand that these kinds of signings take longer. We have a few in the works, so stay tuned."

"...we have informed fans that we are in the process of signing players. Like other teams, we aren't releasing their names until the signings are final, but we are commenting on the fact we're about to sign some. There is no secrecy here whatsoever. Every fan is aware of the positions we need to fill and, naturally, we are looking to fill those positions."

"....as you may have read on this page a few times over the last couple of weeks we have signings in the works BUT we can't announce them until they work there way through the process - especially with international signings, which are far more complicated."

"....All we can say is soon because it's a process that we don't control - and we've avoided characterizing how soon it could be b/c we don't want to raise expectations. For example, there's a player we've been expecting to announce for over a week now, but their visa issues haven't been worked out yet - so we've had to wait it out on our end. Part of the problem is that each country's process is different when it comes to visas, ITCs, etc. It all just adds to the log jam unfortunately..."

So there is official confirmation that international player additions are forthcoming.  Unofficiailly, at least two are South American and at least one is definitely a striker although names haven't been attached to the countries or positions yet. 

Roster Rules 2011

Even more significant than the Conference alignment (which isn't that big a deal since the schedule is balanced) was the release of MLS' roster rules and regulations for the new season.  Some changes to the roster designations have taken place due to roster expansion and homegrown player rule changes. 

New terms such as "Salary Budget Players" are coined for the first 20 players on the roster which will count against the salary cap.  "Off Budget Players" are players who do not count against the cap and take up spots 21 through 30 on the roster. 

As previously known, minimum salaried players will receive a pay raise up to $42,000.00 and now players occupying spots 25-30 will earn at least $32,600.00. 

Each team will receive 8 tradable international roster spots while the Canadian teams will now have American and Canadian players considered "domestic". 

The most frustrating part of the rules announcement comes via the news that Allocation Money will remain the super secret random figure that is subjectively handed out in the smoky, darkly lit back rooms of MLS headquarters.  MLS offered this reason for continuing the cloak and dagger practice of hiding allocation figures:

"To protect the interests of MLS and its clubs during discussions with prospective players or clubs in other leagues, amounts of allocation money held by each club will not be shared publicly. (Similarly, most clubs in other countries do not announce the amount of money they plan to spend during a given transfer window.)"

Uh.....it's supposedly a set amount....clubs in other countries don't have a salary cap. 

I'll have more on the new rules as they pertain to the Fire soon. 

 

Filed under: 2010-11 Offseason

Tags: 2011, Chicago Fire

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  • Visas are the same for all teams, yet LA announces a young Argentinian from Quilmes and he is just to augment their squad. The same for many teams who have multiple foreign signings in camp or announced. And few of these players will be mainstays, but rather rounding out the squad. The Fire have known for at least a year they needed serious rebuilding after this year and still nothing. I know I sound like a broken record but this lack of movement, on players crucial to our season no less, is troublesome. I expect Palladino, from YouTube clip, to be good and Anibaba, but where are the squad players, never mind the starting strikers and no 10 type?

  • True, but also take notice that New England apparently has a few internationals on the way which they haven't been able to announce yet either. It's possible that LA's loan deal for Lopez has been in the works for some time but no one really paid attention since everyone was focusing on when they would sign Angel.

    I don't see this delay as much of a problem as long as the players are in camp to start training next week. Now....if the need positions aren't addressed with quality players...then there's a problem.

    I'm not real high on Paladini but I do have very high hopes for Anibaba.

  • In reply to cesba:

    If you were a quality player would you want to play here? Zero out of six imports brought in last year are still with the team,(did not include Segares due to his prior history with the club) hardly a ringing endorsement about the leadership of the team and it's ability to assess or retain talent, or the stability of the team environment.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Quality players will go wherever the best deal lands them in most cases.

    Umanzor and Ristic are still here.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Should have said 2 out of seven, or maybe 1 1/2 out of seven as Umanzor has not cemented himself in the back line. Quality players want to win and seek out winning environments to satisfy that hunger. When they get older they seek out the best deal for those last few pay checks.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Ljungberg was pretty good but he left for a better $ deal at Celtic. Umanzor is still around but he hardly qualifies as a success.

    Quality players regardless of age will always seek the best deal. It just so happens that the best teams have the most cash. I can't think of many players who have taken less money to satisfy the hunger for competition when presented with an option.

  • In reply to cesba:

    The most encouraging thing is that Hauptman appears willing to splash some cash as with Neri and Fredi. I expect Palladini to be very solid and Anibaba to start and be rookie of the year type. but we need some serious impact players and zero busts.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Which brings me back to my initial point, in their current state the Fire have little to offer competitively or financially. They have cap space, but so many players have left MLS for second tier leagues because they have more to offer. The Fire could have made a bid for Buddle but he goes to FC Ingolstadt 04
    in Bundesliga 2. If a team that is in danger of relegation in a second division can afford him more readily or provide better competition than an MLS team, what imported impact players can the Fire hope to attract. If the Fire were to return to it's winning ways that job would be much easier, but as it stands Bundesliga 2 or teams in in Scandinavia appear to be better options. We can look forward to a couple of role players at best at premium prices to give them that best deal.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Sting, to be fair what you say about 2nd tier European teams is true. In regard to all of MLS, not just the Fire. But like you I suspect that we have lost all continuity and the current FO and coach may be not very good. The Fire's reluctance to deal within MLS is baffling, after all these players are proven in the league. This season will settle the matter beyond all dispute.

  • In reply to Celt:

    I agree I have never seen a team so reluctant to deal with other MLS teams for proven MLS players!
    We are China with the Great Wall of MLS player movement! :-(

  • In reply to Celt:

    Jorge Perlaza, a 25 year old Colombian striker, says he is coming to MLS but his visa hasn't cleared yet......

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Perlaza

    Seems to fit the profile of one of the mystery players but according to his wiki page he's headed for Philadelphia.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Make your travel plans for Qatar in 2022 now.......

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/soccer/01/30/qatar.ac.ap/index.html

  • In reply to cesba:

    Unless the rumor that this WC is going to be moved to the US comes true, I think my travel plans will consist of the route to the nearest soccer-friendly pub. I'm sure they will be in abundance come 2022.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Waiting for today's news and have the feeling I will be underwhelmed. nothing short of real experience and a bit of class will suffice.

  • In reply to Celt:

    well it may be as big of an announcement like last year's big announcement of the schedule coming out.

  • In reply to Celt:

    There is a rumor that an E.S. player, Andres Flores is coming to MLS.
    Wonder if he is headed her due to previous relationship with DLC.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Every other team which has started camp have multiple trialists, many with good pedigree. Chicago do not have a clue. training camp has opened and nada. How can this be explained except they are way behind the curve despite a year to plan and prepare.

  • In reply to Celt:

    "Like we posted yesterday....there will be many players, both foreign and domestic entering camp on trial when the week begins. We'll be releasing names on Monday, but until then its important to remember not to believe everything you read."

    Or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday...

  • In reply to Celt:

    looking forward to today's announcements...i keep refreshing waiting for the news! :)

  • In reply to DerSting:

    No mention of Dykstra all day....weird.

  • In reply to WBO5ElGuapo:

    http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2011/01/fire-release-andrew-dykstra

  • In reply to WBO5ElGuapo:

    fire short a GK again

    http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2011/01/fire-release-andrew-dykstra

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    i'm pretty surprised by this. he was shaky obviously, but seemed like he had some talent and potential. i figured they would want to keep 3 keepers around with the larger squad sizes, does this indicate a future gk signing?

  • In reply to WBO5ElGuapo:

    The Fire ran into difficulties in their attempt to sign Mr. Magoo.
    Apparently the league wants to sign him as the lead referee, which would be
    a vast improvement in officiating.

  • In reply to WBO5ElGuapo:

    this off season just keeps getting better and better.

  • In reply to firefan1998:

    remember, the brain trust now assembling a new team thought Dykstra was so good that they could give away, not trade, Busch. The same fine judges of footballers also gave us various el salvadorians and assorted other foreigners, none of which were any good. I wonder if there will be a franchise player coming out of college next year than can be available with the second pick, assuming we don't trade that away for Beasley or some other long past it star.

  • In reply to firefan1998:

    Don't we need to add people for camp??

  • In reply to lijien:

    On the Fire website. news tomorrow. Nobody of note in camp except the two Colombian kids and the undrafted McInnes from Tulsa who is Scotish and therefore an international slot if he sticks.

  • In reply to lijien:

    GR has been gone since 9:23 -- what's up with that????

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Short,

    What's 9:23?

  • In reply to cesba:

    Your last post -- we were lonely !!

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Rumor?
    http://www.mls-rumors.net/14543/2011/01/incoming-yessy-mena-and-fabio-burbano-to-chicago-fire-on-tuesday-updated/

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Those names are certainly possible since I've heard at least one of the players is Colombian.

    Burbano is only 18 and has not scored a goal with Envigado's big club.....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faider_Burbano

    Mena is 21 and only scored once in 20 appearances last season.......

    http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/yessy-mena/leistungsdaten/spieler_90694.html

  • In reply to cesba:

    no thank you for both of those guys

  • In reply to DerSting:

    I've heard that the players are more experienced than these two and according to Ives he was expecting Uruguayans. We'll find out soon enough.

  • In reply to cesba:

    That's not soon enough!

  • In reply to cesba:

    No doubt these signings will inspire fear and envy of other MLS teams.
    Both are young and may be talented but not what the Fire needs to be competitive
    Would like to see them go after Edison Fonseca or another player who is a proven goal scorer. Seems like they're trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
    These two seem similar to what the Fire already has, potential but no proven ability.
    Once and a while it seems logical to choose actual over potential.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    yes, these would be trialists or squad players for other teams. They better not be our big foreign signings or we are screwed and Klopas is out of a job before the season ends. reading the news it appears that players with better resumes, jermiah White for example, are on trial at various teams, not being heralded as signings and unlikely to make the squad even at that. I welcome some young newcomers but Klopas better have some proven quality in the wings or it is clear we are floundering and clueless.

  • In reply to Celt:

    If these are the international signings we've been waiting for it's going to be a long year. I don't believe they are.

    Btw, Jeremiah White was in trainig with the Fire last summer for a few weeks but he wanted way too much money and the Fire passed on him.

  • In reply to cesba:

    These signings could make sense in filling spots for a 30 man roster
    and for developmental purposes. However, the Fire must have several experienced players in sight. Despite my negativity towards Klopas/DLC, I can't believe that they are that stupid in signing these guys to become front line players immediately. There must be something more going on.

  • In reply to cesba:

    As expected, Logan Pause is named team captain......

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150128218914789&set=a.132606759788.135655.20210009788&comments&ref=mf

  • In reply to cesba:

    YES!!!! I am doing cartwheels right now.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Buddle only signed a 6 month deal if im not mistaken. That is basically a 6 month tryout. It is the same thing that Segares did. Would you rather play in the US or in Europe? The only soccer that gets talked about here in the states is european soccer. I would rather play in Europe than here if given the opportunity and presented with the same contract. Over there you are a celebrity. Here you aren't really anyone.

    And I doubt a player that is thinking about coming here is thinking that if Edson Buddle is choosing to leave MLS than they shouldn't come here.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I believe Buddle got what would amount to DP money over there as well.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    An El Salvador team interested in Deris Umanzor? Alianza FC could be his next destination.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Seems Deris Umanzor is headed back to El Salvador on Tuesday. If this is true another international spot on the roster will be available next week. Umanzor appears to be history as a Fire player.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Thank God.

    No more ES players. There's enough talent in South America, Eastern Europe, Africa, Scandinavia, the NCAA and USL to fill any MLS squad.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Guess the Fire were one out of seven last year on imports after all ;)

  • In reply to DerSting:

    You're being too generous.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Move should be good for him and the Fire.
    He wouldn't have had much playing time here.
    Although based on his last game, last week, with an assist and a goal, maybe we had him play the wrong position.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Another Facebook quote from the Fire.....

    "Like we posted yesterday....there will be many players, both foreign and domestic entering camp on trial when the week begins. We'll be releasing names on Monday, but until then its important to remember not to believe everything you read."

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