Fire Show Improvement in New York Exhibitions

The Fire brass have to be happier after today's twin bill against the New York Red Bulls than they were following the team's first effort last week against a local college side.  While pre-season results aren't really an important part of judging the roster at this point, the Fire got both results and several impressive individual performances during the preliminary "reserve" match and the main game featuring most of the projected regular starting eleven. 

Several trialists made cases for themselves in the reserve match.  Orr Barouch, the former Tigres U-20 player had a huge day scoring four times in the opener while Yoximar also played very well on the right side of midfield.  Martin Rivas, Davis Paul, and newcomer Marko Maric controlled the middle of the pitch for most of the match against the Red Bulls bench.  Maric, a 6'-2" Croatian box to box midfielder making his debut for the Fire, stood out based on his size alone.  Another trialist, Kwame Obeng Darko also made his first appearance after joining the team earlier in the morning.  The 4-2 win was followed by a 1-1 draw in the main feature.

Marco Pappa scored the only goal although he was stopped on a penalty kick by Buona Condoul.  Patrick Nyarko was outstanding for most of the match causing headaches for the Red Bulls defense in similar fashion to his play during the first half of last season. 

In an interesting note that has gone somewhat unnoticed, the Fire played in a 3-5-2 formation for long stretches in both games.  As Sam Stejskal points out in this article, the formation was not only used during the main match but it was also used for most of the earlier reserve game with Kwame Watson-Siriboe playing in between Mike Videira and Pari Pantazapoulos in defense.  Whether or not De Los Cobos continues to use it as the pre-season progresses will be an interesting side note.

DLC on ESPN radio

Carlos De Los Cobos appeared on ESPN Deportes radio program "Jorge Ramos Y Su Banda" later in the day and shared a few interesting tidbits during a lengthy and entertaining interview.  Among the highlights:

 

 

 

  • On Marco Pappa - "He's one of the better players in the league but I'd like to see him be more dynamic and he needs to improve his concentration during games." 
  • On Nery Castillo - "After the season Nery returned to Greece and perhaps it was more convenient for him to just stay in Greece.  It was his decision to go back to Greece."
  • On MLS in general - "One of the problems (in the US to date) has been the focus on players that are good athletes but not necessarily good technical players."

The full interview should be available soon at ESPN Deportes radio pod center

I'll have more from Frank Klopas on homegrown players, the current roster, more possible additions, Marko Babic, etc. coming tomorrow. 

 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Comments

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  • Probably the most exciting news is the relative youth of some of the top performers in the reserve game. 18,19,20 y/o. Far different than drafting a 22/23 year old from college with no professional experience

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    They may have some difficult choices to make with only 3 international spots open at the moment.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Probably the only thing keeping Banner/Carr from being cut

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    "

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Taking into account the context of the comment within the interview it wasn't a slam or a knock against Pappa. I thought it was a pretty legitimate assessment of where he is as a player.

    He's pretty good with room to improve.

  • In reply to cesba:

    nah , i understand where he is coming from on that, i'm just hoping it doesnt turn into a disruptive locker room thing

    as long as both coach and player keep it professional its all good

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Good news-bad news for Pappa. CDLC thinks you're good--CDLC thinks you should be better!!!
    Loved CDLC comment "One of the problems in the US to date has been the focus on players who are good athletes but not necessarily good technical players.". Would be nice to hear that from our current USMNT coach !!!

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    funny that CLDC says that, and yet still seems to want to play the speedy but inept banner all the time

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    What's Barouch's background? I'll admit I never heard of him before the Fire brought him in, and I can't find anything about him on the internets. Not even a Wiki page. Anyone know how old he is, his nationality, previous experience, etc?

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    http://nas.americakicks.com/archive/2010/msg15579.html

    It's some off article about Orr Barouch. All I gather is he's an Isreali-born kid that was signed out of high school in southern California to play in the lower/youth divisions in Mexico. The Fire always had a pleathora of young talent in the past and I don't care where they come from as long as we have capable young players.

    As for Potato, I echo CDLC's opinion. I've always said, some times on this blog, that Marco can make the most spectacular plays some times and then he'll have the simplest pass or shot and he'll completely blow it. That's when I call him Potato because until he gives a complete 90 minute effort where he doesn't lose his head and keeps his full attention in the game, I'll refrain from calling him Pappa. Don't get me wrong, I love the potential, just question the maturity.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Thanks!

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Coquito is correct....Barrouch is an Isreali born forward from California who has spent time with Chivas USA's academy and Tigre's U-20 team.

    Thomas Rongen also reportedly approached him after the match to enquire about his green card status and a possible USA U-20 look.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    DLC made a move last year that killed the year for Papa. He is a natural Left sided paler. In the coaches brlliance he switched Papa to the right side therefore taking away his natural left side speed. From that point on the team and Papa had a terrible year. DLC finally realized his error with about 4 games to go but it was too late. In my 50 years of playing, watching and coaching soccer it was one of the biggest tactical errors that I have ever seen done by a professional coach.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    correct me if im wrong, but pappa came here as a RW who liked to cut in, like Dempsey does from the left for fulham.

  • In reply to lijien:

    Pappa and Nyarko have switched from left to right pretty liberally when playing together. There was also an attempt to play Pappa in the middle of the pitch early last season but he didn't adapt to the move all too well. One of Pappa's weaknesses has been his tendency to rely on cutting and shooting everything with his left foot. Whether he's starting on the left or right doesn't matter all that much if opposing defenders know he's always going to go left. Developing a bit of a right foot (if just for show) will be a big weapon for him.

    I also asked him last season whether he preferred the left or right side and he predictably said it didn't matter to him.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Let's just not forget that one can rely solely on one's left foot is one is good enough. Preki did it for years, and yet defenders never learned.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    watching last season, i got the sense that pappa liked to cut inwards toward the box, so playing him on the right allowed him to use his left foot to shoot with.

    he doesnt strike me as a great crosser of the ball for a winger, and he isnt speedy like banner or nyarko, so playing on the left is not necessarily a must-do for pappa

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Jump on me if this sounds ridiculous but listening to this talk of Talk of Pappa cutting and so forth gives me an idea. I was watching the Inter-Bayern highlights and I think Arjen Robben would be a tremendous addition to the team. I think he is amazing. Is he too early in his career to consider being a DP? Right no big name that's going to entice anyone outside the Chicago market to tune into this team.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Always good to dream.....

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Julian Posada is attending the next Section 8 Board Meeting at the Abbey Pub in Chicago on Wednesday March 7 at 7pm. He will be taking questions from those in attendance. That should be interesting.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Nery Castillo not even in the 18 for Aris today... rumors going around that he is not fit enough yet.

  • In reply to ChicagoFire8:

    Two words for Castillo....good and riddance.

  • In reply to ChicagoFire8:

    Or maybe Castillo isn't good enough to play in either league.

  • That should read Wednesday March 2 not March 7.

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