A busy morning in Bridgeview concluded with Carlos De Los Cobos updating the Fire's injury situation and addressing the acquisition of defender Yamith Cuesta and forward Dominic Oduro.
The Injury Update
Steven Kinney and Mike Banner are still listed as out but Marko Maric, Bratislav Ristic, and Gaston Puerari are now concerns. Maric strained a hamstring in training last Friday before the opener in Dallas and Ristic is listed as doubtful with a left hip flexor strain. Puerari experienced a hip issue during Wednesday's training and tried to go today before leaving practice early. De Los Cobos is hopeful he will be ready for Saturday's game but will be cautious with Puerari.
The New Guys and More Additions?
Both De Los Cobos and Frank Klopas cited the addition of Yamith Cuesta and Dominic Oduro as players who can build team depth and provide different options when called upon. "Cuesta really surprised me, he's a young player with a strong personality. He's very strong and good with the ball. I'm sure he can help us this season," said De Los Cobos.
"Oduro is a good young player with a lot of pace. We just felt it was the right decision for our team,"offered the Fire's Technical Director. While Oduro's role will depend on how De Los Cobos wants to play Klopas feels he can contribute out wide and up top. He'll also provide different options in the same manner that Cuesta will provide depth at center back while also being able to play on the right at times.
As far as depth at left back, Klopas feels Mike Banner can back up Gonzalo Segares when healthy and Bratislav Ristic can also play there in a pinch. Banner is running on a treadmill but a timetable for his return hasn't been set.
Klopas also addressed the possibility of fortifying the squad with additional players. "We've been talking about that. The one thing we're going back and forth about is the forward. Is it the forward we need? I think Diego (Chaves) will be a very good player in this league so we have a lot options now on top. We're looking to see if there's another need somewhere else on the team. We do have some options, we just have to see what the best option for the team is."
Cuesta's acquistion brings the roster total to 29 although Kinney is likely to go on the injured list to keep the active roster at 28.
Sporting Kansas City and the 3-5-2
After switching to a four man back line in the first half against Dallas, De Los Cobos hinted that the formation could return in order to neutralize the three man Kansas City forward attack in the same fashion that the team defended FC Dallas. "I need think about what is better for us. Very similar to (how) Dallas played with Rodriguez on top, Avila to the side and Ferreira behind them. Bravo is more a foward who won't drop too much. Kamara is very fast. Sapong is a strong guy. But it's important that players know how to play two different ways. If we play with four we still need to play with order, that's the most important thing," said De Los Cobos.
Section 8 Is Growing
Section 8 Chicago is on the verge of surpassing the 800 season ticket holder milestone. An impressive number considering that the previous high for a season was just under 400. The Fire have pledged a free ride to the Columbus match on June 12 if the 800 figure is reached. As of this afternoon they were about 30 shy of the mark. Season tickets are only $200 and can be purchased at Section 8 Chicago's site.
All In Podcast
Catch a Writer's Rountable on the Fire's newest All-In podcast with Jeff Crandall, Sam Stejskal, Orrin Schwarz, Tweed Thornton, and me. I will not respond to any questions directed to the Watcher.