Training Notes, Sporting KC, Section 8 Nears 800 and More

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. 

 

Comments

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  • While discussing injuries this came to mind......John Thorrington missed the Whitecaps first game and he's listed as Doubtful with a quad strain for the next game.

  • In reply to cesba:

    i think he has a permanent quad strain... sheesh

    i liked the player, but very good decision by the fire not to protect him and let him go. they had wayyyyy too many games missed to injury last season

    hope puerari isnt injured too badly, i think he is gonna be a KEY player for the fire this year

  • In reply to cesba:

    New Red USMNT jersey's are unveiled.....

    http://www.ussoccerstore.com/categories-jerseys-mens.html

  • In reply to cesba:

    still got that ugly crossing-guard stripe

  • In reply to cesba:

    Another player siging announcement coming this morning.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Think it will be from within the league again? Been hearing about Robbie Rogers and the Crew not being on the best terms. I've always found him to be underachieving for all the hype, but the physical qualities are there. Maybe he just needs a change of scenery. Never in favor of welcoming a Crew player, but it wouldn't be the worst signing.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Think more along the lines of a player already in camp

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Ah, nevermind, I wasn't aware that Ferrari wasn't officially signed yet. That makes more sense, ha

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Fire announce the signing of Gabriel Ferrari.......

    http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2011/03/fire-sign-gabriel-ferrari

  • In reply to cesba:

    What about Pari, he's in he's not, I don't get it...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Pari is in.....they're waiting for the paperwork to clear MLS HQ before making the official announcement. Should be soon.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Don't look now..........

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/sports/2011/03/24/major-league-soccer-poised-overtake-nhl-4th-popular-professional-sports-league/#ixzz1HXFUJCBJ

  • In reply to cesba:

    cause the census came out and 1 out of 6 is Hispanic so naturally it has to over take hockey...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    It's not just about the census. Attendance and tv ratings are also on the rise while NHL is on the decline.

  • In reply to cesba:

    how much will it change is NHL goes back on ESPN?

  • In reply to lijien:

    If ESPN gives the NHL the same respect they do MLS while broadcasting their games.....zero.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I like to get excited about stories like that as much as the next fan, but most of those numbers are very misleading. Saying seattle dwarfs NHL teams like the Blackhawks might be true because it holds so many more people, but if you did a total throughout 1 season it wouldn't be close, of course. And that's just comparing the 2 best attendances in each league.

    Also, you must consider TV revenue and other money coming in, for which MLS has a long way to go. Chicago has one of the biggest latino populations in the US, and although great groups like sector latino come on strong, we should be sold out every single game, have strong radio presence, and a halfway decent TV contract.

    Again, I love to think of it on the rise, and it surely is, but that article is prettttty optimistic!

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    MLS and the NHL are probably the easiest to compare because both are still essentially niche sports. Hockey is considered part of the big four but it's not even close to overtaking the NBA for third. Of course there are always arguments the other way (bigger stadiums, more games, etc) but it's hard to deny that MLS isn't gaining.

  • In reply to cesba:

    eh, hockey is a fairly distant 4th to begin with, really. i love watching NHL playoff hockey, but NHL regular season... meh

    when MLS passes the NBA then it will have to be taken seriously

    and not just in attendance, but tv viewership. the ratings brings the sponsors and the news media have to pay attention then.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    A bit of a ways to go before all that happens.

  • In reply to cesba:

    well NBA existed 30+ years before larry bird and magic johnson made it popular. then michael jordan took it to hugely popular, and now its on the decline again

    NFL wasnt popular until the super-bowl era. so again, it took a good 30-40 years for it to mature

    i'd say MLS is ahead of schedule :)

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Count....valid points. I agree with you 100 percent.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    They're on their heels but it will take a while before TV ratings are anywhere near the NBA's. There is no doubt in my mind that the NBA is in decline. Too many teams, even more bad players, increasing nonsense, decline in quality, etc.

    That 30 year head start is shrinking. The NBA was virtually non existent in the sports media landscape in the late 70's and early 80's before Bird and Magic elevated it to where it is now.

  • In reply to cesba:

    and as much poo that we fling at the MLS refs, i'll take any MLS ref over an NBA ref any day

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Hue Hollins.....enough said.

  • In reply to cesba:

    NBA is on an uptick people, not decline. It was declining in post Jordan era with a lack of stars that people could like, plenty of those theses days.

  • In reply to milicz:

    Only in some markets (like Chicago).....the NBA as a whole is not on an uptick.

  • In reply to cesba:

    That is just not true, the NBA is having an amazing year, ratings are significantly up across the board for the NBA.

    I quote:
    "The 2010-11 season of the NBA on TNT continues to be the most watched season in Turner

  • In reply to milicz:

    Ratings are one thing but teams are still losing noney and they're on the verge of a lock out that will cause irreparable damage. There has been talk of players taking pay cuts and even several teams folding. Not exactly glory years ahead.

  • In reply to cesba:

    The economics of the NBA might be in trouble (although take all those dire predictions with a grain of salt before a labor negotiation), but in terms of popularity, which is what I thought we were discussing, it is having one of its best years ever.

  • In reply to milicz:

    Good points...we'll see where they are at this time next year.

  • In reply to cesba:

    It's within reach within the next ten years or less. There are more youths ages 6 through 14 Playing Soccer across the USA than there are
    playing Baseball. And a number of years ago
    the term Soccer Mom became popular across the USA even in cities that didn't have an MLS Team.
    That's because more Moms were driving their children to Soccer Games and Practices than Baseball games.
    "Haven't heard the term Baseball Mom yet".
    As I said often, here in Chicago and the Suburbs we have one of the largest Soccer Fan Base in the
    USA. That is why I am so frustrated with Julian Posada and the Fire Front Office Staff that they haven't secured a Jersey Sponsor and are doing a poor job promoting the "Beautiful Game In Our Area." If they did their job they would be adding
    seats to Toyota Park to accommodate the regular
    sell out crowds.

  • In reply to cesba:

    How for are MLS ratings/attendance compare to a crappy league called the NBA? NBA is decreasing in terms of the quality of the game and money wise. Rumors have been flowing around that they might be in danger of a lockout and possibly could face a NHL type of situation back in 2004.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    There is also talk that the league will ask players to take a 30% pay cut across the board because owners are hemorrhaging money......good luck with that.

  • In reply to cesba:

    you mean NBA right?

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Yes....the NBA is in bigger trouble than they let on.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Excited for Ferrari, probably the italian american in me. I think he and Orr will have quite the fight for back up minutes, hopefully making each other better in the process. Also, Ferrari, was once quite a prospect, hopefully he can turn it around here

  • In reply to cesba:

    It might just be your in depth reporting GR, but am I the only one who thinks De los Cobos just... "sounds" like he's got a better idea of what's going on this season? I never remember quotes like that (actually analyzing the opposition and being familiar with their strengths and each player) from last year. Again, it may just be that I never read such things, but it seems like he has a better handle on everything this year. Hopefully that's true and continues.
    Although strong starts to seasons aren't everything, I hope we can get these 3 points at home. It would be huge for the fanbase and the people that show up on Saturday.. it's going to be frigid! Reminds me of out opener (and mauling) vs. NE a couple years ago!

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    It does seem that he has a better handle on the team and the league this year.....we'll see how that translates into results.
    The only good thing about the weather on Saturday is that it will apparently be dry (unlike that NE game).

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Btw, team store construction is underway and looks to be moving along.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    I agree he seems to be talking with more detail about teams this year, i think it helps in 2 ways 1) the fans know why he is doing something, and 2) it makes him seem more like a student of the game in MLS

  • In reply to cesba:

    Guillermo,
    Thank you, for your time and efforts in keeping
    us Chicago-Fire Fans informed.
    Any News on when the Fire will unveil their Jersey's
    with **Their New Sponsor** ?????

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    No word on that yet.....I'm sure Hauptman and Co. will be asked that question several times at the Town Hall Meeting tomorrow night.

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