Post Christmas Links and Rumors

The transfer season is approaching and rumors are starting to circulate.  The Fire are notoriously tight lipped about interest in players overseas but things should heat up after the first of the year.  Here are a few stories to keep things going until news breaks regarding signings, new kits, sponsors, and the alleged release of the MLS schedule in January.  

Pappa Expresses Euro Desire Again

Marco Pappa seems to be greasing the skids for his eventual exit in yet another article.  While reflecting on his time in MLS he says, "Time goes by quickly, it's already been four years in Chicago where I arrived hopeful and ready to grow and I accomplished that. While I have one year left on my contract I think it's time to look to new horizons."
"I can't deny (my desire to play in Europe) and there are people working on that, playing in Europe, so we'll wait and see what our destiny holds. There are some options but without anything concrete I won't talk about them. Right now I have a contract with Chicago and that's my focus."

Pappa may not exactly have a foot out the door just yet but it seems he has a toe jammed firmly in the doorway. 

Guerrero Retires

Former Fire midfielder Ivan Guerrero has announced his retirement in Honduras stating that he's going to focus on family instead of football now at the age of 34.  While he's apparently not interested in coaching (says he doesn't see himself in that role) he does leave the door open to possibly playing again outside of his home country. 

Fire Interested in Former Barca Player?

This is the time for internet rumors.  Here's one that claims the Fire are interested in former Barcelona midfielder Abraham Gonzalez. It's possible the club did have some contact with Gonzalez while Frank Klopas and Javier Leon were in Spain and he is a central midfielder, a position that Klopas is looking to strengthen.

 

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  • rumored to be after Dimitris Salpigidis

  • Fire supposedly interested in Greek striker Dimitris Salpigidis according to this....

    http://www.sport-fm.gr/article/523753

  • Sell pappa now while we can still get something for him.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    If the offer on a transfer fee is fair, I think they will. It's a tough call because he can walk after the season and they get nothing for him...teams know this and will probably low ball the offer right now.

  • In depth interview with Diego Chaves in Spanish where he says the Fire have not spoken to him about renewing his contract:

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/es/news/article/2011/12/27/futuro-incierto-para-ch%C3%A1ves

  • must be the buy option or transfer fee or something weird in the contract, I'm a liitle suprised he doesn't seen to be expensive and he can play attacking mid and forward. I would keep him.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    There apparently is an expensive option that they've been weighing. I like Chaves as a player and think he would be a good option to keep around.

  • Thanks for posting that Iron. Chaves has some interesting things to say in this article. Here's a translation of the highlights:

    Regarding his contract status:
    "It doesn't make me anxious but I the situation does make me a bit expectant because we were supposed to talk before I left the States and from there they would make me an offer. Since I've left I haven't received a phone call or a message. The Chicago deal is kind of complicated so I've almost ruled it out."

    If not Chicago, how about another MLS team?
    "My contract ends December 31 and we'll see what happens. I'm listening to options from different sides but I really like the league and the country so I'd like to continue there. I know there are other MLS teams interested so it's just a question of sitting down to talk."

    What is your evaluation of the season?
    "It was good. We started very well but in the middle we fell on some hard times. We had won twice in twenty games and the season was getting pretty bad before we turned it around late. For me, I think I started well and finished well, played in a lot of games with 4 goals to start and then the last 2 two that gave us hope for the playoffs."

    At one point the team was stagnant but you ended on the doorstep of the playoffs.....
    "We were right there, within three points. All year we had a bit of luck with the results from other teams but not with ours, we either tied or lost some incredible matches. We dropped some important points and that killed us."

    You had a lot of draws.....
    "We tied a ton! I think we broke the MLS record. That really hurt us, not being able to win and not being able to get away from ties and losses. We dropped a lot of points at home, that really hurt us."

    Was inefficiency at home the major fault?
    "We didn't scrape together a lot of points on the road either. We had some winnable games or games that we could have tied that we ended up losing but we suffered some with youth as well. We had a very young and very new roster with 18 players that didn't know each other to start."

    What was the attitude of the team?
    "It was good but there wasn't good communication with the technical side (coach Frank Klopas) because he was new and everybody wasn't familiar with each other, there were different nationalities and that cost us. With Carlos De Los Cobos, the latin players had very good dialogue but the relationships with Klopas didn't start off real well because at the start we didn't get some concepts and the language was limited. We understood the idea but it was tough for them to transmit it. That part cost us but we had good chemistry."

    What were your thoughts on the Klopas hiring?
    "I thought he would stay. At the start he had to adapt to directing a team in the first division, it was a big change, but the players (eventually) understood the message and the season ended well enough after looking like it was going to going very badly. It doesn't surprise me that he would continue because he made things better."

    Who was the best player on the Fire this year?
    Chaves didn't hesitate...."For me, I like Marco Pappa a lot because it doesn't bother him to have to carry the team, he fights".

    What about the Pappa to Holland rumors?
    "He's at the ideal age. He's got an impressive maturity and it would be good for him to try football in Europe. I think Marco will leave, MLS is a big door."

    On Pardo and Grazzini....
    "Pavel manages the defense and the defensive center of the pitch very well. Sebastian is a very impressive player because he understands football and has great field vision. He has very clear ideas and the truth is he was responsible for the team playing so well". Chaves compares Grazzini to an orchestra director/conductor.

    "Sebastian was the link we were missing for the attackers and the forwards. A midfield with him, Pavel, and Marco Pappa was very difficult to defend and very strong. With them we gained experience and raised our level of play."

  • So another aging star is linked with a move to MLS: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2011/12/28/kick-ronaldinho-talks-not-galaxy
    I know I've read reports of him wanting to go to LA or NY but sounds like neither are in contention. Could Frank be gearing up for a MAJOR announcement? I know he's on the "back nine" of his career and I don't see a spot for him here, even if the Fire lose/transfer Potato, but he would put butts in the stands...

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    I would be floored/shocked/flabbergasted/speechless......in other words I doubt it.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    So which comes first? 'Dinho or a Flag Jersey Redux?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    I wouldn't hold my breath for either one.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    It's all good, if I held my breath I would've passed out a bunch by now.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    I don't think the fire will ever make a signing like that again. Not with this current ownership imo.

  • I would hope they keep Chaves around, but it seems apparent if they haven't talked to him by now they probably aren't going to. Chaves as a starter didn't work once Puerari went on a dry spell before leaving, but Chaves as a second half sub seemed to work well once Pardo and Grazzini joined the club. I would like seeing him come back to reprise his role with the team, but I have a feeling Klopas probably sees his role as fillable by a number of different players.

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    CHavez with Pardo and Graz could be special.

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