Several reports over the last few days have surfaced citing claims that the Fire have "had talks" either with or about Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. One of the articles also erroneously claimed that the club was pursuing former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack. The club was quick to shoot down the Ballack nonsense and I wouldn't exactly rush out to purchase a new "Quaker" Drogba jersey either.
When asked about the report coach Frank Klopas told reporters, "If you're telling me - would I want Drogba on my team I would say that's accurate. If you're telling me whatever they put into that story I would say that's inaccurate. It's newspapers putting stuff out there. Would I want a guy like Drogba on my team? For sure. I'd want a guy like Messi also."
DP a Possibility?
"We're always looking for players that can help the team but right now my main focus is with the players that we have in camp," said Klopas when asked about the possibility of adding a DP type player. "We've brought some very good football players in and there's a lot of confidence in the team. We're going to be facing some tough decisions. We've got (close to) a complete roster going in, which is always a good thing but more than anything I'm very happy with the progress that we've made with the team with this first phase coming to a close."
The Fire had Greek centerback Stavros Stathakis in camp although he is currently not with the club. "He was able to come for a very short time but he has some situation with his passport so he's returning back," said Klopas. "It's one of the options that we have but we also have a couple more which gives us an opportunity for us now to make the right decision with the right player."
Former Fire midfielder/defender Ivan Guerrero is also on trial with the club. Guerrero was the team's Defender of the Year in 2005. "He's technically a sound player. A two-way player who can play left back or left mid. I was a little bit surprised, I wasn't involved with the team back then (when) he moved on from the team because he brought a lot to the table. He moved his family to Chicago, he's a little bit older but he brings a lot of experience and he's always kept himself in tip-top condition. We had an opportunity to bring him into camp, he's a green card holder and being in Chicago it was a no-brainer bringing someone with that kind of experience in to evaluate and see him. We're looking to add depth and he's able to play a couple different spots. In the first phase, I feel that he's done pretty well".
Kinney Still Recovering
Rightback Steven Kinney has not trained with team yet this year after continuing to suffer from the after effects of injuries which caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. "Steven is not with us for this phase. The goal is to see if he's ready to start with us in the next phase in New Orleans. It's really unfortunate with a young player like that who's had injuries and had a lot of setbacks. Sometimes you just never know but it's kind of frustrating for him because he's worked very hard and he's had some setbacks. We're keeping our fingers crossed and hoping at least he'll be ready because we need to make some decisions if he's going to be part of the second phase and look to compete for a spot."
Next Preseason Game
The Fire face Honduran side Real Espana tomorrow in New Orleans, Louisiana at 5pm CDT. Klopas said starters will likely play one half with full substitutions to start the second.
Rolfe Back In MLS?
When Chris Rolfe departed for the Danish Superliga after the 2009 season many supporters bemoaned the fact that the club wasn't able to get anything in return for the crafty forward. Now that Rolfe's contract at Aalborg expires in June he's seemingly expressed interest in returning to MLS.
I was under the assumption that he would be subject to the MLS allocation process but that is not the case. The Fire made a qualifying offer to Rolfe before his departure which enabled them to retain his league rights. If Rolfe does indeed re-sign with the league the Fire will have the right of first refusal on his contract.