Weekend Notes - Carolina Challenge Cup Edition

With the Fire set to take on DC United for the second time this preseason on Saturday at 4pm, Frank Klopas addressed several issues during his weekly media conference call.  The Fire coach talked about the release of midfielder Ivan Guerrero, progress made by this year's rookie class, Adolfo Bautista, and the possibility of adding to the squad.

Here are the highlights:

  • Klopas is planning to push the starters further during the final three practice matches.
  • Roster compliance day in MLS is March 1.  All teams need to reach roster and budgetary limits by this date so there are several difficult decisions that need to be made.  One of those moves was announced today with the release of 34 year old veteran Ivan Guerrero.  "He moved to Chicago because he was planning on living here when his career in Honduras was over so he contacted me and I have tremendous respect for him," said Klopas.  "It didn't hurt for us to bring him in and look at him but it was a difficult decision on our part.  We have a guy on the left side that we drafted, Hunter Jumper that we believe has a tremendous upside.  We felt very comfortable that in a situation if something were to happen to Sega, he could step in because from a physical standpoint and a soccer standpoint I think he's right there".  Klopas did not rule out extending an invitation to Guerrero to remain with the club in some capacity.  "Ivan is a great guy and a guy that we're going to look to keep involved with us through the academy and the club".
  • Klopas maintains that the roster is much deeper this year and the team will be better suited to play different styles.  "Our system doesn't change but the make up of the players that you could put on the field can change a little bit.  We can be more attacking or we can be a little bit more defensive minded, we have ability to go either way with the players that we have.  Last year we finished very strong.  When you look at statistics I think we created a lot of opportunities, I think we had the most shots on goal from all the other teams so creating opportunities wasn't the issue.  We have some different players now with different qualities so we'll have more opportunities to score. We have more depth within the team and a lot more options to choose from", he said.
  • Klopas has been impressed with the progress and development of rookies Austin Berry and Hunter Jumper.  "The guys that we drafted have done very well.  Austin and Hunter have both looked very promising.  They've adapted very quickly and they both have the ability to contribute".
  • Klopas also dismissed the possibility of signing Mexican attacker Adolfo Bautista.  "Chicago is a place a lot of people want to be and come and play, but I have never reached out to Bautista and I have not spoken to any of his representatives.  Those are just rumors.  If the player wants to come here to play it's something that I do not know about,  I've not spoken to anyone and we have not been reached by anyone.  There's a lot of rumors out there and this is just one of them".
  • The coaching staff has some difficult decisions to make in order to reach the required roster limit but the team apparently isn't done with the final mix going into the opener.  "We can add players after March 1 if we desire to but we need to make some decisions here because there are very few spots and there are players fighting to the end for those few spots," said Klopas.  "We've looked at different players but we probably still might bring a player in.  We're still looking to improve the team and there are some opportunities out there that we're exploring.  Whether it's before March 1 or right after that we might add one or two more players".
  • The club is still looking to bring in a center back in particular.

All three Carolina Challenge Cup matches will be streamed live at Chicago-Fire.com.

Filed under: 2012 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Guillermo,Thank You for the Update and the Good News about
    that the Carolina Challenge Cup Games involving the Fire will
    be streamed life. I know it is still Pre Season as I said before,
    but in my opinion the Fire don't have that Proven Goal Scorer
    at this time. Based on what I have seen Dube, Mkosana, Puppo
    and Robayo are not the answer. Corban Bone has been more
    impressive than Robayo in the mid field. I know Klopas wants to
    add another Central Defender. "He should even be more concerned
    about adding a Proven Forward that when given the opportunity puts
    the Ball in the back of the Net." What ever happened to the best defense
    is a good offense??? As fans we want to be entertained with an
    explosive offense. "Frank your number One Priority should be that
    proven Goal Scorer that is missing at this time."

  • In reply to Juergen:

    Fire was 6th in goals last year with 46, Seatlle 1st with 56, but then sporting and NY with 50, I'm not that worried...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Fire didn't resign Chavez who is a forward and can also
    play midfield. Fire bring in Puppo who sofar has played
    like "Poo - Poo" . Robayo who hasn't shown much and wants
    to leave next year. Dube and Mkosana not much so far either.
    Klopas looking for another Central defender when he should
    be looking for a "Proven Forward." We curently have forwards
    who shoot wide of goal and over the crossbar consistantly.
    We lost two games by 2-0 against teams that are not that
    that good either. "This Season Ticket Holder is very worried."

  • In reply to Juergen:

    If I had my way, we'd sign another forward too. I don't know enough about Puppo to really judge him, but just based on his wiki page, his stats look decent, but doesn't appear to be a game changer. We still don't know, either, if Oduro will duplicate his 2011 campaign.

    I might be wrong, but I get the impression Klopas is talking more about a central defender for depth as much as anything. What Juergen and I want, is a game changing forward to play with Oduro. Doesn't have to be a DP, but someone with DP expectations and results. Our midfield, defense and keeper seem pretty well taken care of, that last spot up top is where we might need to upgrade. What I fear is that we'll need to find one in mid-season, and those later upgrades just seem more risky with less time to adapt to the team's style of play.

  • Thanks for the update GR. Is there any word out of Scotland with what's happening at Rangers? I've heard they're in good shape to hang on to everyone then I've heard that they may launch players like Bocanegra and others. I know he's expressed interest in closing out his career with Chicago and I think he still has some miles in his legs. I don't have my hopes up, however.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Last I heard was that Rangers was holding on to Bocanegra. Jay DeMerit apparently spoke to him a few weeks ago and he didn't feel he would be back in MLS until 2013 at the earliest.
    Bocanegra would be an excellent addition indeed but I believe he would be subject to the allocation process upon re-entering the league. I'm not 100% sure on this yet but I think the Fire received allocation dollars when he departed back in 2004 which would result in loss of first refusal rights.
    Bocanegra said last year that he would love to come back to Chicago but he wasn't sure himself how the allocation would work.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    what are the chances barcelona runs into the same trouble and the fire can end up with messi and iniesta? no allocation process to foil the plan!

  • No word yet on tv deal or schedule?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I heard from a friend at CSN that the Fire won't be on there this year.

    Why, I have no idea but just what I heard... Guess we'll find out soon, or they won't broadcast games at all.

  • In reply to gregor:

    They will broadcast......there won't be any matches that aren't televised somewhere.

  • As I recall in the past, tv schedule didn't come out until very close to the start of the season. I don't expect anything different this year.

  • The Fire will debut the new Quaker kits today.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    The QO kits look good. Did nothing for the lack of offence though. Unless there's something cooking that we aren't being shown, I'm ready to agree that the Fire has to put up some $$$ and get someone who knows how to play forward. Speed alone isn't getting it done.

  • Did I miss something? I saw no Seb Grazzini today nor even any mention of him. Considering his magical ability to make our forwards appear to be skilled, his absence without comment seems to suggest the Fire wanted to lose this game today. Is he nursing an injury?

    These last few games have really deflated the excitement level for this season from my perspective. I can only hope that the need to get final game-looks at a number of marginal candidates has impeded the quality of play.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Grazzini was out due to illness.

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