Gibbs out 4-6 months

Cory Gibbs, the Fire's 2011 Defender of the Year will miss the next 4-6 months after undergoing surgery today to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.  The 32 year old defender has a history that includes a knee injury in 2005 that caused him to miss considerable time at Feyenoord, a torn ACL in 2006 that effectively ended his time with the USMNT, and a variety of injuries that kept him from appearing in a single match from 2006 to 2008 after signing for Charlton Athletic.

After a return to MLS in 2008, Gibbs proved to be a solid defender appearing in 29 matches over one and a half seasons with Colorado missing 9 games due to injury in that time frame.  His last two seasons with New England and Chicago have been relatively injury free but the Fire were wise to continue to pursue the acquisition of an experienced central defender for depth at the position given Gibbs' injury history.

If he is fully fit and ready to go by Sunday, Arne Friedrich's introduction into the starting eleven could not have come at a better time.  Initially thought to replace Jalil Anibaba on the right side, Friedrich will now likely be teamed with the second year defender in the middle of the Fire's defense.  The 32 year old Friedrich is not without injury questions of his own so it's possible that Austin Berry, who some observers called the most MLS-ready player in this year's draft will be tested at some point this season.  Rookie left back Hunter Jumper has the size and mobility to play the position as well and has looked good in his time there during preseason play.  Third year man, Kwame Watson-Siriboe is also an option if the injury bug continues to hit.

Gibbs and Friedrich would have been a more than solid pairing veteran pairing that may have allowed Anibaba some time to watch and learn from a World Cup veteran.  He'll get a much closer look now and has a great opportunity in front of him.

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  • Wow. Only 3 games in and already the wheels are coming off the bus. This is really dismal. 4-5 months would be in time for a playoff push, but that may be optimistic.

    It's not unusual, though, with his knee history. I've torn both my ACLs and had a meniscus repair last year as well, and it goes without saying that I'm not nearly as active as Gibbs. Usually you get some meniscal tearing when the ACL goes, and you can't make it whole again, just get rid of the torn bits (any orthopedic surgeons out there can feel free to correct me but that's the way my docs have explained it).

    Anyways, yeah, Anibaba is going to get some time, and Berry will be seeing the field at some point. Hopefully it's not for a Friedrich injury. Ugh.

  • The Fire reserves dropped a 1-0 decision to Sporting KC tonight.

    Line up:
    Johnson
    Jumper, Berry, Watson-Siriboe, Walls
    Paladini, Bone, Abulaji, Videira
    Puppo, Barouch

    The lone goal was scored by Soony Saad in the 4th minute. Watson-Siriboe picked up a second yellow during some sort of 90th minute scuffle.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    There's a name here I don't recognize and that doesn't appear on the Fire roster. Who is Abulaji? I don't recall hearing this name previously. Is this someone new getting a tryout at midfield?

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Yes....another trialist. Sola Abolaji.....went to college in Kansas and has played in USL and Norwegian second division.

  • That stinks. I kind of wish we'd kept Cuesta, he looked very good at times (but not so good other times.) Watson-Siriboe seemed to drop way down on the depth chart after what I thought was a fairly promising rookie year. I don't think he got a single first team minute last season. How come?

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Watson-Siriboe was on loan to FC Tampa Bay last season.

    They tried to keep Cuesta but couldn't come to terms on extending his loan deal.

  • Arne's gotta step up now. That's it.

  • I imagine we'll be seeing Juan David Duque added to the line-up soon. My understanding is that he's under contract with MLS, but not assigned to a team, and that he has played both center and left back.

  • In reply to DDT5583:

    You're right about Duque but he is way too small to play center back in MLS.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    So was Michael Parkhurst

  • In reply to DDT5583:

    Parkhurst is 5'-11".....stand next to Duque in person and you'll see what I mean.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Fair enough. I read on BigSoccer that he's only around 5'6", which I'll concede is a bit small.

  • In reply to DDT5583:

    Sounds about right.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    While I'm sure it's probably accurate, 5'6" seems generous. Then again, I'm 6'5", so anyone under 6' is a midget. lol

  • MLS' March to the Match podcast is a pretty good listen. This week they discuss the Fire v Houston match and cover some of the same points we've been discussing here....

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/marchtothematch

    A classic line from the podcast...."Marco Pappa is the Jamal Crawford of MLS."

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Without sounding like Landon Donovan - who's Jamal Crawford?

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Ha!
    Jamal Crawford is a former Bulls player, who now plays for Atlanta I think. He has a propensity for shooting from anywhere at anytime with little or no regard to strategy or team play.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Just to throw in Jamal Crawford reference, he plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.

  • Two goals in three games: defense is not the Fire's primary problem.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    co-signed

  • yes i agree, where are the goals going to come from?

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    In reply to penapirata:

    Perhaps Arne will have to score as well.

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