Monday postgame, Robayo rumors, & more

With the MLS secondary transfer window closing on July 27 several MLS clubs have jumped into the mid-season signing frenzy with full force over the last seven days.  One of those clubs, the Vancouver Whitecaps has added Scottish National Team captain Kenny Miller to bolster their front line.  The Whitecaps just in the span of the last week have added Miller and Dane Richards while moving Sebastien LeToux and Davide Chiumiento out of the side.

From the Fire's standpoint, they've done well to put together a team capable of competing for one of the top five spots in the Eastern Conference and wholesale changes similar to what Vancouver has done shouldn't be necessary.  A quality finisher is probably still needed in order to take the next step into the upper echelon of league heavyweights and Frank Klopas has mentioned interest in another central midfielder but the team will need to make room for any new international additions by moving one or two of the players currently occupying the eight allotted international spots on the roster.

One of the players that could be transferred by July 27 is Rafael Robayo.  A report surfaced last night that a deal had been reached between the Fire and Robayo's former club Millonarios to send the midfielder back to Colombia.  Robayo has expressed interest over the last two weeks in exploring a move back to Millonarios but the report of a done deal may be premature.  Robayo participated in full training this morning ahead of the club's trip to New York to face the Red Bulls on Wednesday afternoon.

"There's interest for Rafa, he's a good player," said Frank Klopas after training this morning.  "There's an adjustment period for every player and I think Pavel and Logan have played very well but when he's stepped in  I think he's done a very good job.  He's a guy that wants to play.  He's a very good player and he had a long career with Millonarios so I'm sure they would love to have him back," he continued.  "It's a situation where he's a good player and it's taken him a while to transition like everyone else but he's stepped in and has helped the team.  If it's a situation where he needs to play on an every day basis then for sure we need to sit down with him and see what options he has," said Klopas.  "He likes it here, he likes the team but like any player he wants to be on the field and playing.  He's a guy that wants to play but the guys in front of him are playing pretty well."

News and notes

  • Marco Pappa returned to full training and should be ready for the New York game.  Klopas said Pappa could have played against Vancouver if they really needed him but the game situation dictated other changes.
  • Looking ahead to New York Logan Pause feels the club can get a victory in the rematch with the Red Bulls but picking up a result on the road is most important.  "We're away but the key is we're going there to get points.  Hopefully we can get three but if it ends up being one they're a team that we're trying to catch so we're definitely going to push." said Pause.  "We need to plug along because these are the months where you start to create some separation (in the standings)," he continued.  "We're happy with where we are but we still have a lot of work to do."
  • The Fire can't file a protest review of the red card issued to Arne Friedrich since the red card was a result of a second yellow and league rules only permit for appeals of straight red cards.   This is a rule that really should be changed during the offseason.
  • Nothing new to report on Pappa's transfer/pre-contract rumors or the possible Sherjill MacDonald signing at the moment.

Filed under: 2012 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Is this game really starting at noon on Wednesday? What's that all about?

  • In reply to Madvora:

    Yes. I haven't able to get an answer for the odd start time other than it was something decided upon by the Red Bulls.

  • In reply to Madvora:

    Jeff Crandall reports in his blog post to the Fire web site today:

    "For those wondering why the kickoff is set for 12pm CT (1pm local time), the Red Bulls are going back to experiment with a “Camp Day” looking to attract summer camps to Red Bull Arena Wednesday afternoon."

  • Maybe they're trying to get a prime time audience in Europe?

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    In reply to dustbin:

    Best reason so far.

  • so when is our saviour macdonald showing up? any other rumblings out there for a new acquisition for the fire?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Pretty quiet on that front.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    In my experience Fire signings., more than any other team in the League., tend to come from nowhere. I'm taking this silence as a positive sign that deals are about to be done.

  • In reply to DDT5583:

    That silence worked so well to bring in Robayo and Puppo.

  • Good to have Marco back. I think 3 points will be tough, but Henry might sit this one out it sounds like. That would definitely help. And we desperately need to fortify before the window is over. Grazzini and Robayo are holding things up with their full international spots. Hopefully it gets resolved very soon.

  • In reply to RyanSealock:

    They'll be pretty fortunate to miss Henry twice this season if he doesn't play on Wednesday.

  • Ok, Is it me or does anyone follow soccer nowadays? okay I'm going to give this find away to the Fire Front office.... Theres this guy down in Argentina that is better than Grazzini. Yes, believe it or not and he goes by the name of Riquelme!!! So tell me why aren't the FIRE trying to get this guy? I sounds like robayo is gone, so is Grazzini, we sure don't need Puppo. WHY ARE THE FIRE NOT CALLING THIS GUY? Or better Yet Diego the Brazilian playmaker is not getting what he wants in his current team in Germany, Why not get him on loan? If we got Orr on loan and then bought him as well as some other scrubs why not get players on loan that can make this team attractive? screw this I don't care if they don't stay long. I want to see some championships won, I want to see excitement when I go to the fire games come one. I could only take so much more of Oduros missed scoring opportunities!!! what say you guillermo?

  • In reply to javi19FIRE:

    Riquelme would certainly be interesting. He's a guy that's been on the wish list of MLS fans for several years now. My big concern with him is the fact that he's 34 and left Boca claiming he has "no energy remaining". He can still pay though but you have to question his desire after comments like that.

    Loan deals for guys like Diego would be fantastic moves but it doesn't seem like MLS clubs are looking to pay big bucks for loan moves on DP level players. I don't see the Fire jumping into a big money loan deal either since the transfer/loan fee alone would probably equal the equivalent of a DP salary.

    I think Cavenaghi would be an excellent addition but it seems he has other options in South America after River Plate declined to bring him back.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Plus, Riquelme had missed some time last year with a left ankle injury.

  • In reply to javi19FIRE:

    The last time I heard Riquelme news was Shanghai has some interest in him (that was 2 days after he left Boca). Can you imagine Anelka, Riquelme and Drogba on the same team?

  • yeah i guess you're right on getting guys on loan. but i think that would make a lot more sense than getting guys that past their prime like pardo, Friedrich, i mean yeah they have a good game here and there but I rather see some one that is hyper and ready to play and could make a difference day in and day out. however, I think the issue that still bothers me the most is that we have "scouts" going around the world so to speak, and where are the guys they are scouting? They are not helping on signing great players or good players for that matter, they are not getting home grown players to sign and I've seen some pretty good ones on the academy and pre academy teams, which is pointless I think if you're not going to use the system to develop players and sell them or loan them to get some cash. I say then don't invest in the academies if thats not what your club is about. But look at what Dallas does, they developed players, signs them and gives them minutes here and there get the players feet wet and then ships them off to mexico on loan or sells them. one way or another the club needs to do something to better the team quick. if not I don't know whats going to happen. I'm going to end up spending less $$$ at TP and more on beer at home watching the games for "free" with friends.

  • In reply to javi19FIRE:

    The problem with trying to get those young exciting players is that they dont want to come MLS. Pardo and Freidrich are great players for us so I dont understand why you are complaining about them. Everyone complains about everything here. If we win 1-0, we should have won 2-0. If we scrapped a win on the road, we should have passed the ball more and finished every opportunity that we had. We have the same amount of wins already this year that we have finished the past 2 seasons with. We need a goal scorer and a creative midfielder, but so does every team. Thats why they are hard to find.

  • I think the results of the poll for what position the Fire needs to sign someone during the transfer window would be very different now that we know that Grazzini and Robayo are both gone. Not that we don't need a striker, but a midfield creator would be higher on the wish list, I think.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I think you're right. Probably time for a new poll.

  • so the guys over at HTIOT found a peruvian article that says the fire offered a contract to andy pando. you can find his stats here:
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/player/_/id/128479/andy-pando?cc=5901

    40 goals in his last 70 apperances, i don't know if the league in peru is good or bad so i don't know what to make of it.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Decent numbers in Peru but he's hopped around all over the place down there. The league is probably a notch or two below MLS IMO. He's probably a guy they've looked at but I doubt he has an actual offer.

  • Sounds great, another unknown phenom of unknown quality,
    all they need is a guy called Pepsi to go with their MacDonald, seemingly not good news.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Who would you like the Fire to get that is realistic? If we sign a proven start they are going to be 30+ and in the decline of their career. If we sign a young player, he is going to be unknown from some random country. Pappa was unknown to us before he came here. That was a good signing. They drafted Anibaba and Berry. They signed Freidrich, Pardo, Grazzini. Drafted Sean Johnson even though we already had Job Busch, and we all know he was nothin to f with. They have had their mistakes but they have found some good players too.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    True some good players were signed. "Jon Busch" was let go
    who was a fan favorite player at the start of the 2010 Season
    for no good reason. Now we have the Grazzini situation with
    no explanation on the Fire website. The Fire brought in Puppo as
    a DP in his case this stands for "Disappointing Player". Other teams
    for example the White Caps upgrade and pick up a good quality young forward like Daren Mettlock. Why can't the Fire do this??
    Why does the Fire continue to frustrate the Fans with their very
    poor public relations ??? When players don't work out as Puppo,
    Robayo etc. why keep them?? Make room and bring quality replacements to the team while there is still a chance to turn
    this into a successful season and grow the Fan Support and not
    reduce it as is currently being done by Fire Management.

  • In reply to Juergen:

    Juergen, I share in your frustration, but the Fire didn't get a chance at Mattocks because he was a highly regarded college player and was taken #2 overall by Vancouver. Not the Fire's fault that they weren't higher in the draft order. Anyway, we got an excellent player in Austin Berry, as centerback was a position that needed improvement.

  • In reply to Juergen:

    Montreal fans, on the other hand, have every right to demand to know what Mattocks isn't starting for them. What a blown pick that is looking to be.

  • In reply to Juergen:

    Everyone knows that the Puppo wasnt a great move. The "good reason" that we let Busch go was to give Johnson minutes. I think it was a good decision. Grazzini is another mistake but we dont know what the situation is. But look at the good moves that the FO has made recently.
    Oduro for Caitlin Carr
    signing Pardo and Freidrich
    Drafting Anibaba and Berry with both becoming starters
    Robayo, Puppo, Grazzin were mistakes
    getting Segares and Rolfe back

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    Maybe the Fire are just very very bad at marketing stars within our squad? They could easily market Pappa, Rolfe and Johnson as the face of this organization like how they marketed Blanco. However, they don't. Get people interested in your product.

  • In reply to waam:

    And the more you market your young stars, the greater chance you'll lose them to a bigger venue.

  • check out my latest at:
    http://penapiratas.blogspot.com/2012/07/its-been-while.html

  • http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/story/_/id/8176145/eintracht-frankfurt-releases-us-midfielder-ricardo-clark

    would he be subject to the allocation process?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Frankly, who cares? His stock has slipped in the past several years,
    and certainly not a player the Fire needs at this point, although he might be a good fit somewhere else.
    We need someone who knows where the goal is and how to put the ball in it.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    He is not subject to allocation. Houston retained his rights.

  • lonecoyote You are a 100% correct on that.
    The sooner the better I don't know what the Fire
    are waiting on.

  • Current temp in Harrison, NJ is 100 degrees.

    This is going to be a slow, painful game. I understand that MLS wants to have some matinee games for the kids every season (that's why the midday game time according to Extra Time Radio), but I for one and glad I'm not there.

    Remember how Friedrich complained about the Houston home game getting shortened because of rain (really lightning)? Here's another example of extreme North American weather for him to gripe about.

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