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.