Offseason heating up - Fire open at LA

I've been a little wrapped up for the last week or so but now it's time to get back to the business at hand.  It's MLS transfer season and things across the league are heating up.  Sporting Kansas City seems to be putting the entire Eastern Conference on notice with recent transactions and the addition of a Designated Player (this guy has a pretty impressive scoring record).  New York is active with the subtraction of Rafael Marquez and the addition of another Juninho but they're still without a head coach.  The Fire have essentially stood pat so far with the exception of adding Maicon Santos during Phase 1 of the Re-Entry Draft but there are spots to be filled.  Sure, they've re-signed Arne Friedrich and Gonzalo Segares but it's safe to say that at least one new impactful reinforcement is needed in order to challenge for more than just a playoff spot.

Since it appears that Corben Bone is negotiating a new deal with the club, the current roster stands at 25 (if you count Guille Franco who is contractually bound until Dec. 31).  According to estimations based on the 2012 MLS Player's Union salary list the club currently has three spots open on the senior roster, also know as "Salary Budget Players" or salaries that count against the soft cap.  Looking at the 17 names that presumably make up the senior roster it appears that the Fire will be close to the $2,950,000.00 budget/cap number for 2013 even after renegotiations are taken into account.  Here is a guess as to which players will comprise the "Budget" list this coming season:

Johnson, Anibaba, Berry, Friedrich, Segares, Alex, Fernandez, Nyarko, Paladini, Pardo, Pause, Thompson, MacDonald, Oduro, Rolfe, Santos, Bone

Off budget players could be: Tornaghi, Jumper, Kinney, Walls, Pineda, Videira, Gulley

The club also has 2 international spots open if Franco is not retained as expected.  We don't know what they've got in terms of allocation money available to fill the open roster spots but it appears on the surface that there isn't much wiggle room financially to add a big salaried/DP acquisition without adjusting the roster or relocating dollars like they essentially did with Segares in a renegotiated deal.  A big move this offseason may necessitate more roster changes that could alter the chemistry of the current eleven.  After returning to the playoffs following a 2 year absence, I'm not sure big changes are afoot.

Either way, the Fire aren't done making moves.  Recent trips to Spain and Argentina may yield reinforcements but I wouldn't hold out hopes for a big splash.

Re-Entry Draft Phase 2

The Fire weren't active on day 2 of the Re-Entry draft but did lose defender Dan Gargan to the San Jose Earthquakes.  Gargan apparently fell out of favor for some reason while losing his starting right back position to Jalil Anibaba and now depth on the back line should be a concern.  The club has youth available at right back with Jumper and Walls staring at an opportunity to earn first team minutes but some experience will be needed in the event of injury or suspension.

Former Fire players John Thorrington and Chad Barrett were selected by DC and New England respectively.  Is there a better combination for fan derision than Barrett and the Revolution?

First Kick Match Ups Announced

The Fire will open the 2013 season in Los Angeles against the two-time defending champion Galaxy on March 3.  They'll open the home portion of the schedule the following week against Barrett and the aforementioned Revolution and follow that up with a trip to Sporting Kansas City on March 16.

That's two tough road games in three weeks to start the season.  It may help that both Los Angeles and Sporting will be introducing new pieces on the field and may need some time to adjust while the Fire will likely feature a core which has been together for some time now.

Here's the complete MLS First Kick schedule.

 

Filed under: 2012 Post Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • i have a feeling we are going to have to wait for those impact players until july. it seems that with the fire close to the cap that they will just probably more than likely round out the roster with draft picks this year. we still need dept on the roster so we are not relying on players like wells thompson and hunter jumper coming in for extended stints due to injuries and what not.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    That seems to be the case. Draft picks and lesser known South Americans to fill out the roster has been the MO. There could always be a trade to clear space though.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to penapirata:

    I totally agree. However, no matter who they get in the Super Draft, I think a lot of fans will feel much better if they sign a veteran fullback (who can play both sides) before camp opens up in about a month.

    Good stuff as usual Guillermo.

    Cheers,

    Scott

  • Latest Red Priests Podcast features a chat with Jeff Crandall.....

    http://redpriests.com/1/post/2012/12/episode-11-chicago-fire-team-writer-jeff-crandall.html

    Segares, team depth, offseason, First Kick and more.....

  • This would be a huge advancement in the quality of the reserve league. MLS supposedly teaming up with USLPro to provide bench players a chance to get minutes......

    http://nasn.tv/2012/mls-working-with-usl-pro-on-reserve-league-integration/

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    That is a fantastic development for the league, and will have obvious benefits for USLPro as well. Really glad to see them working on this.

  • I agree, the current reserve system sucks, this will afford younger players to develop earlier. 10 reserve games is meaningless.
    This should have been in place years ago.

  • Hey Guillermo,

    Did you have a chance to ask anyone in the FO about Christianson's status?

  • In reply to DDT5583:

    I have not...thanks for reminding me though.

  • Julian Posada steps down as President of the Fire.......

    http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/12/thank-you-julian

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    He gone! What does this really change, if anything?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Zero. Status quo. Move along.

  • There will be no president of Fire and I wanted to apply for that position, oh well.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    If you've got zero professional soccer experience that may qualify you for a VP position. Keep that resume handy.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    SNAP!

  • Not surprised about Julian Posada. I think he was pretty much gone all year. It would be nice if they could add his salart to the cap space! If there is a cap space issue, and they cannot win with the players they have, then some of the guys we have need to go. It's soccer, not Illinois government where you have a job forever. Why bring Bone back if you do not think he can make the team a winner? I think they need to have a better salary/payer personel strategist so they don't find themselves in a bind. LA had to make the hard choice to let Buddle go, it needs to be done sometimes .

  • In reply to Krasov:

    It appears they're pretty tight with the cap number but we don't know what they have in allocation. They can't continue to have errors like the Puppo DP situation and expect to challenge the top teams. You also can't have people making decisions who don't have a grasp of how MLS operates.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Come on, Guillermo; Cafe Press, MLS, pretty much the same thing! What could've gone wrong with that dream paring?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Cafe Media*

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    That combination is actually not as a big a stretch as some others. There were some positive accomplishments during Posada's tenure as President.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Jersey sponsor with Quaker, Team Store, Spanish radio on ESPN 97.5, partnership with Atheltico Madrid and Corporate Stadium Suite.

  • In terms of the business side (which is what Julian was charged with handling), I think the team did pretty well during his tenure.

    Secured a good shirt sponsor, built an all-inclusive club, increased season ticket numbers, Manchester United friendly just to name a few things.

    The striking thing about his tenure is that he seemed to disappear from the public eye in the last year. Given his stature in Chicago and media background, this seemed rather odd.

    Look today in Hoy and see that he's speaking to media again... it really makes you wonder how much he might have been hamstrung all along by the powers that be in LA.

    In terms of business and other more genuine matters, I think Posada's tenure was much better than Greeley's and I wouldn't have minded to see him continue. To not fill that President's role now I think is a step back as fans continue to ask and clamor for a voice leading the organization. Leon only selectively seems to speak to media a few times a year when he wonders to Chicago from LA and the only mention I've seen from Khosla was his announcement last summer.

    Fans on the Section 8 forum continue to argue over whether or notKlopas is the one that speaks for the organization though one raised that expecting your head coach to be the public figure on all aspects is foolhardy. Can't say I disagree.

    Who's the voice Andrew and when will they speak? Is it you, with your sort of oddly timed letters and your once a year town hall? Is it now Khosla? Will Javier speak? Is it someone else?

    The fact that fans have to continue to ask this question is one of the biggest issues this club faces and at least part of the reason it still hasn't gained a foothold in Chicago. There never seems to be any accountability and after six years, it seems that's the way Andell wants it.

  • In reply to seaside:

    You must have been reading my mind Seaside.

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