It was a hot rumor a few weeks ago on Superdraft day and a little more fuel was thrown on the fire (bad pun inserted) today when Frank Klopas confirmed that the club is still interested in disgruntled Columbus midfielder Dilly Duka. "There was talks with them during the draft. I think they're looking to move him and we have an interest in the player," said Klopas during his weekly media conference call. "There's a lot of rumors out there but we did talk to Columbus about (Duka) but that's something that might get finalized or it might not," he said of the Fire's efforts to facilitate a trade with Columbus. "There's still talks going on," he continued. "With every move we make we want to make sure it's the right move and in the best interests of our club. With us, all those things need to add up and we need to make decisions that not only make sense right now but also long term," said Klopas.
Duka's guaranteed compensation was $243,000.00 last season and his 2013 salary appears to be a hang up for interested clubs.
D day for some players
Klopas will use the match against Columbus on Wednesday morning to get another look at players chosen in the supplemental draft and there may be some cuts this week. One of the draftees who won't be released this week is second round pick Yazid Atouba. The rookie showed some flashes on Sunday but Klopas feels there's room for improvement. "He's a talented player but he's got to start playing with more structure. He listens and takes a lot in," said Klopas. Atouba has a lot "individual ability" and will have chance to improve on decision making and movement without the ball during the next phase of camp.
Centerback Rauwshan McKenzie, whose rights are owned by Chivas USA will also make it to the next camp. Klopas would like to see more against other MLS competition before making a decision on his status.
Streaming Pre-Season action
The match against the Crew on Wednesday at 10:30 am will be streamed live at Chicago-Fire.com. Kudos should go to the Fire for making live video of at least 5 of 7 preseason matches available for fans. The other two will have audio coverage. I haven't checked the numbers but I'd venture to say that's more preseason access than just about every other MLS club.
Johnson starts for USA
Sean Johnson earned his first start for the US Men's National Team in a senior match tonight. Johnson got the call against Canada in a friendly played in Houston.