Oduro for Duka/Rogers and Johnson gets USMNT call

Now that the Dominic Oduro for Dilly Duka (and Robbie Rogers) deal has been made official we can take a look at what the acquisitions mean for the Fire's roster and depth chart heading into the 2013 season. Duka is likely to get a good shot at earning first eleven minutes on the left side of midfield in competition with Alex but Rogers is the wildcard here. He's currently without a club after cutting ties with Leeds United last week and the Fire now hold his rights if he returns to MLS. Should he decide that his Euro options aren't as fruitful as they would be stateside Chicago will have first crack at signing him. However, it may be difficult to fit him into the current budget structure without making a few other maneuvers. The forward position is thin at the moment with only Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald, and Maicon Santos as the only strikers on the roster with proven success on the professional level. The best move here may be to trade Rogers' rights within MLS in exchange for a forward or allocation money which would allow room for another scorer.

Oduro wasn't happy with a reduced role and was looking to find a spot where he could earn more playing time in a contract year. The Fire's leading scorer in 2011 is out of contract at the conclusion of this season and one can't blame him for looking toward his future if he was to be relegated to bench duty as a 60th minute substitution at best. "This was a very difficult decision", said Soccer Operations President Javier Leon of the move. "Dominic had expressed interest in pursuing an opportunity for a starting position. We thank him for all that he has done for the Fire and we wish him well as he takes the next step in his career.”

At 27 years old, this was likely the last chance for Oduro to maximize his earning potential as a player so you can't begrudge a player for wanting to get onto the field for that very reason. It wasn't going to happen in Chicago with Chris Rolfe and Sherjill MacDonald ahead of him. The picture probably became a little clearer for him when the club selected Maicon Santos in the Re-Entry draft in December. After playing a huge role in the club's second half resurgence in 2011, Oduro struggled in a single striker formation in 2012. He wasn't suited to succeed in that role as the Fire adapted to competitors who wisely shifted their back lines deeper to combat the system that the club used to find success during the mad dash late in 2011.

Duka wasn't happy in Columbus either after clashing with coach Robert Warzycha. It's a good move for both players and both clubs but the Fire have done well to get Rogers in the deal regardless of whether he ever dons a red shirt or not. As an added bonus, Duka's cap number will be considerably less than the $243k guaranteed that he earned last season.

Fire depth chart

Here's a look at the current Fire roster:

GK Johnson, Tornaghi, Belshaw, Kann*, Kitson*

LB Segares, Jumper

CB Friedrich, Berry, Kinney, Videira, McKenzie*, Robertson*

RB Pause, Anibaba, Gallagher*

LM Alex, Duka, King, Atouba*

RM Nyarko, Thompson, Pineda, Trialist #2*

CM Lindpere, Larentowicz, Paladini, Bone

F Rolfe, MacDonald, Santos, Colin Rolfe*, Gulley

*Denotes trialist or draft pick

We don't know much about the unnamed "Trialist #2" other than he's French and a Virgo. There are additional trialists in camp including two young Ecuadorian players. The Fire have not released an updated official list with the new additions in place and a few of the names above may no longer be in camp. A few other trialists are longer with the team although no formal announcement has been made so they're not listed here. For more on that and an update on everything else going on in the Fireverse check out the latest Fire Confidential Podcast right here. The show will also be available at NASN.tv later today.

Johnson gets USMNT call

Sean Johnson has been named to the US roster for World Cup Qualifying which begins Wednesday in Honduras. Johnson is one of three goalkeepers on Jurgen Klinsman's roster. The other two are Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. Good company.

Here's the USA roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS (9) : Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Michael Bradley (Roma), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Jose Torres (Tigres), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)



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  • I'd like to see them keep Rogers or get a good striker for him...but who would give up a goal scorer unless they have to...free up money by cutting overpaid Pause and maybe Alex. Trading for allocation money means nothing since they likely will blow it like they did last time with Frederico Poopoo

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    The trick is Rogers may not be interested in MLS at the moment and if he is, he may be looking to head out West.

  • congrats SJ. thats a big deal for him to beat out Hamid and Tally hall, who i thought were probly both ahead of him going into the January camp

  • So I just took a look at the rosters of the teams out on the West Coast and I just don´t know for whom we would be able to trade Rogers's rights that a) the West Coast team would want to trade and b) we would want. Admittedly, I'm just looking at forwards. But Chivas likely wouldn't be interested in Rogers because of the image that they're trying to build there (Agudelo for Rogers is a deal I would take, though). I don't know most of the rosters well enough to know their players, e.g. at Galaxy, Timbers, Earthquakes, or Sounders. Thoughts on who we would want? Or maybe it's a player for depth and a draft pick for his rights?

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    The Galaxy were pretty weak on the outside last season so that's one area where they may look to improve. I doubt you'll get another team's top scorer in a deal within MLS though. Allocation may be better than a player in exchange.

  • Agdulo for Rogers? Agdulo is the most overrated player since Adu. Looks like Dallas is stockpiling forwards like we are midfielders (groan) hassil And Cooper. I'd take either over Rogers and Duka. Especially since striker was more of a need than midfield

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Hassli is expensive, injured, and a bit of pain. Cooper comes with a huge cap hit that would limit what they could have done in terms of additions. Dallas had the allocation money to spend because of the Shea deal.

  • its a shame toronto traded hassli, because now there's no way they'll let koevermans go. thats the striker i'd love to have

  • The Fire may have a forward targeted already but the player may not be available until July, who knows.
    With all the changes made, I think Frank has an idea of who he wants that is available at some point.
    This is now definitely Frank's team, so what ever happens it will fall directly on his shoulders.
    Still, I feel the team is somewhat stronger at this point than last year, while a bit short of the top four, they still will be competitive waiting for the missing ingredient coming in July.
    Also, the club now is seemingly more able to play the possession game with some degree of skill than in the past several seasons.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    They do have at least one non-MLS forward targeted in the July window but those deals are always a bit tricky because there will likely be other suitors involved outside of MLS.
    They came pretty close to landing one just before this international window closed on Jan 31 but it unfortunately didn't happen.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    is it safe to assume when you don't name names it's because you aren't sure who? or sometimes are you keeping quiet at the request of the person who gave you the inside scoop? just curious, thanks!

  • In reply to Drew:

    Both scenarios are safe to assume.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    got it. it kills me though that you know names (sometimes) and can't say...pls tell your source(s) we NEED to know these rumors, it makes it much more fun! :)

  • In reply to Drew:

    The first rule of Fight Club is..... lol

  • Don't forget to catch the audio stream of today's game against Chivas USA at Chicago-Fire.com at 1:30.

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