Weekend notes - CCC edition

The Fire have an opportunity to clinch first place in the Carolina Challenge Cup tournament with a win or a draw versus the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. All three of the other participants (Charleston, Vancouver, and Houston) have at least one defeat and the Fire are 2-0 after beating Charleston 2-1 on Alex's late game golazo. With only one warm-up remaining until the regular season opener in Los Angeles on March 3 the coaching staff has only a few roster decisions to make.

Goalkeeper James Belshaw left camp on Wednesday after failing to come to terms on a contract with the club according to his twitter account. That leaves Alec Kann to claim the third goalkeeper spot. Midfielder Yazid Atouba was impressive again versus Charleston and has all but wrapped up a spot on the roster. Frank Klopas told media after the game that the club was "close" to getting Atouba signed to a contract. Here's how the rest of the roster shapes up going into the final weekend of preseason....

GK Sean Johnson, Paolo Tornaghi, Alec Kann

D Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Arne Friedrich, Gonzalo Segares, Logan Pause, Hunter Jumper, Steven Kinney

M Alex, Daniel Paladini, Patrick Nyarko, Wells Thompson, Joel Lindpere, Jeff Larentowicz, Dilly Duka, Corben Bone, Victor Pineda, Mike Videira, Brendan King, Yazid Atouba

F Sherjill MacDonald, Chris Rolfe, Maicon Santos, Kellen Gulley

That's 26 players accounted for with two spots likely remaining to be filled. Forward Colin Rolfe is still in camp, as is Brazilian centerback Leo Lelis and veteran right back Pascal Chimbonda. If the Fire manage to complete a deal with Toronto FC for Quincy Amarikwa that will leave one slot open among those three players. Klopas didn't seem particularly impressed with Chimbonda during his conference call on Saturday and he didn't get into the Charleston match. The coach cited the team's depth at right back which doesn't bode well for the former Premier League defender, who would take up one of the two remaining international slots once Atouba is signed.

Teams can have up to as many as 30 players on the roster and have the option of keeping 2 "on budget" slots open for allocation or additional reinforcements.

The final match of preseason will be streamed live at 4pm CDT at Chicago-Fire.com.

Rec League Soccer

The Fire has partnered with WCW FA to sponsor adult recreational soccer in the Chicago area. This is an excellent way for the club to promote the game and the organization with the thousands of recreational players in the City. The partnership is called "Chicago Fire Rec Soccer" and the first league games kick off on March 23. If they can expand this concept into the burbs and Northwest Indiana there is a real opportunity to grow the professional game from a grass roots level all throughout greater Chicagoland.

Filed under: 2013 Pre Season

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  • The Fire have officially waived Tony Walls.

  • Frank may have figured out how to get all of our midfielders on the field: play a 3-4-3. This is how we were lined up for the first half yesterday:

    Rolfe-MacDonald-Nyarko
    -----------Lindpere-----------
    Duka----------------Anibaba
    ---------Larentowicz---------
    ---Pause--Berry--Kinney--

    I couldn't believe it either, so I spent most of the first half watching the tactics. In defensive situations Duka, Anibaba, Rolfe and Nyarko would drop so we looked like a 5-4-1, but that is typical for the 3-4-3. Figure swap out Friedrich and Segares for Anibaba and Kinney and move Pause to RM. We went back to a more normal 4-4-1-1 for the 2nd half.

  • In reply to iron81:

    It's always hard to tell what the formation is from tv or the live stream but he did say he was going to try different things.

  • In reply to iron81:

    I love Logan Pause as much as the next Fire supporter but if he is playing at RM or RB this season we will be in trouble. He can be our emotional leader but he shouldnt be seeing extended minutes over Anibaba. Jalil was fantastic last year and needs to be playing in every match. We have the players now to play a 442 which is nice. We also have the players to play a 4411, 4222, 343. We have alot of depth but our back 4 should be Sega, Freidrich, Berry, Anibaba. There is no need to mess with that.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I pretty much agree although injuries could lead to the need. And if Logan can perform serviceably in the defense, there may be merit to using him to spot-rest the starters!

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I'm thinking Anibaba will be the starter at RB come Sunday.

  • Latest and greatest Fire Confidential Podcast is up. Finally, our last discussion of preseason, a little MLS preview action, and chat about Andrew's involvement w/ supporters.

    http://t.co/NnJx8h87et

  • Any news on local TV and (dare I dream) radio broadcasts?

  • In reply to Doug:

    Hoping to have something on that soon.

  • Update coming tonight from the first day of regular season training.....A few notes already mentioned on the twitters.

    Also a chock full-o-Fire new podcast coming up....

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