Friedrich to miss next 2 weeks (at least)

The Fire announced today that defender Arne Friedrich was travelling to Germany to continue rehabilitation on the injury which has kept him from participating in the first two games of the 2013 season. The club's 2012 defender of the year will seek treatment from therapist Thomas Fennewald, a specialist who has helped him recover from injuries over the course of his career. In the release Friedrich referred to Fennewald as "the best therapist I've ever seen."

There shouldn't be cause for alarm at this moment since Friedrich is expected to resume training shortly after returning from Germany in approximately two weeks although his return to the field may realistically be 3-4 weeks from now. After an initial scare, tests results showed that the issue is not season or career threatening. Friedrich did say last week that the injury was not as serious as the hamstring problem that he encountered last season. That injury kept him out from May 12 to June 29.

As an important part of the Fire's defense and as a leader on and off the field the club is wise not to rush him back and approach this issue cautiously. Even if it means two weeks in Germany recovering.

Gulley loan deal close?

The club also announced that homegrown forward Kellen Gulley was beginning a training stint with the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL. Team officials have been pursuing a loan deal for Gulley since training camp in an effort to get the 18 year old attacker consistent playing time that he otherwise would not gain while training with the first team in Chicago.

The Fire will play a 13 game reserve league schedule this season which doesn't seem to be enough to get younger players sufficient playing time to develop into first team contributors. Seeing minutes in competitive and meaningful action is the best course for development and Gulley likely wouldn't see much while in Bridgeview this summer.

The Fire's other home grown player, Victor Pineda is beginning light training and could be back into full training within 3-4 weeks if all goes well.

Segares sees improvement

After the beating in Los Angeles, the Fire did tighten up and produce a much better defensive effort on Saturday night against New England. The Revolution managed only two dangerous scoring chances if you count Kalifa Cisse's early header and Jerry Bengston's goal in the 62nd minute. Veteran defender Gonzalo Segares commented on the improvement which kept Sean Johnson from having to make acrobatic saves just to keep the score close. "We were definitely better. We didn't give that much space for the forwards and we were tight on guys. I felt that we kept our line very close with our midfielders and I think we stayed concentrated for most of the game. Only that one opportunity for their goal was the only chance where I feel we lost our concentration but other than that I think that we were definitely the better team and defensively we were way better than last week," said the Costa Rican left back.

Segares also shared some thoughts on the Fire's difficult start and the challenge of meshing three new midfielders into the line-up which is already being shuffled due to injury. "With three different guys there, it's going to take time. Sometimes it might get frustrating but I feel that with new guys it will take some time to adjust to them and get to know each other. Last year we had guys that had been with the team for a couple of years and we knew each other pretty well. Once we get to know each other's movements and tendencies we're going to get better. It's just going to take a lot of work. We're not going to let this start get us down. We've got to keep the motivation up. We have a young group, we have a lot of quality and as long as we keep working hard we're going to get the results on our side," said Segares.

FC Confidential Podcast

Check out episode 24 of the Fire Confidential Podcast as we review the home opener, Sherjill MacDonald's play so far, and wind.

Also be sure to keep an ear tuned to ESPN 1220am during the week from 7-8am. I'll be discussing the Fire and MLS with hosts Alex Uribe and Hernan Espinoza throughout the season again this year. Segments will feature both English and Spanish discussion.

Comments

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  • I am just amazed at the ability of the fire to pick absolutely horrible DPs. Honestly the most inspiring players Grazzini and Blanco are gone and nobody has come close to their technical ability. I watched Montreal and Portland play least weekend and both teams are vastlly more entertaining than the Fire. I personally think that Klopas as a technical director was terrible and as a coach is not in the same space as most of the league coaches. Please Artie sell the team and give Chicago a chance in the near future to enjoy a good local team. Does anyone know what is Klopas record as a coach without Grazzini?

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Not sure what his record is w/o Grazzini, but I *do* know that Chicago went on a tear just after Grazzini left, when we all thought the world was going to end.

    Grazzini was good, but he wasn't the be-all-end-all of CAM's. If the Fire get a scoring striker capable of double digits (or had one already), Grazzini's name wouldn't even come up anymore.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Last season totals with Grazzini 7-4-3. 19 goals scored.

    Without Grazzini 10-8-3 including the playoff loss to Houston. 28 goals scored.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    it's not just goals that are missing since Grazzini,it's style and purpose.maybe it was Pappa and Pardo ? also,the other team's in the league that I've seen have improved.It's great for MLS....but the fire seem much slower and the passing looks like beach soccer...can't totally blame the finishing when the ball is hardly ever up front.

  • In reply to ranchero:

    And yet if MacDonald puts away his chances on Saturday (one of which should have been a gimme) they're not 0-2.

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    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Is it just me or did MacDonald look horribly out of shape on Saturday?

  • In reply to Freddy Coba:

    It's not just you. Seems a lot of people have that same perception.

  • In reply to Freddy Coba:

    The more I think about it, the more angry I am about MacDonald. I know he's not one of "those" DPs - he's a DP based on transfer fees not salary, and certainly not a marquee player - but to show up to preseason out of shape, and remain out of shape, is inexcusable. He's really just a journeyman. And our other journeyman forward, Santos, is actually a lot cheaper than him and doing better.

    But to get back to the fitness issue - Jeff and Guillermo, you guys talked about the lack of fitness that several players showed on Saturday. What gives? Was the Fire's fitness regime just not as rigorous as it should have been? If so many guys are not match fit, why are they getting put on the field? Are they really the fittest of the bunch, or is the whole team not fit?

    I guess I'm very American in that I can stand a lot of failures in my team, but lack of fitness is inexcusable.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    MacDonald is a DP by salary not by transfer fee like Puppo. Either way, neither one should be occupying that much of the salary budget. A player taking up that kind of space HAS to be an impact player.

    The fitness issue is something to watch over the next few games. I don't think it's a team-wide problem but it's hard not to notice that some guys looked gassed on Saturday. Coupled with looking tired in LA and the fact that being tired came up in the locker room after the home opener, its something that had to be mentioned.

  • I still think it's going to take a while for our midfield to gel. True, we don't have a Grazzini, but we also don't have the same vision out of the back that Friedrich brings. I think Berry can learn that, but I'm not sure that our buildout is as strong from Kinney and Anibaba.

    Basically, right now, we're weak all over. Well, I trust Tornaghi if SJ were to go down, but other than that...

  • I don't think playing Lindpere and Larentowicz is working. I honestly would give Bone a chance to play with Larentowicz to see if he can create some movement. L & L are playing on top one one another and see to get in eachother's way half the time. If Bone is ever going to do it, now is the time. Can Atouba play inside? If he can, I would try him as well. I would also give Duka a Costco sized package of muscle milk to build up strength because I have never seen anyone so easily bumped off the ball.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I'm inclined to give the current line up a little more time than just two games before making wholesale changes. If Duka could use a Costco sized package of muscle milk, Atouba cold probably use a drum of it. He's still raw and quite small so he's probably better suited outside, where he's playing now.
    Bone should get a chance to make a case in reserve games this year.

  • According to Jeff Crandall on the twitters, Colin Rolfe is back in camp with the Fire. So.....

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    So what, he won't be a game changer, disappointed with the slow start but will take awhile for the new midfield to jell although we lack a true top quality CAM. Team probably misses Pappa more than Grazzini. Probably will take 3 more games for the midfield to get in sync. If we go 0-6 then we have the right to scream and yell at the F.O.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    warm body

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Speaking of warm bodies, we only have 6.5 listed defenders on the roster when it should be 9-10. I wish Frank would part with the bag of balls it would take to trade for Raushawn McKenzie.

  • In reply to iron81:

    I would've loved to see McKenzie get signed. Still wondering why they didn't pull the trigger there. Also have to wonder if Amarikwa doesn't get minutes this weekend.

  • In reply to iron81:

    They can get him for nothing at this point....I believe Chivas waived him.

  • As rumored the Gold Cup Final will be played at Soldier Field on July 28.....

    http://www.goldcup.org/page/Splash

  • Greg Lalas breaks down the New England score in the excellent "Anatomy of a goal" series......

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/video/2013/03/13/anatomy-goal-jerry-bengtson-vs-chicago-fire

  • A few interesting notes from training today. We'll have a post up this afternoon.

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