Midweek notes - USOC quarterfinal draws

The Fire host Columbus next Wednesday in round 3 of the US Open Cup and if they manage to win that game they will host a Quarterfinal match at Toyota Park on June 26. US Soccer announced the draw results this afternoon. Should the Fire win against their rivals from Ohio they will face the winner of the Sporting KC/Orlando City SC game.

International absences

Chicago will be without Joel Lindpere this weekend due to an international call-up from Estonia but the visiting Timbers may be hit extremely hard. Portland could be missing goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, forward Ryan Johnson, defender Futty Danso, and midfielder Rodney Wallace.

July shopping list

Here's about as close to a complete compilation as you'll ever find for out-of-contract Euro based players. This site has compiled a list of players based in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and the Bundesliga who will be available on free transfers come June 30. There are a few pretty attractive names on the list who would do well in MLS.

Fire Fridays

The Fire have launched a campaign that hopes to gather supporters, staff, sponsors, and players in an effort to grow the game locally. Each Friday before all remaining home games this season the club will host Fire Friday events at various Chicago establishments. Check out details here. The first event is this Friday at Cleo's (1935 W. Chicago Avenue) from 6 to 8pm.

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  • If I had to go with one player from that list, I'd go with the German defender Manuel Friedrich just so i could say I was cornering the market in German Friedrich defenders. Secondarily, maybe Juanfran, just 'cause I love the name.

  • In reply to Drew:

    Ha!

  • Hi Guillermo. Looking at the list, there are two names that interest me besides Saviloa, 1. Claudio Pizzaro, he's a bit old at 34 but still has been scoring goals. 2. Ciprian Marica, his goal scoring record isn't great with Stuttgart, but he's scored more with the Romanian national team with more playing time. I'd love to get your thoughts.

  • In reply to jestrada13:

    Saviola definitely stands out for me. Carlton Cole has supposedly expressed interest in MLS but I'm not knocked over by him. So has Yossi Benayoun, who doesn't do much for me either. Pizarro wouldn't be a bad choice despite being 34.

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    I know Yossi hasn't played well in Premiere League lately, but his experience can't be counted out. Captain Israel could do very well in MLS and would have 3+ very good years left at our level.

    The biggest name right at the top there is Andrei Arshavin. If you want to get as close to world class at a cheap rate, its right there. Would we be willing to pay 3-4 million a year for his signature? Also, would he be willing to play in a competition that doesn't have access to European competition?

    I will look at the list later. Would love to play GM for a day for the Fire front office as would most of us lol.

  • In reply to Kao Xiong:

    My problem with Arshavin would be his lack of playing time. It would be best to have a player who could make an immediate impact. Plus, it's not entirely evident that he was ever able to adjust to England - how would he fare in the US? And at 32, how long could the club wait for him to show his true mettle?

    Course, the same questions could be put to a lot of the other players targeted by MLS sides.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Arshavin may also still have Euro options available despite his underachieving with Arsenal.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I would fully expect him to have European suitors. I think my point is that he's a risk that a wealthier club without cap and roster limitations could take a flyer on. The Fire, not so much.

    His Euro 2008 performance was exceptional but 5 years of warming cold English benches is not the best preparation for a transition to a new league (I know, he has had minutes at times, but not recently).

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Completely agree with that sentiment.

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    Paulo Ferreira could definitely solve our right back problem. 2nd choice: Christian Lell who probably would be a pretty cheap and decent option.

    We're deep at Center and D Mid, but if we could get a 31-year-old Hitzlsperger for a bargain, I'd jump on it. On form, he's a hell of a two way midfielder.

    Claudio Pizarro at 34 would definitely bag us some goals. Even though he didn't play much for Bayern this year, when he did he made the most of his chances. The man is still in top form.

    Marica? NO THANK-YOU. He plays well for Romania but for some reason is completely horrible at club level.

    Manuel Friedrich would be a solid signing.

    Javier Saviola would be a dream come true DP.

    There's a lot of great talent available, I hope the F.O. makes some good moves come July.

  • It seems like the Fire need a playmaking midfielder and a guy that can score goals so why not fill both needs with Forlan? I know he had made some comments before about coming to MLS and he is in the price range, any possibility this can happen? If so I hope the Fire aggressively pursue him. If we had Forlan added with the recent additions, I can't imagine the Fire being anything less than a dominating team in MLS. One guy to fill both holes is quite the DP!

  • In reply to john:

    Indeed. I don't think anyone would balk at Forlan coming to Chicago. That'd be quite the acquisition, if they could bag him.

  • In reply to john:

    I'm trying not to admit I immaturely snickered at that last sentence.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I re-read the last sentence and I had a laugh myself, I kinda walked into that one.

  • I would rescind any negative comment I have made about Andrew or the FO publicly and create an "Andrew Hauptmann Rules" 2-pole

  • How about a list of second tier free agents playing in Uruguay to give a better idea of who they are going to sign?

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    This made me laugh.

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Sounds more like the list of players they're reviewing. Maybe we can get Forlan's cousin twice removed.

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