Leon on new additions, designated players, and more

In the latest episode of the Fire Confidential Podcast, Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon joins us to discuss a variety of topics including the Fire's search for reinforcements in this July transfer window, designated players, Keane money, homegrown players, the Fire Academy, Sherjill MacDonald's recent comments, scouting, loan deals and more.

A young, attacking, designated player is on the way.

Tune in here or listen to the conversation via the icon on the right rail.

Filed under: 2013 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • He may be young and an attacking player but can he score goals?
    Anything more about Ballesteros, 37 year old defender?

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Ballasteros rumors were nonsense.

  • How about a name? Also when you asked him if they were looking at Forlan type players I never heard a straight answer so I take that as a no. His excuse is some guys get the big check and don't work out but how about all the crap they signed, have those losers worked out? So don't pay for talent pay transfer fees for unknown players, lets waste some extra money so we can pretend to sign a DP, I'm really frustrated!

  • Guys the best addition would be the subtraction of klopas and Leon. How about a Porter like coach that has a winning background and actually knows how to game plan a game.

  • I am a bit disappointed, sounds like the same type of fliers we have been taking. Not sure how excited I feel about beating a polish team to a signature or a 24yr old.. I hope he turns out well, obviously, but i am skeptical, and I feel like right now the fire really need a marketing jump that a bigger name would help propel.

  • In reply to lijien:

    I heard him say "a team from Holland" not "a team from Poland." I could be wrong, and the fact is, while the Dutch league is better and more known for developing young talent, it still doesn't mean that the player is any good.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I actually thought I heard 'Portland' but switched it to 'Poland' when I read others thought that was what he said. That said, I'm hoping you are right...

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    Forget Portland and Poland. See Guillermo's comment below.

  • Guys I just listened to Javier's interview. If I had listened to it without knowing their record and lack of just about anything that could make the team more a chicago team I would think the fire are lucky to have this Leon . Guy. But I know where they are and strongly suggest that old leon and frankie should be tired.

  • So are we playing Uruguayan roulette again? I have a feeling we are going to be underwhelmed by this signing, and if the pattern continues, he will be with the team for about a year...amazing what years of vanilla signings will do to your outlook.

  • I heard the DP is Puppos younger brother...

    At least tell me he's a good player on a good team like Boca Juniors and Not a bench player off a no name club like Tacuarembo.

  • His method of finding the cream of the crap and then paying a transfer fee and putting a DP tag has failed every time. I would say with confidence that the guy who decided to sign Keane or Henry looks a lot better than the guy that decided to sign MacDonald and Puppo. I assume we are signing that kid from Ecuador since he said he is 24 and had a lot of goals a couple years ago. Another player that will come and not live up to his hype and become yesterday's news. Hope this doesn't hurt this kid's career.

  • Anyone interested in playing 'Clue'?

    Here's what we know (going off of memory here, so correct me where I'm off):

    1) 24 years old
    2) Striker
    3) Plays on his national squad
    4) From Central or South America (I think?)
    5) Excelled in his home league, before
    6) Moving to a better league, where he
    7) Played for a team that wasn't dominating the tables

    Anyone see anything off here? Anything I missed from the podcast?

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    I think you are right on the player being from C or S Am. He did say "down there" in reference to where they guy was from. This would be true to form over the past few years, MacDone notwithstanding.

    Best case scenario: A guy like Fredy Montero
    Worst case scenario: A guy like Rafael Robayo, Federico Puppo, etc

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    Rodolfo Zelaya? The age is off a wee bit (turned 25 on the 3rd of July according to the Wikipedia) but the rest matches.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I like that guess. Works a little better than my Juan Anangonó pick, because i) would be more likely to see Polish interest, and ii) likely a more palatable transfer fee...

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    On The Fire is claiming whoever it is has two Spanish nicknames that translate well in to English... if that helps...

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    Carlos Federico Puppo!



  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:


  • If you look at the management of the Fire since Hauptman took over, can anyone say there is a team that has been more poorly managed? Maybe, DC and maybe New England. The Fire and Hauptman were given a parting gift of Blanco and they turned it into Puppo and MacDonald. I cannot take anything these guys say seriously anymore. GR, I am glad you interviewed him, but I refuse to believe that these guys know what they are talking about. I wish MLS would organize a transfer of ownership and have Becks take over the Fire and give Hauptman the 21st team in Miami so he can hang in South Beach with his soccer wannabe staff members and leave Chicago fans alone.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    DC, Chivas and Toronto. That's about it.

  • DC, New England, Toronto FC, Chivas USA. Heck, I'd even throw Colorado in there, save their 2010 run (which was mostly luck IMO).

    I'm not armor bearer for the current ownership, but there are plenty who are above them on that list.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    I am measuring teams based on where they were to where they are now. Toronto was pretty bad and has stayed bad. Chivas was clearly better than where they are now, so I agree with that. I just think this ownership has shown zero creditability as a management group. They would lose a Soviet Union election if it were put to a vote to oust them or not.

  • Orr Barouch

  • In reply to Bumsteer:


  • In reply to Drew:

    Don't laugh! That was my first thought too when I saw this last night!

  • As the suspense prevents anything productive at work today, time to play Clue.

    First guess - Juan Anangonó?

  • Why no question about Chupete Suazo?

  • In reply to jjmarinacci:

    Would have been interesting to hear how that went down. As a huge Suazo fan, I would have been out of my shoes had that happened. Not to mention, would have been fun to wear my 5+ Suazo Rayados jerseys to Toyota...

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    A question about Suazo was on my list but didn't make it on due to time constraints. I'll make sure it's on the next time.

  • I'm assuming Juan Anangono, he's 24, had a lot of goals in 2011 and his name has already been thrown out there. I don't think he said Poland either, I think his accent may have made Holland sound similar to Poland to some.

  • In reply to john:

    He said Holland.

  • In reply to john:

    i think you are right if that On the Fire report is right. Juan Luis would be easily transaltable to English and had 30 goals in 73 games with El Nacional, which is obviously a great strike rate. 3/14 at Argentinos Juniors, not so much...but I can see why they are considering giving him a shot. Just wish we could get a forlan...

  • In reply to Drew:

    Signing as a DP is my issue, his numbers warrant interest but not paying a transfer fee and signing as a DP. I guess I was full of crap when I said I wasn't getting my hopes up, I had this crazy feeling it was Forlan and convinced myself it was. When I found out it wasn't; it was like a kid who expected a pony for Christmas and unwrapped tube socks. My wife thinks I'm crazy because I spent the whole night pissed off.

  • In reply to Drew:

    Scroll through my twitter feed from earlier this week to pass some time this weekend

  • I gotta tell you - if they announced Juan, I'd be really damned excited. The guy has got legit talent, he's young (!), he seems hungry...

    (It would also let me change my screen name to 'King of Clue')

  • Get yourself more excited, just in case :-) Here, watch this (skip ahead to about 3:15 and start there):


  • In reply to colbyaw:

    Is that the highlight reel of "almost goals"

  • In reply to colbyaw:


    This guy sounds like Nazarit 2.0 only Nazarit had a better you tube video.

    Leon is wrong bringing in older players to be DP is not bad it worked with Keane, Becks, Henry, Cuah, Blanco. Most of those players aren't going to be lazy cause they don't want lose their "brands" .
    What doesn't work is trading for a high priced player another team wants to unload cause they are getting unloaded for a reason. You know what else doesn't work is going to South America and scouting marginal teams and signing their marginal players and thinking they are going to be stars here. It's like they are thinking that MLS is so inferior to Urugayan soccer that any player from their would be a star here. This is the South American version of Eurosnob type thinking.

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Yea, a Keane/Becks/etc would be nice, but if we're not going to throw that kind of money around at this point...

    Mind you that video is several years old (making him all of probably 19 at the time), and its not worth going too into a complete guess like him, but watching it, I see an aggressive, physical player with good vision and field sense, solid ball control for a young guy, some admiral patience around the net, and what seems to be a great internal compass pointed the right direction.

    We could (and certainly have) do worse than pick up a young striker that has actually proven an ability to score in a legit SA league, and shows a lot of heart to boot.

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    He seems like a physical player that makes good runs, l'm becoming more optimistic and agree that he looks better than what we have and better than previous signings.

  • Today's picks:

    New York over Toronto FC
    Seattle over Colorado
    Montreal v Dallas draw
    Columbus v New England draw
    Portland over Philadelphia
    Chicago over DC United
    Real Salt Lake over Sporting KC
    Los Angeles over Vancouver

    Season record: 87/184

  • i still want to know why they are not making a serious run for saviola? he's 31 has about 4 or 5 years left in him. has played in a total 375 games and has a strike rate of about 40%. to me he would kill this league.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    leon answered that question in the podcast. money, period.

    i think it's time to drop the idea that the fire will bring in any keane-type money players any time soon. i don't get AH's comments and then lack of follow through, but haven't we seen enough to learn by now what their strategy and thinking is? leon has quite directly stated they are looking for value (high risk, high reward) players. i think it's fair to say that most of us disagree with the strategy, but there's not much we can really do about it since we aren't realistically going to change allegiance at this point.

    someday they are bound to hit the bullseye, i mean law of averages and such (and bulleye being selecting the right player and then KEEPING HIM...cough, cough, grazzini...). until then, it'll continue to be a frustrating ride, let's just keep our fingers crossed that this anangono fella works out.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Saviola would be fantastic in MLS but he's still getting big money offers in Europe and South America. Santos seems to be the latest suitor. He definitely a guy who would have made a huge impact.

  • Saw two different stats for Juan Luis between Transfermarkt and Wikipedia, Transfermarket has him with less games/ goals than Wiki.
    Transfermarkt listes his international value at 1 mil. Euros, the same as Big Mac, Soumare, and Lindpere. If he is par with those three,
    the future is seemingly bleak.
    Both Wiki and Transfermarket list another Juan Anangono, middle name Carlos, born about two weeks before Juan Luis, same place of birth, Transfermarkt lists him as a defender, Wiki as a forward with 43 goals in 57 games, both playing on the same teams. at the same time.So much for accurate information from either Wiki or Transfermarkt.
    Will the real Juan Anangono stasnd up.
    If he's worth as much as Big Mac and the other two, wait for next year.

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