Fire decline options on 8 players including fan favorite Rolfe

Ahead of Thursday's first round of the annual Re-Entry Draft the Fire have announced that 10 player options have been exercised and another 8 have been declined. The players who may be on the move include Mike Videira, Corben Bone, Joel Lindpere, Daniel Paladini, Logan Pause, Kellen Gulley, Chris Rolfe, and Maicon Santos although Frank Yallop has left the door open for some to return. The new Director of Soccer has already stated that he'd like to have Pause and Gulley back and the Fire are actively trying to keep Rolfe. It's likely that both sides will agree to a restructured deal before the Re-Entry Draft takes place on Thursday afternoon or the second round is completed a week later.

The ten whose contract options have been picked up for 2014 include Sean Johnson, Alec Kann, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Hunter Jumper, Steven Kinney, Alex, Brendan King, Victor Pineda, and Quincy Amarikwa. They join Gonzalo Segares, Bakary Soumare, Dilly Duka, Jeff Larentowicz, Patrick Nyarko, Juan Luis Anangono, and Mike Magee as players committed contractually for 2014. That's not to say that all of these names are assured to return to Chicago next season as it appears Yallop is looking to hit the trade market if deals are there to be had.

Yallop may be active in Re-Entry or via trade with the Fire in search of a veteran back-up goalkeeper. Vancouver has made Joe Cannon, Yallop's former 'keeper in San Jose available and Toronto FC's Stefan Frei can also be had. The complete list of players available on Thursday has some impressive names on it but most of these moves have been made with cap/budget considerations in mind. Some of the more expensive contracts will likely preclude any big moves this week and postpone acquisitions for most teams until Phase 2 when salaries can be renegotiated after a player is chosen.

The Fire will select eighth in the Re-Entry draft but whether or not they claim anyone on day one this year is questionable. While they are trying to clear budget space it probably won't make sense to lock into another substantial deal unless they feel that player can be a difference maker. One name that does stand out for me is Los Angeles defender Sean Franklin, a versatile player who can play outside on defense and on the wings. Franklin did pull down $248,333.33 in guaranteed compensation last season which will likely keep suitors away on day one if he doesn't end up back in Los Angeles under a renegotiated deal.

Of the eight player options declined it's a sure thing that Lindpere and Santos won't be back clearing up more valuable budget space. Pause, Rolfe, and Gulley seem likely to return under new deals and there is also a chance that Bone or even Paladini can get another shot if they make it through the draft process unclaimed. Shaun Francis and Wells Thompson are out of contract and not likely to return.

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Filed under: 2013 Post Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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    Dan Gargan is available, might be a decent pick up for the defense.
    Franklin would be a good pick up if they can get him at the right price.
    It would be nice to have Rolfe and Pause as backups, but neither one is crucial to the Fire's future.
    The important thing is to make choices that strengthen the team even though it may involve sacrificing some of fans favorite players.

  • When looking at the Re-Entry list take note that players have until Wednesday at 4pm cdt to opt out of being included in the draft in order to continue negotiating with their current club. Some of these names will probably come off the list.

  • On a serious note, would Dan Gargan fit into the current defensive lineup, or to that end, if he were brought back in, how would that shuffle the backline? Given that Kinney's option was picked up, would it just mean additional depth? And who would start?

  • I think that Gargan would be a good fit if he can be signed at a reasonable cost, would be excellent either as a starter or backup,
    Anibaba and Berry didn't show much growth during the season,
    although Jumper showed some promise, Kinney has been slowed by too many injuries and his long term future is in some doubt.
    None of the current defenders had a great seasons, whether that's due to lack of over all talent or the lack of coaching.
    Despite what the reentry draft offers the team in talent, the current starters are decent enough to make the playoffs under Yallop.
    I's be stunned if the Fire didn't make the playoffs next year, unless there is a serious influx of high priced talent going to other contending teams.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    It would be a huge mistake to play Gargan over Anibaba. Anibaba is a good, young player. So is Berry. Berry is underrated IMO. He is a good, no nonsense defender. He wins headers and he looks to get the ball to someone that is better with it than him. I think Baky needs to be replaced in the starting lineup. I really think that he regrets deciding to play defense whenever he started playing soccer. He likes to dribble out of the back, even though he is terrible at it. He also likes to try and play those inch perfect long balls that are more like 3 or 4 yards off target every time. He is a red card waiting to happen and shouldnt be starting.

  • Take Stefan Frei off the list of potential Fire back up 'keepers. Seattle has acquired his rights from TFC in exchange for a conditional 2015 draft pick.

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    Question, are Puppo and Barrouch still technically signed to the Fire? If so, what's going on with them?

  • In reply to FireHearts:

    I think Puppo, Barouch and even Flaco still have contracts with the Fire.

    I would expect them to remain "on loan" for the duration of their contracts.

  • In reply to seaside:

    Puppo technically has another year left on his Fire contract. Fernandez' "loan" period has expired so he's off the books altogether now. Puppo and Barouch may show up as "loaned" players but neither will be back in Chicago any time soon.

  • i think the fire have given Kinney more time that he warrants. not that it's his fault he is injury prone, but its a business and they need to cut him loose, IMO

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