Yallop's town hall meeting sows optimism & Monday notes

Frank Yallop addressed a variety of questions from supporters at a town hall meeting for season ticket holders on Saturday morning. Just about everything from homegrown to designated players was covered. Here are the highlights:

  • One of Yallop's first tasks was figuring out where the club was budget wise. He described the situation as "stretched" and needed to find ways to make the budget work in 2014.
  • Bringing back Egidio Arevalo Rios was going to be nearly impossible at his 2014 cost and that initiated the move not to renew him.
  • The Fire continue to negotiate with Chris Rolfe and Logan Pause and are optimistic that something will get done. Yallop sounded like something was close on Rolfe and it seemed like Pause's situation could involve a new role. (player/coach?)
  • He felt the team needed help in the back and the move to get Lovel Palmer was made with that thought in mind. CJ Brown also spoke highly of Palmer. Palmer will help with squad rotation giving some guys a chance to rest throughout the season.
  • Yallop and Bliss will now begin scouting trips and he broached the topic of Designated Players by saying he wanted to make sure any addition was the "right guy".
  • He is proceeding with the expectation that Sean Johnson will be part of the US World Cup squad next summer and they are actively moving to sign another goalkeeper. Johnson trained with Norwich City last week.
  • CJ Brown will serve as Yallop's first assistant. He called the move to bring him back "the simplest decision" he's made in soccer.
  • Yallop will name another assistant and a goalkeeper's coach in January.
  • The main area of improvement needs to come on the defensive end where Yallop feels the Fire conceded too many goals in 2013 but he was not overly concerned with the club's dismal record on turf. There could be some more turnover but he feels the team isn't too far away from being a serious contender.
  • Yallop feels the club has some talented players that "need some pushing and pulling from me." He again addressed the need for defense by saying they needed to strengthen the middle with only Soumare and Berry in that spot.
  • Yallop spoke to Frank Klopas about three days after taking the job and referred to the former Fire coach as a friend.
  • He is headed to the UK and Spain for scouting missions. He will speak with Tottenham about possible loans and referenced a deal in San Jose that landed them Simon Dawkins for a period. He also cited a good relationship with QPR's Harry Redknapp and confirmed that he would be visiting Atletico Madrid. He admitted that he tends to know Europe more than South America and may be looking there first for reinforcements.
  • Regarding DP's, Yallop said that owner Andrew Hauptman is "not afraid to put his hand in his pocket" to shell out big dollars and said that his passion for the club was evident upon meeting with him.
  • Yallop feels that Notre Dame's Harrison Shipp can play in MLS and assured everyone that, "we'll get him." It sounded like a deal was imminent while comparing him to a young Mike Magee.
  • The Fire have spoken to a couple of USLPro clubs about affiliations but the particular USL sides aren't ready at the moment. They will revisit the topic but plan to field a reserve side in 2014.
  • He is searching for an another attacking midfielder to play off of Patrick Nyarko and Mike Magee.
  • There are a couple of players they are interested in who are available in the second round of Wednesday's Re-Entry draft.

Klopas in Montreal

ESPNFC confirmed our reports from Friday that Frank Klopas was interviewing for the Montreal job and talks had progressed quickly. Control over assistant coaches seems to be a sticking point although the Impact have yet to formally announce anything regrading Marco Schallibaum's status even going so far as to say that he was still the coach but his future was yet to be determined.

Sounds like a bit of a mess in Montreal.

Fire to build new soccer center

Andrew Hauptman and the Fire have taken an impressive step towards increasing the club's visibility and presence within City limits with word of a new soccer dome to be built on Talman and Addison. The Chicago Fire Soccer Center is slated to open in summer of 2014 and will feature two regulation size turf fields and an air supported removal dome. The first team will practice on site periodically to prepare for turf games.

The cost of the facility is somewhere between $15 to $20 million.

This will be another busy week in Fire news.

Filed under: 2013 Post Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • So they didn't talk budget during the interview process? That sounds like he got spun a bit before joining.

  • Any talks on what they plan to do with Johnson? Isn't his contract up after this year? Hate to lose him for nothing but we cant really afford to let him go either. Tough situation for us.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    It possible they could use retention funds to keep him past 2014. We'll see if he gets any Euro offers over the next six months or so.

  • Tulman and Addison... Basically, a location that offers everything Toyota Park does not... And they are spending $20mm for fantastically-located practice fields vs. the terribly situated $100mm TP? Call me crazy, but how do we lobby them to use TP as the practice fields, and build out Tulman and Addison for the team?

    A man can dream...

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    A dream indeed. I for one would not relish having to truck to the north side for games but that's just me.....

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Can't argue with that... Here's my compromise then - you can keep it on the south side, but you have to give those of us up north a decent public transportation option!

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    Maybe they can take a tip from the Japanese (?) and play their games at the northside facility, while beaming player holograms to the TP pitch for those of us who find difficulty in getting to the north side. :)

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    You would have to build out this location so that you could fit a 20,000-seat stadium there. TP's footprint is 8.6 acres and that's just the stadium. This new facility will sit on 4.7 acres. You would have to find nearly double the space for starters. And then there's parking and a practice field. Yes, the idea does seem crazy. ;-)

  • That'd be a good place to put an NASL team to be your lower division affiliate. If we're in the business of dreaming, a semi-pro team could do well having games in that neighborhood. If only they could come up with a name, something with real "zing" to it...

  • When they were originally looking for a stadium, the minimum piece of land they were looking at was 10 acres. Anything smaller and it wouldn't be considered.

    Now if we could only get a public-private deal to get the Orange Line out to Toyota Park. Dreaming, sure.

  • Check out the latest episode of Fire Confidential podcast on the right rail or by clicking here.....

    http://firepodfc.com/

  • fb_avatar

    It's fine where it's at... kinda. But yes, if Chicago made it easier for the Fire to have them within the downtown area, I'm sure they would be there now. As it is, I remember a great many of us complaining about Chicago when it was here.

  • I haven't been on the twitters today to verify, but it might be we'll have a chance to boo a particular toxic man 3 times a year instead of just one: http://www.blackandredunited.com/dc-united-transfers/2013/12/17/5219724/eddie-johsnon-dc-united-trade-seattle-sounders

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Eddie Johnson and DP salary is a recipe for major disappointment for DCU. Just be glad the Fire were never seriously involved in trade discussions for that guy.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    "That guy" has a proven track record of scoring regularly in MLS. Whether he's a headcase or not, I would've gladly welcomed him playing next to Magic Mike. That would be a hell of a forward tandem.

    I'm tired of watching us lose with 'nice guys' playing who don't score. I'm ready to start winning with some prima donna assholes.

  • In reply to Freddy Coba:

    Read this and think about that one......

    http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/soccerusa/id/3995?cc=5901

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    One question/point I've seen bandied around is "Can Ben Olson's locker room abilities handle Johnson?" Personally, I think he can, given my impression is that BO has what I would call a 2x4 personality- as a player, I would respect him, but I'd also fear him. He held the team together in 2013, which is an illustration of those abilities.

    Now if things get frustrating in 2014, it could become a different story. For DC, I don't think this was a bad move. I think it might come down to a question of how EJ's played and who his fellow cast members are.

  • Chris Rolfe and Logan Pause have opted out of Phase 2 of the Re-Entry draft. Both are close to re-signing with the Fire.

    According to our old pal Luis, Rolfe has already re-signed.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Looking forward to final news on these deals. Thanks for the updates!

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Luis Arroyave? Or as he was called, "Luis Gomez"?

  • Of the players eligible for round 2 today, are we hoping for players from that list? I wouldnt mind seeing Danny O’Rourke, Joe Cannon, David Ferreira. On a different note, what is Freddy Adu doing these days? Hes only 24 and I wouldnt mind taking a shot with him...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Tell me you didn't just go to Freddy Adu. ;)

    He's in Brazil.

    As far as the players available today I still think Yallop will take a look at his former 'keeper, Joe Cannon. The other names that might be of interest to me are Brandon Barklage and Heath Pearce.

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