This offseason probably won't yield many big name reinforcements on the pitch but according to the Trib, the technical staff's overhaul continues with the addition of former MLS and USMNT midfielder Clint Mathis to the coaching staff. Mathis has spent the last few seasons coaching youth camps for the Los Angeles Galaxy and providing television analysis for Galaxy broadcasts. He hasn't coached on the professional level since retiring in August of 2010 and joins CJ Brown, Aron Hyde, and Tony Jouaux as Frank Yallop's full time assistants.
Pappa returning? Don't count on it
Marco Pappa told reporters in Guatemala this past weekend that he had signed a two year deal with MLS and his preference would be a return to Chicago. Pappa confirmed the report via his twitter account last night but don't expect to see him in a Fire kit in 2014. The Fire no longer hold his MLS rights since they received a transfer fee for him from Heerenveen in 2012. He is now subject to MLS allocation rules upon his return to the league.
The Philadelphia Union currently hold the top allocation spot and it seems they will use that to add Maurice Edu. The Seattle Sounders FC are next in line and they have reportedly expressed an interest in Pappa, apparently clearing cap space for a potential move in a trade with the Fire last week. Chicago would be hard pressed to regain his services since a trade with a team ahead of them in the allocation order would be required to make it happen.
Adding to that unlikely scenario the Fire would also need to move additional players currently on the roster in order to add Pappa even if they did manage a deal to move up in allocation ranking. Pappa's salary is expected to be in the $300,000.00 range and Chicago currently has Patrick Nyarko, Dilly Duka, and Chris Rolfe occupying a significant amount of budget space as outside players. The Fire would need to move at least one of those players along with possibly another player in order to leave enough room to add a reinforcement now or in July.
Pappa would prefer a return to Chicago but the odds of that happening are very slim.
I hope he likes rave green.
Superdraft rounds 3 & 4
The Fire used the 61st, 65th, and 75th picks in the second day of the annual MLS Superdraft to add three midfielders to the to the list of hopefuls vying for a roster spot this spring. Zach Bolden, who was selected with their first choice in the fourth round scored 17 goals and added 22 assists in 68 games while at the University of Denver. Bolden is also a product of the Colorado Rapids academy.
Kadeem Dacres of UMBC was ranked 71st in the nation by Top Draw Soccer and selected 65th. Dacres' stats include 12 goals and 7 assists over 41 games in his collegiate career.
The final selection at 75 is a product of their own academy. Bryan Ciesulka was under consideration for a Homegrown offer while at Marquette and was ranked 54th overall by Top Drawer. Ciesulka scored 9 goals to go along with 17 assists in 69 college appearances.
If you're a season ticket holder, the club announced what seems like a pretty neat feature in new Season Ticket Holder cards that will eliminate the need for paper tickets. The card will act as a sort of "debit card" which will allow fans entry to matches, merchandise and concession discounts, convenient exchanges, and more. Check out the details here.