The Fire ran through training this morning on the pitch at Toyota Park, which seems to be in a little better condition than it has been for the previous two home matches. Players and coaches noted the difficulty of playing on the bumpy surface after games versus New York and Philadelphia but Frank Yallop feels they can get back to playing the style they'd like to play at home now. "It looks better. We trained on it today and it looks okay," said Yallop. "They've (grounds crew) worked very hard and we had a good chat with the people here and they're all on board in trying to make this really flat and pristine. They've done a nice job in the last two weeks of getting it to this stage. We've got a little bit to go but I'm pleased with this surface now."
The condition of the pitch has contributed to more long ball play than the team would typically like to use.
- Injury wise the Fire should be close to full strength among the regulars with Dilly Duka returning to full training this week. Gonzalo Segares is still "struggling" with an ankle injury and won't play this weekend. He expects to be available after the bye week when the Fire face Real Salt Lake on May 3.
- Hunter Jumper has not been available for training or reserve matches over the few last weeks as he attends to personal issues.
- Giusseppe Gentile has been loaned to USL-Pro's Charlotte Eagles but he still occupies one of the 28 roster spots. As a minimum salary player he won't count against the cap but since the Fire is still paying his salary he will continue to assume one of the available roster spots.
- Steven Kinney is still out with a hamstring strain.
- Grant Ward announced via Twitter that he has had the boot removed from his foot and all is well.