Fire Technical Director Brian Bliss spoke to reporters yesterday about the possibility of adding reinforcements in the July transfer window and indicated that the club does indeed have room to add a Designated Player to the roster. "Financially, we can do it just because of the rules the way they are and what you need to have available cap-wise at mid-season for a DP. We've got that room. Obviously, Andrew (Hauptman) is willing to back anything that we think is necessary, I think within reason. He’s spent money in the past, he’s not afraid to do it again. It’s just a matter of if you've got the right guy," said Bliss.
The key part of that sentence is "within reason." Don't expect the Fire to make a large splash like the one New York City FC is apparently getting ready to make. The 2015 expansion side is reportedly set to add Atletico Madrid striker David Villa to their squad for their inaugural campaign. Bliss indicated that, while it's not exactly where most clubs spend DP money, a defensive player may be more of a need at this point given the Fire's woes in the back over the last two seasons. When asked about a comment made during a recent telecast regarding the technical staff having a "blank check" to sign a DP, Bliss responded, "I wouldn’t go that far. If we had a blank check we would have had Michael Bradley or somebody else."
Also of note was the revelation that he had spoken to DaMarcus Beasley's representation about an MLS return. It doesn't seem likely that Chicago will be his final destination since his best position is not a need for the Fire at the moment, he'd be subject to the allocation process if he does sign with MLS, and the Fire currently don't have budget space if a DP is pursued.
The Fire have budget room for a half-season DP by virtue of moving Chris Rolfe to DC United but they should have some additional relief this offseason with 8-10 players coming up on team options. Two of those players will be out of contract at the conclusion of this season. Cutting bait or restructuring the deals of those 8-10 players would allow for changes in the offseason.
It also seems that a USLPro affiliation with the newly formed St. Louis side is a formality dependent on the completion of a new CBA.
- The Fire will face Collins John and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in round 4 of the US Open Cup on June 18 at Toyota Park. Pittsburgh defeated RWB Adria 3-2 in extra time last night.
- Bakary Soumare and Lovel Palmer have returned to training.
- Patrick Nyarko and Mike Magee did not train yesterday and are considered questionable for Sunday.
- Gonzalo Segares is available but still not 100% and dealing with a bone spur in his ankle. Segares may have the bone spur removed during the World Cup break.