The Fire needed to add reinforcements before the transfer deadline yesterday but weren't able to get a deal done. Frank Yallop told reporters this morning that a deal fell through at the last minute when the club they had been working with backed out. "We had something really close, that basically in the last couple of days sort of unraveled. It would have helped us so that was very disappointing," said the Fire's Head Coach and Director of Soccer.
Yallop did not want to identify the player stating that, "It wasn't the player, it wasn't financial stuff, the club decided not to sell". The player in question appears to be Lanús' Silvio Romero, who played in a match in Tokyo yesterday morning. Lanús, an Argentine First Division club is coached by former Columbus Crew playmaker Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Lanús apparently decided against the move due to an injury to another forward and Romero's recent good run of form.
Without a move for a forward during the window, other possible transactions have also been scuttled. That doesn't mean Chicago is done making moves however. "What we've got now is the free transfer guys. Once the window closes it closed. We felt we had this deal done, we verbally agreed, all the paperwork was done. Brian (Bliss) sent it over and it was ready to go and he gets a phone call that it's off," said Yallop.
With that transaction and possibly others trailing it off the table, the Fire are still hopeful that Jermaine Jones will join the club this summer. "The Jones thing is still out there. Once he signs with the league, or if he signs with the league, then we've got to figure out what we can do to get him into the club. I'm sure the other clubs will be interested so we have to figure out how. That's not going to be an easy process. We're still working on it and trying to get something resolved," he explained.
While the Fire is turning their attention elsewhere for reinforcements, Yallop also insinuated there may have been other deals discussed with the Argentine club last night but those were fruitless as well. "We've got other targets we're going to talk about this morning. Last night was our last chance of getting over with Lanús but we just said no, we're not doing anything," he said.
When asked if waiting for Jermaine Jones to decide on his destination has handcuffed the Fire in terms of player acquisitions, Yallop wouldn't go that far but did restate his intention not to bring in players just for the sake of making a move. "It's not handcuffed. The players that we were bringing in were real quality but I don't want to get into a point where we just get anybody in," he said. "That's what we don't want. As much as I want to get new players in and the team obviously needs it to push on, and the fans want to see it, I really feel I want to make the right move for this club and if that means not getting anybody in this window maybe it works out for the better rather than getting somebody you might not want next year."
The club still seems committed to bringing in Jones but MLS' murky allocation rules won't make it simple. "We want to keep a very close eye on the Jones deal (with the league) and see if we can bring him to Chicago. We've had good talks with him and the agent. It's very positive but we've got other people in front of us that have a chance of getting him." Yallop explained that once Jones signs with the league, as all players do, the Fire may need to move up in the allocation order to get him.
To make things even murkier, Yallop confirmed that the league now employs another form of player acquisition for Designated Players in addition to the standard form of allocation that we are all aware of. "There's a DP allocation and a regular allocation," he said. "The DP one, DC are on top of and the regular one is Columbus. We're not sure where it unfolds. It depends on the salary and stuff like that but none of those two clubs will take him but there are people ahead of us at the moment. It's not an easy process".
How and when exactly the league would deploy the nebulus "DP of a certain threshold" loophole that was added to this year's roster rules is another story. It's possible Jones could fit into that category. But it's MLS, so maybe not.
Yallop also addressed the frustration of fans who were expecting a move before midnight yesterday. "I can see where they're coming from. I just want to make sure we make the right moves and the correct moves," he reiterated. "I don't want to get where we just take anybody because the fans want us to or I want to get someone in. If there's not quite the right deal or the right move to get the club forward, I'd rather not do it".
"We'd like to add a player or two but it's kind of pending on the next few days. We hope there will be something from either MLS or Jermaine's people," said Yallop.
- Yallop wasn't ready to throw in the towel on 2014 despite the current standings. "I've never conceded anytime. We've been pretty close in a lot of games. We were obviously not good enough to win those games, especially at home but a run of games gets us right back in the picture. Never give up on the season because it can change quickly". He did acknowledge that the team needed to start winning at home immediately.
- Patrick Nyarko is working on the side but is still not participating in full training. He could still be a few weeks away from returning.
- Sanna Nyassi is training and should be ready in "the next couple of days." He's not likely to be ready for Sunday but could be available for the US Open Cup semi-final on August 13.
- Mike Magee did not train today due to a sore foot and tightness in his calf. Lovel Palmer also did not participate due to a slight groin issue. Yallop added that if this was a day before the game they would be training and expects they will be available Sunday.