Accam deal inches closer plus more Fire notes

Rumor, speculation, and posturing abound but the Fire's pursuit of Ghanaian striker David Accam appears to be heading to a conclusion. Accam will be in Chicago at the end of this week and is expected to sign a contract with the Fire and MLS at that time. Accam has fielded other offers but the Fire have apparently met his asking price and hope to add him as the second Designated Player acquisition this winter. The deal has been close to consummation for several days now although one report out of Ghana claimed that Accam had no interest in MLS. Another report one day later cited Accam as being open to a US move.

Regardless, sources have indicated to Fire Confidential that Chicago will soon have their man. The deal just needs to be closed later this week although Frank Yallop was cautious in an interview with ExtraTime Radio yesterday declining to comment on negotiations only saying that he "really liked the player."

Accam may not be the big name some fans have clamored for but he may be able to produce big numbers on the field and could be a cornerstone of a turnaround at Toyota Park.

News and notes

  • It was a foregone conclusion, but the Fire made if official today. Defender Eric Gehrig has signed with the club after his rights were acquired from Orlando City SC via trade last week. Gehrig should battle for time at the centerback spot and will look to be a regular in the game day 18. 
  • Speaking of centerbacks, Yallop and the technical staff are still looking for another starter at the position to pair with Jeff Larentowicz. Yallop visited with some of those potential targets during his trip overseas but a deal hasn't materialized yet. It's possible that an inter-league trade could produce one but the Fire's biggest bargaining chip, Mike Magee, is not expected to begin training until March or April.
  • Staying on defenders, expect the Fire to add another homegrown player to the roster this winter. Indiana University defender Patrick Doody is in his senior year and eligible for the Superdraft in January. Doody has made several appearances with the Fire Reserves over the last three seasons and has come up through the academy system. He has also played in midfield.
  • Out of contract homegrown player Victor Pineda has signed with Indy Eleven. So has last year's first round draft choice Marco Franco. Both ended last season playing for Peter Wilt's NASL side.
  • No official announcement has been made yet by the local club but Juan Luis Anangono has been sold to Liga MX's Club Universidad de Guadalajara. The Mexican club announced the signing via their official twitter account over the weekend. This would explain why Anangono was protected in the expansion draft last week.
  • Phase 2 of the Re-Entry Draft will be conducted on Thursday. The MLS trade window is open until Wednesday at 10 am and will reopen after Phase 2 is complete.
  • The Fire have yet to replace CJ Brown on the coaching staff although Logan Pause is available and currently working in the front office. Yallop is apparently looking for a more experienced hand to serve as first assistant. Clint Mathis, who joined Yallop's staff last winter has only last season under his belt as a first team coach.
  • CONCACAF announced the upcoming Gold Cup schedule and Soldier Field is one of the host sites. Mexico will play in Chicago on July 9. The USMNT kicks off in Dallas on July 7.

Filed under: 2014 Post Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Is Yallop expecting these players to need time to adjust to the league? If so, how much time are we supposed to give them? I just don't understand these moves. I can maybe see taking a risk on a DP if you have some really quality on the team already. We have 4 starters returning this season. This club is becoming a joke. Yallop should know that he is on the hot seat going into this season. He should be bringing in players that will win him games from the first week. These signings need to produce right away or he needs to lose his job. I'm really starting to hate Frank Yallop.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    OK, honestly I'm confused. I mean this is all your opinion, which I respect but:

    Who wanted starters from last season returning? They mostly all sucked.

    Won't having an entire pre-season help these DPs adjust? It's more than any other DP the Fire has signed has had (Puppo does not count as a DP, I don't care.)

    Also, it's hard to imagine Accam wouldn't have an immediate impact in the league.

    There are reasons to hate Frank Yallop, but this transfer window thus far wouldn't be high on my list.

    All that said:

    Yes, Yallop needs to be held accountable if this goes belly up.
    Yes, more starters are needed, especially at CB and (IMO) Cmid.
    Yes, some of these signings are questionable (mostly Jones) or underwhelming if starters (Stephens and Gehrig should be fighting for starter spots but probably shouldn't be automatic starters)

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I largely agree with TomazPP, but I share brokerjohn's cautiousness about foreign players coming into the league. You never know how someone is going to respond to a totally new environment. I'm reading Robbie Rogers' book right now, and his description of living in Heerenveen is a case in point. Granted, he was very young and had other issues, but any time you change environments things can be tough.

    That said, I'd like to think that Chicago will not be unbearably hard for Igboananike or Accam to adjust to after Sweden. The cold in preseason won't be a new, the heat in the summer should be familiar, and there are probably more cultural connections between Chicago and West Africa than Sweden (there's a video from the Nike Academy featuring Accam showing him visit the one other Ghanaian where he was living at the time in Sweden - a female shopkeeper. Things aren't like that in Chicago.).

    The adjustment to the club is another matter. Hoping that Yallop and Bliss and the team leaders can do their part to make sure these guys get a soft landing. If they sign Accam, I'll be willing to be a bit less cynical about the team and their chances next year.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    And by the way, Guillermo, thanks for these updates. It's an awesome service you're providing.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Thanks for reading Modibo!

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Seconded.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I don't think these players should be DP signings. A DP shouldn't be a gamble. Teams around the league are bringing in big names. We are not. We have gone through this unnamed DP for far too long. I am not happy about it. I don't trust Yallop at all. I think he has a terrible eye for talent based on the players that he has brought in. Last year was his team that performed that way. The players that were decent for us (Big red, Shipp, Quincy, johnson) were all Klopas people. He brought in all the other crap and then got rid of decent players like Rolfe, Duka, Anibaba, and Berry. I don't like what he is doing and I hope he doesn't ruin our club.

    With Yallop bringing in all these new players, they are going to need time to adjust to the league and each other. How long are you willing to wait for the team to play well? Yallop is going to use that lame excuse and I don't want to hear it.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    With your definition of DP - Igbo: fine, agreed, but Accam I think teams around the league would potentially pay DP money for (maybe not the transfer fee, but salary). Accam is a legitimate DP signing, even if we've never heard of him before now.

    Every transfer is a gamble. Even DPs.

    Attributing Shipp to Klopas is as disingenuous as attributing Shipp to anyone in the Fire FO. Shipp landed on the Fire's lap thanks to lenient HG rules and that's all.

    The way I end up viewing last season is still up in the air. If Yallop fails with this offseasons rebuild then I'll see last season as an indication that Yallop is the crap you see him being. If this rebuild ends up providing solid results, I would honestly think the bad signings last season were stop gap short term cheap crap that aren't indicative of Yallop's eye for talent, but rather of his ability to ride out a garbage season in order to make moves that he actually wanted to make.

    I'd give them ten regular season games to impress me.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I understand that transfers are a gamble but some are more of a gamble than others. EVERY DP we go for is a gamble. That is not the case with other teams in this league. I was more saying that Yallop didnt bring in Shipp. Worded it wrongly but that was my point. I dont want to sit through another season like the past 3 or 4. What do you consider a successful season? Right now I would take making the playoffs. How sad is that?! I personally do not like anything that Yallop has done for this club. I dont like the players that he has brought in and I dont like the way the team tries to play. Yallop played bad formations throughout the season and found ties to be acceptable for too long. He was ok with getting a point in matches until it ended up with us only getting a point in every match. I want him out because I dont think we can win an MLS cup with him as the manager. I dont think he is going to bring in the players to do it and I dont think his tactics will win many games. I think 10 games is a reasonable time frame. I'll be calling for his job.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Ok fair enough. I still think Accam is considerably less of a gamble than the crap we're used to seeing. I'd say he's as much of a gamble as someone with a big name that's past their prime. The only difference is he won't get jersey/ticket sales for being famous.

    I'd say the way the regular season was going in 2012 up until the home loss to the Union was a successful season. The Fire were firmly in a playoff spot, fighting for the top of the East and not out of the conversation for supporters shield. (Of course, everything then fell to pieces but...meh) Just making the playoffs is an acceptable season to build on but not successful one.

    I'd say tactically Yallop last season was very poor, yes. But I also think he had a team which was put together to simply survive the season. Clearly last year's team was not put together as something to build upon, because it no longer exists.

    The pessimistic said of me agrees with your view on Yallop. The optimisitc side of me thinks that given a chance with a team he build rather than a team he cobbled together with spare parts, he may prove a better coach. We'll see by mid-May.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    It's hard for me to be optimistic when I feel that he is bringing in mediocre players and that was exactly what he did last season. I just feel that a DP should be your best player, hands down. I dont get that feeling from these two. We have 3 shots at bringing in our best players and I feel like Yallop has dropped the ball, again. I will continue to support the players but I have lost faith in Yallop.

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    In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Could not have said it better. This franchise/club is starting to look like a sick joke.

  • fb_avatar

    All they need is another solid attacking midfielder and a solid center back. Wouldn't mind Magee being trade bait, probably he and Nyarko won't be game fit until near mid season. The team looks faster than last year's, Magee could slow up the pace. Between Magee and Amarikwa, would lean towards Quincy due to speed and age.

  • In reply to Ron Stone:

    What could we possibly get for Magee if he won't be available until mid season? Some draft pick in 7 years and "allocation money?" Magee scored one less goal and one less assist than Quincy in HALF of the games. Quincy should only be coming on in the 70th minute. Magee was the mvp one season ago.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Half of Magee's goals were penalties. Magee was awful this season, not only with his performance but his effort. I'd gladly take Amarikwa at a tenth of Magee's output if he's going to half-ass it the way he did this year.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    While Magee was most definitely not good last season, I think that this was probably due to the hamstring injury that he was fighting all season.

    In his MVP year, he often looked like the only guy trying on the field. He always gave 100%. I am willing to bet that the hamstring injury was what prevented him from doing that again this year. I don't think he just lost interest.

    If he can maintain fitness I can imagining him scoring close to his MVP year. Upwards of 15 at least.

    Amarikwa is a great player and a great guy, but I think Magee should stay and Quincy should come off the bench as a 70th minute super sub.

  • In reply to Ron Stone:

    "All they need is another solid attacking midfielder and a solid center back"

    Really?? That easy, huh?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to manyou07:

    Apparently there are clubs in the MLS who arble to find such players, of course this takes ability to recognize talent and cash,
    both of. which have been in short supply at Toyota Park.

  • Guys altering listening to Yallop yesterday I am more optimistic about the team. The offense will be improved if only he moves Shipp in the middle and leaves him there. Geherig (bad spell) will be better than sourmare if only because he is smarter. Hopefully the new signing on the defencse can be an improvement for Sega? When you think of the fire honestly the best we can expect is middle level but we should be able to see some talented teams and players come into Toyota. I reaaly like soccer and as long as the fire under this idiot owner is competitive I candeal with it. Teams like the last years group were so bad that I hust could not stomach watching the mess. It appears that with two new attacking forwards it will at least make the team more enjoyable to watch. Yallop seems to be doing all he can to improve.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    I'm not sure Gehrig is better than Soumare, just because Soumare was/is capable of having absolutely dominant games. Also I don't think Gehrig is the answer at CB. But I also think Yallop knows this and will be looking for more CB options.

    I'd agree that if anything, this team will be more fun to watch. Hopefully they will be more likely to win some games too.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I think some of the comments around Gehrig concerned increasing depth on the backline. I don't think Yallop or Bliss has ever said that Gehrig was the answer at CB.

    In fact, in an interview with Extra Time Radio, Yallop was asked by the hosts about CB as a need and he said something to the effect that he was staring at a note with "CB" in capital letters right in front of him.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Gehrig is a hometown guy, so that probably factored in to him coming to Chicago. He's a journeyman, not a starter-caliber player, so unless the club's CB search falls flat on its face, I personally doubt we'll see him as a regular starter.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    The reason Shipp did so well out wide is because there was a lot of space there for him to create and cut in. I don't think that speed or the footwork to create space are his strong suits. In order to thrive in the middle he needs to be paired with a physical partner who can draw players in to give Shipp space to do what he does best: make the killer pass and take shots.

  • In reply to ChicaGOLAZO:

    Needing a balanced midfield seems to be one of the most difficult tactical concepts for people to grasp. Shipp would thrive in an environment where he has absolutely free to drift around and create. While that's not created by playing him on the wing, it's also not created just shoving him centrally and expecting him to not be marked off the ball, like you say. Ideally (for Shipp) the Fire would have the pieces in place that would allow him to be played in a completely free manner.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I agree with this in full. Underneath striker may be his best position in MLS. Your holding mid would have to be a complete stud or you'd need very good two-way wide players in order to play Shipp in central midfield.

  • Fire, Whitecaps, Timbers, and Stabaek to partake in preseason tournament Feb 22-28

    http://www.stumptownfooty.com/2014/12/15/7396075/portland-timbers-preseason-tournament-lineup-set

  • So, Houston are to sign Cubo Torres. So much for his desire for a California only destination. According to reports, Chicago was interested but dropped out to concentrate on other targets.
    Given that Hauptman's asset has increased in value several times over the last 6 years, i dont see why we couldn't sign Cubo and still go after our other targets. Is there an ownership group with less capital than Hauptman who is surely the poorest owner in MLS.
    Yallop's trades, especially Anibaba and Berry plus $200,000 in salary difference for 2 dud and expensive defenders leaves me less than impressed. Will await this season but this next year will be better mantra is getting old.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Yallop was asked about Torres weeks ago and there was some interest. They believe Accam has a bigger upside than Torres at a $7.5m transfer fee plus another $1.5 annually. Torres is a good player but he's probably overpriced at that rate.
    Torres also doesn't create much on his own although he's very good in the box. Accam is a more dynamic player. They had to make a choice on which and how many forwards they were going to pursue and they chose the two they've got/will have.
    We'll have to wait and see on this one since none of us has seen much of Accam other than highlight packages.

  • I guess the Fire weren't in the Mix for a quality attacking midfielder...

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Columbus was still trying to land him.

  • Curious, Guillermo: What is Accam's status with the Black Stars?

    If he gets a call up for the African Cup of Nations, would there be overlap with preseason?

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    He's on the cusp. I found reports he subbed in an afcon qualifier against uganda recently, but most places say he hasn't been capped yet. African soccer is sometimes hard to find details on.

    Afcon would interfere with preseason; it runs Jan 17 to Feb 8. I would assume Accam would meet up with the team for the tournament in Portland.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    Tomaz is right....he's on the cusp. He's received call ups but hadn't made it into a game yet.

  • Montreal has taken Bakary Soumare. Wonder if they're taking his salary as well.

  • In reply to Doug:

    In the 2nd round, doesn't that mean the team selecting a player can re-negotiate the contract?

  • In reply to Doug:

    First pick. Suggests he had trade value.

  • In reply to Celt:

    They can re-negotiate the contract in the 2nd round. Contracts are picked up as-is in the first round (hence why so few get chosen in the first round). Soumare is close with Klopas, so he was likely willing to take a pay cut to go there regardless.

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