During the Section 8 Chicago/ISA's Annual General meeting this past weekend Fire brass updated supporters on a variety of topics during a Q&A session. Here's a quick rundown of the highlights for those that were not in attendance:
- Frank Yallop, Brian Bliss, Atul Khosla, and Logan Pause all participated in the Q&A session.
- The pitch at Toyota Park has been completely re-sodded and the Village of Bridgeview has hired a new turf manager to oversee the field.
- Khosla thanked team writer and Chicago-Fire.com editor Jeff Crandall for his work over the last five years. Crandall announced on Friday that he was leaving the club.
- Yallop and Bliss stressed the importance of winning at home this season.
- Several questions were posed about the back line and the need to improve defensively. Yallop mentioned that he was comfortable with the additions they've made so far and admitted that trades didn't pan out last season. Yallop referred to new roster size limits with regard to adding more defenders.
- Khosla addressed the renewal of the sponsorship deal with Quaker and added that there are new corporate sponsors this year.
- Bliss said they were currently at 24 signed players not including Kingsley Bryce. (Note: This would indicate that Matt Polster and Alex are on board)
- Bliss/Yallop said they needed to be mindful of the new CBA agreement with regard to the final roster size in 2015. Roster size will likely decrease this year.
- Bliss said they are projecting Adailton and Jeff Larentowicz as starters at centerback. The club is hoping to have between 3 and 5 players on loan at Saint Louis FC.
- Yallop answers a question about formation choice by saying that they will probably end up in a 4-3-3 and that he's still looking to add two players. An underneath forward/central player and another wide right player.
- Khosla addressed the infamous "editorial", saying there was no intention to embarrass anyone and that looking back it was the wrong thing to do. He apologized for publishing it and says it was his responsibility at the end of the day.
- Yallop said that Mike Magee is progressing a bit ahead of schedule in his injury rehabilitation. He is hoping to have Magee back in training in May and Patrick Nyarko back in June.
- Khosla introduces a sneak peek at the new secondary kit. (Which is quite nice) There will be an official unveiling in a few weeks with the Mayor present.
Frank Yallop, Atul Khosla, and Jeff Crandall all joined us for the 2015 debut of the Fire Confidential Live podcast. Yallop provided an update on the status of negotiations with Shaun Maloney saying that he hopes to have a resolution either way within the next 2-3 days. He also talked more about formations and where Harry Shipp fits in, defense, the partnership with Saint Louis FC, and the future of Gonzalo Segares.
Jeff Crandall discussed his departure from the club and we were also joined by the candidates for the ISA's Chair, Dan Martin and Don Walsh. Give it a listen here or on the right rail.
Maloney update #2
Expect that the Fire will get a deal done with Shaun Maloney and that he will arrive in time for preseason training camp. Reports overseas are picking up on the story as well. It appears Yallop will get his man.