Fire select Matt Polster, Kingsley Bryce in SuperDraft

The Fire selected 7th and 28th in today's annual MLS "SuperDraft" and came away with two additions that have been been playing relatively close to what could be their professional home. Matt Polster is a 6'-0" defender from Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville who made three appearances with the Fire PDL squad last year. The second pick, Kinglsey Bryce is an attacker with some size (6'0", 185) who played at Saint Louis University.

The selection of Polster with the seventh pick overall surprised some observers but Frank Yallop said they had him ranked second on their board of players that they felt would be available. "I had him very high," said Yallop. "We had him second on our list of possible guys to take. Once the other fellow was gone, and it's all really on speculation, you've got to know what's going to go in the 1-2-3 slot and then reality sets in. The one in front of Matt went pretty early and that was my next choice."

When asked if the Fire drafted for need, best available, or both, Yallop indicated that several factors weighed into the selection. According to Yallop, many of the coaches at the combine liked Polster but he also fills a need for depth at centerback. "I felt that Matt Polster was a very athletic, good on the ball, clean, and simple player. He looked like an MLS guy. We scouted him this season and liked what we saw. I thought he stood out definitely in the combine," said Yallop. "He's got some versatility. I see him as a centerback that can play central midfield and play outside back too. Right now I'm looking at him as a central defender."

The fact that both players played close to Chicago may have helped them both with Technical Director Brian Bliss getting good looks at them over the last few seasons while in Chicago and Columbus. Bryce in particular may have been helped by his proximity. "St Louis is pretty close to us. Our scouts had seen him quite a bit and I thought he had a strong combine. He plays the wide right position that we're kind of a little bit slight in with not bringing Grant Ward back," Yallop explained. "You tend to scout closer to your home because it's not a big, big journey. Brian (Bliss) has seen a lot of the player over the years so in talking and discussing it with everybody we felt he's got a chance."

Polster's selection was helped by the Fire's familiarity with the player and his performance at the MLS Combine against the best of his peers available this year. "My scouts have seen more of Matt than I have," said Yallop. "I've been pretty busy since the end of the season getting after our main signings so that was my job to do that."

Whether or not either player can help the Fire in 2015 will be determined by their performances at the next level in training camp and Yallop says he'll give them a shot to compete. "Every coach will tell you the same. What you see and what you get are sometimes different and sometimes they work hand in hand and what you see you get. Hopefully both of these kids really work out and can be with Chicago for as long as we can keep them. We feel pretty confident that both guys are capable of doing well. It's up to them, in their mindset and the way they go about it themselves but the signs are good so far. We haven't seen them in training yet but I'm looking forward to working with both kids."

The third and fourth rounds of the Draft will be completed next Tuesday via conference call. The Fire have one selection at number 68.

Filed under: 2015 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Guys. As I said previously the first rounder he cried like a baby at the podium and the commentators were really shocked that the fire jumped so many people on the board to get this guy. The St. Louis player could be good. That particular program is almost professional in its approach. He was good at at louis he is ready to play in the mls .What really bothers me is they made no attempt to find their most needed position that being center midfield . They can get all of these front runners but without the quarterback to feed them forget it it will be a long season. For some reason Yallop thinks that Mahoney still wants to come. Wixi says he gets homesick so why not give up and move on. It's apparent that HAuptman wants to play the cheap game and not make the best offer for the best guy so the reality we will play the year lacking the most important position filled.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    I don't really see why it matters that Polster cried on the podium.

    If he was surprised to go that early in the draft, I bet he knows damn well that he has to work his butt off to get on the roster and then on the field, unlike a lot of the blue-chippers.

    I think it's rare to see people achieve their dreams so publicly and I wish him the best of luck with the Fire.

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    In reply to Modibo:

    I agree completely. Showing emotion is not a bad thing. Lighten up on the guy. He may work out to be a great addition.

  • Leicester Mercury News and BBC both reporting that deal for Shaun Maloney has fallen through citing failure to agree on personal terms. Fire deal still alive.

    Fire may already have an understanding on personal terms with Maloney. Now to agree on fee with Wigan.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    If they get Maloney, it will be a bit of a coup for them just because it's been so public. After trying and failing to get Jones last year, they need a W in the transfer column (though I would say Accam is already a small "w" for them - not as prominent, maybe, but in some ways more significant since he's still a relatively young guy).

  • More on Maloney

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:


    "Not until end of his contract"??

    Could be Malky blowing smoke or merely suggesting that Chicago haven't made an acceptable bid, but no what thw Fire need.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    If a transfer fee is agreed to he can be had before the end of his current contract. That is of course, if the Fire can agree to personal terms with Maloney.

    This should get done.

  • Guys I was a marine and the idea of guys crying before emotional events never came out good. Different strokes for different folks. Noticed that the largest city in the midwest took a pass on the best future striker in the league Jizy Altidore. Wish we had a different owner.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Altidore was only moving if Sunderland got Defoe.

    MLS gained Altidore and didn't have to pay a fee for him to go to TFC.

    Completely different situation than normal. NYRB allegedly wouldve given TFC 7.5 mil to have Jozy go to them instead (plus paying Jozy 5-6 mil a year) and TFC turned them down.

    Defoe drove the deal and TFC had Defoe. No way Jozy was going anywhere else, even if MLS is a single entity.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    No way Altidore is worth $6 mill per season but that's just me.

  • I like Jozy Altidore, but he's a nominal striker. He should be a MUCH better goalscorer for as much press as he gets.

  • Hopefully these guys can at least make the roster for us. Yallop's first pick last year is now in Indy. None of the players that were picked last year are still on the roster. Yallop does not have a good eye for talent. I can't wait until he is gone.

    I dont understand why we are going for Maloney and not puching hard for Kljestan. Or why we didnt make a hard push for Mix. We have terrible central midfielders and then he wants to play a 433. We have a guy that has played CM his entire career and he is now our best CB. We have 4 or 5 center forwards and he is looking to play a 433, where there is 1 central forward. Our 5'9" DP Igboananike doenst strike me as a player that is going to do well at holding up the ball for us. He is trying hard to get an attacking midfielder in Maloney when we already have Shipp and Magee, when he gets healthy. Where is Shipp going to play this season? Waste away on the right? Get pushed around as a holding midfielder? Frank Yallop needs to go.

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