Fire draw Stabaek but Accam injured in debut

The Fire played to a 0-0 draw with Bob Bradley's Stabaek IF but the bigger story on the night is injuries. David Accam finally made his debut with the team after missing the first phase of camp on national team duty but left the match in the 62nd minute with an apparent injury just before he was about to be subbed off. "He's got a slight groin, we've just to got find out the extent of it," said Frank Yallop after the match. Accam will be evaluated in the morning and the Fire will probably be cautious with him considering how important he could be this season.

Shaun Maloney and Lovel Palmer also departed with apparent injuries but Yallop downplayed the seriousness of those. Maloney left after experiencing some cramping and Palmer was removed in the 86th with what Yallop called a "groin tightness" issue. Palmer may have some soreness but isn't expected to miss much time. Accam's injury may be a strain and could be cause for some concern however.

The game

Yallop was happy with the third consecutive clean sheet of the preseason but wasn't particularly content with the overall play in this game. "Getting a clean sheet was good but I thought for whatever reason we were flat in the the first half. The two other games we played I thought we moved the ball real sharply and we played a lot better," said Yallop. "We didn't play well today but also we hung in there and didn't concede a goal. We had some chances but the other team did as well."

A combination of fatigue and competition may have been factors in the uneven play according to Yallop. "We trained them hard the last five days. Pushed them pretty good and I think they looked a little bit leggy and looked a little a bit slow going into this match and it showed," he said. Yallop isn't yet concerned with the lack of scoring so far in preseason citing the amount of chances that have been created. He also pointed out that the quality of the opposition has been formidable for preseason play.

Formation talk

In the first two contests of preseason the Fire seemed to have lined up in the 4-3-3 look that Yallop indicated would be the base formation this year but this match featured a 4-2-3-1 alignment. He downplayed the differences however indicating that there will be some flexibility in how the side is deployed going forward. "It was basically the same system, we played the same in the UK," said Yallop. "We had Diarra play in one game but the rest of the time we played two behind Shaun."

The look is likely to change based on which players are on the field and who the opponent it. "It's just the personnel I have. It's about what's the best fit for them. We've created enough chances to score more goals and I think we've been pretty solid in possession. It's gone okay so far we just have to continue with it and make sure it's finely tuned in a couple weeks time," he said.

Line-up v Stabaek

GK Johnson

D Jones, Adailton, Larentowicz, Palmer (Gehrig 86')

M Cocis (Bryce 73'), Watson (Polster 73')

M Accam (Amarikwa 62'), Maloney (Stephens 73'), Shipp (do Prado 82')

F Igboananike (Alex 61')

Notes

  • Sean Johnson did not play and Yallop offered the explanation. "Sean cut his arm in the game at QPR. It just got caught in the netting and one of the clips cut his arm so he had stitches in that and he had them out today so I didn't want to push him there." Johnson will likely play in the last two practice outings according to Yallop.
  • The Fire had a full squad travel to Portland with the exception of Patrick Nyarko who is still rehabbing from ACL surgery last fall. Yallop wasn't holding Nyarko to a time frame for return but he did say it could be a coupe of months before he's ready to return. "He's a ways away. An ACL takes a while for soccer players. You can't come back too quickly. He's four months in and he's probably got ten weeks to three months before he steps on the field and at least starts to get into soccer stuff."
  • Alou Diarra is now on trial at Charlton Athletic but the Fire haven't closed the door on bringing him in just yet. "We're still kind of talking to him," said Yallop. "We wanted to get some medical stuff checked out and we'll just see how it goes. It's not definitely no but we're still working on that."
  • The remaining unsigned players in camp are draft pick Kingsley Bryce, Albert Edward, and Shahdon Winchester.

Filed under: 2015 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • The Fire can continue to look elsewhere for a d-mid. Alou Diarra has signed with Charlton Athletic.

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9728741/sky-bet-championship-charlton-sign-former-france-international-alou-diarra

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I guess you can't win them all. Wasn't sure he was the answer anyways. But the lack of a D mid is very concerning...

  • For not scoring much I thought there were promising things about the game. That Goalie stood on his head and came up with a few great saves esp the one on Maloney during that scrum.

    I liked what I saw from Jones at LB going forward with the speed to make up for some mistakes while defending. Im sure there will be lapses while he really learns the position.

    Though Maloney didn't do much you can just tell he has the skill to produce those magic moments. So calm on the ball and knows what to do with it. Only issue I see if that opposing teams will likely shadow him all game with 1 and possibly 2 players. Someone else in the midfield will have to step up, and create space for him.

    Palmer looked solid as usual, Adaliton seems to be strong in the air and strong in the tackle but not the most fleet of foot. Could see teams trying to stretch the D with through balls early and often.

    Just my 2 cents, but I am intrigued to see how the team plays when everyone is comfortable in the system and healthy.

  • In reply to KChance:

    I thought Jones and Palmer also played well. There's still some work to do offensively but as Yallop pointed out, they did create good chances.

    Maloney should be very good in that playmaker role once things get rolling.

  • Per Brian Sandalow.....Accam has been diagnosed with a muscle strain. The Fire say he will miss some practice time but the injury is not serious.

  • Guys. I am not sure about anyone else but I just hate ties and Alex. Please tell me what In the world does Yallop see in Alex. He looks like a player but is absolutely the worst scoring threat in the league. I am starting to wonder if Yallop might not be living in Vancouver free of a job by August.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    He's got some value because he's flexible enough to play several positions but I'm not sure I quite understood why he got the minutes he did last year. It would take a collapse of monumental proportions for Hauptman to make a move with Yallop this season. I think it would have to be worse than last season.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    So ties and Alex are the Fire fan version of death and taxes?

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    I am so sick of ties.

  • MLS Fantasy Players:

    Head-to Head League for Chicago Fire Fans.

    18 spots - each team plays each other twice.

    PLEASE do not join unless you have designated The Fire as your club when you registered. Thanks.

    Code: 6597-1662

  • I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the waiver draft... The pickings are predictably slim, but the setup from the Fire's perspective is laughable.

    The Fire finally has the first draft pick for one of these MLS rock-paper-scissors games, but the pool consists of a) only 6 players of whom b) four (4) were on our roster last season: Earnshaw, Pineda, Franko, and Ward.

    But we could pick up either Aaron Wheeler (Philly forward) or Joe Nasco (Rapids keeper).

    Maybe we could trade our first round pick for some water coolers or a few top-notch ball kids.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    This waiver draft is a clear example of the type of nonsense that needs to go away in MLS. Players whose options were declined or let go should not have to be subject to another draft to determine their next stop in MLS.

    Pineda and Franco are already under contract with Indy Eleven. This waiver draft would be for their MLS rights. Pineda's original contract expired after 2014, Franco's option was declined, Earnshaw's option was declined but protected in the Expansion draft, and Ward's loan was not renewed/extended.
    Aaron Wheeler was released two weeks ago and Nasco was traded from Colorado to New England this winter but he's now with Fort Lauderdale in the NASL.

    Ridiculous.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Don't forget: Wheeler played defense for a decent spell (before Hackworth got sacked.)

    Not that I'd want him here...

  • Guys. A fifth place finish for the fire might be achievable. As I see it Montreal and the red bulls are clearly worse than the fire The question is how will the expansion teams perform.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    I think Orlando City is in. Not so sure about NYCFC.

  • The official unveiling of the new secondary kit will finally happen on March 2......

    http://pressbox.mlssoccer.com/content/major-league-soccer-announces-third-annual-jersey-week

  • Wow, Berry in Good Korea: http://www.sbisoccer.com/2015/02/austin-koreas-anyang.html

    Any news on the holding midfielder spot?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Nothing yet. There are some hurdles to work around as it relates to how much they can pay a good d mid. A lot depends on the new CBA. In the meantime roster compliance deadline is still March 2.
    Once the CBA is done, the transfer window is still open until May so there is some time.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Man, that's a second tier league in Korea. How did this kid's career get so off track? I thought he would have been here for years when we drafted him.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    Much of his first year success was due to his German teammate alongside him. He got off track as soon as Friedrich retired.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    With that logic you could say much of his struggles were because he had to play with Soumare. It has to be pretty confusing to go from playing with a guy that is a solid leader in the back to then playing with a guy that goes where ever the hell he wants to and leaves you constantly exposed. I would have hated to play with Soumare every week. He had to be so frustrating to play with.

  • Dilly Duka scored twice last night against Pachuca in Pachuca at Estadio Hidalgo. So why could the Fire not find a way for this guy to contribute? Seriously, please don't say its a money/salary cap thing. If a player has skills, teams find a way to make it work. Dilly Duka played very well last night. In a 4-3-3, he would fit in very well. I am not convinced that this team is better than Montreal based on what i saw last night. Justin Mapp can still play at a high level. With Soumare in the back, their defense will be suspect. He almost gave up a critical penalty in the final minutes when he literally through a Pachuca player to the ground just outside the box. Other than that, Montreal looked like a very good team. I am not sure the Fire improved as much as Montreal did. Fingers crossed we will see a better performance tonight.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Duka was injured a bit last year and asked for a trade when it became apparent that he was behind Shipp in the pecking order...so there's that.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I think that summarizes the problem. They played Shipp out of position on the left when the kid is a middle of the field player and kept in my opinion a talented natural winger on the bench. That judgment/choice is what makes question yallop's coaching ability.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Yallop has won two MLS Cups and a Supporters Shield -- hard to argue he is a bad coach.

  • In reply to MisterH:

    He might be a fine coach, but he is not going to win us a Supporter's Shield or MLS Cup. All last season we struggled in almost ever aspect of the game. We couldnt keep the ball because our central midfielders and center backs were not good enough, they didnt improve this off season. With the signings that we have made up top, we need to be scoring a lot of goals because I dont think we will be keeping many clean sheets this season. I want Yallop out sooner rather that later. Yallop built this team, every player on this roster is someone that he wanted so he needs to win. We need to not only make the playoffs, but do well in those playoffs. We need to be pushing for the Supporter's Shield and not just pushing to make the playoffs. Anything less and he needs to go. Yallop. Out.

  • In reply to MisterH:

    look at how the team plays and see if they are prepared. Even with less talent than he desired, the team was unprepared last year. Putting a kid (Shipp) on the left side when he is a slow footed midfielder does not indicate a coaching genius. Winning the MLS cup and supporters shield is how he got the job; how this team performs will show whether he keeps it or not.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    So you would have played Shipp over Magee last year? ;)

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    At times yes. Magee's performance last year was subpar

  • Fire have announced a two year deal to bring back Chicago Fire Weekly on ESPN 1000.

    First show is Saturday at 7am.

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