Fire notebook - Maloney out 2-3 weeks, Accam doubtful for DC, and more

The Fire were idle this past weekend but they’ll be missing several key players for the Wednesday night match at home against DC United. Frank Yallop told reporters via conference call on Monday afternoon that Shaun Maloney is out and David Accam is doubtful for the game. Matt Polster will also be missing due to yellow card accumulation.

Maloney was removed late in the second half of the US Open Cup game against Louisville City with what was originally thought to be back spasms. An MRI on Friday revealed a bulging disk that will keep him out of action for longer than had been hoped. “We’re not exactly sure (how long),” said Yallop. “I would think two to three weeks. I think that’s the least. The more it goes on, the more we can get a gauge after a week (and see) if it’s settling down. He’s seeing a specialist (Monday afternoon).”

With one DP missing, the Fire will go into the match against the Eastern Conference leaders without another. Accam is nursing a hamstring injury that has kept him out of training since returning from international duty. “He’s probably struggling (for Wednesday) to be honest. He’s not trained. He came back with an injury from Ghana. Not ideal, obviously. I doubt if he’ll be available,” said Yallop.

Harry Shipp and Jeff Larentowicz are both fine and ready to go for the match according to Yallop.

The Fire could have Mike Magee available again as well. Magee trained fully on Monday after missing time last week and the last two games due to a hamstring tweak. “We’ll find out more (Tuesday), if he comes in a little stiff and sore but he got through training today.”

Polster’s US future

Matt Polster won’t be available for this game but the Fire have some options in central midfield that can fill in. Razvan Cocis, Michael Stephens, Matt Watson, and Chris Ritter can all play centrally while the rookie serves a one-game mandatory suspension. Yallop said that he expects him to get opportunities in the near future with the US Olympic squad. “He’ll get his chances, I’m sure with that group. They’ve had a couple of camps so far. It’s usually guys who don’t get many minutes with teams or they have coverage in areas and let their players go. He’ll get his chances later in the rest of the year with the Olympic team,” he said.

Polster has been an important player for the team this season and showed his versatility by starting a centerback against Louisville in the USOC game last week. “It was a chance for me to look at him at centerback with Jeff having a slight groin issue. I see him in our team at this particular time as a center midfielder. I think he’s got all the traits to be a good center midfielder and center back. We’ve seen him early in the midfield in MLS play but I thought he would do fine in the back in the game at midweek. I wouldn’t put it past us to try it there again or play him there. I think he can handle it,” said Yallop.

USOC

The next opponent in the US Open Cup tournament will be the Charlotte Independence, who knocked out New England last week. The Fire struggled against USL side Louisville City, so Yallop wasn’t discounting the June 30 game. “Two MLS teams got knocked out. It’s never an easy game. It showed that we didn’t play particularly well. We got through that match. Yeah, you want to play and you want to win 4-0 but it doesn’t always work out that way. The good thing is we got through and we got another home draw against another opponent who is in the second division but it’s not going to be easy. These games are tough,” he said.

The Fire will first focus on the DC United game and then begin preparation for next week’s USOC fifth round contest. “We’ve just to get make sure we get through each round and how we win games right now is kind of irrelevant. We’ve got to win games. We’ve played some exciting stuff at home but at this point we’ve just got to get results.”

Goalkeepers

Jon Busch has started the last five league games but Sean Johnson was back in the starting line-up for the USOC match and played well. While he wasn’t tipping his hand on the choice for the DC game, Yallop did hint that Johnson could be back in the first eleven soon. “I thought Sean did well. He’s had a few games out. We talked about the reason why and he looked a lot more like himself from last year, I felt. That little break has done really good. I thought he played well on Tuesday. He didn’t have a ton to do but he look assured. I’ll see, obviously I’m not giving the line-up away but we’ll see what Wednesday night lays ahead for us,” he said.

Canada international Jackson training

Simeon Jackson, a 28 year old forward who plays for the Canadian national team has been training with the team for the last week. He is out of contract and most recently played on the club level with Coventry City in England’s third tier. Jackson is training in order to keep fit for the upcoming Gold Cup but there is some interest in him from Chicago. “A bit of both,” said Yallop of Jackson’s training run with the team. “Simeon, I’ve seen and inquired a little bit two or three years ago when I was at San Jose. He’s someone I’m familiar with. Marc (Bircham) has worked with him closely in England. He’s in right now just to train. A bit like Anton (Ferdinand), it’s a chance for these guys to come in and see what we’re all about over here. Numbers-wise, with our injuries it was good to have him because he’s helped out. He’s looked pretty sharp. But we’ll have to see. Right now he’s property of Vancouver on the discovery (list), so they’re the first ones that can make an offer for him or include him in their team if they want to do. It would be down the line. He’s just training right now.”

Defense

The Fire have allowed eight goals over the last three league games (all losses) and defensive shape and consistency is a concern. It’s something that has apparently been a focus of recent training sessions. “We’ve worked on it in practice. I think practice has been pretty sharp the last few days after our win in the Cup. We all saw the game. We didn’t play particularly well and looked a bit disjointed but we got through it and we won. That’s something that breeds confidence. A lot of MLS teams will tell you that one result or one thing that changes and all of a sudden you start to feel good about yourself and you seem to get on a run. I’m hoping that’s the issue here. We’ve had some tough games in the last three in MLS. We played DC away and got beat but now we’re at home so we’re hoping we can jump on the front foot and get three points and put is right back into the playoff picture,” said Yallop.

“We’re banged up a little but right now but I’m excited about the prospects and how we’re going to play and our fight for Wednesday night because it’s an important game for us.”

Notes

  • Check out the latest episode of the Fire Confidential Live podcast. It’s a guest free show and this time and we tackle a variety of questions and comments submitted by supporters.
  • Chris Rolfe returns to Toyota Park with DC United in this match. Rolfe was traded for allocation money to DC last April and the move has resulted in a big resurgence to his career after struggling to find his form in 2013 with the Fire. Yallop wasn’t regretting the move but did say he was happy to see Rolfe succeed. “Goal scoring for us, we’re okay on that front. He’s done well there. I’m pleased for Chris,” he said.

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Dougie Downer checking in.

    I give up. This team is boulder in a lake and it's sinking fast. I see no news on Magee or Nyarko and Yallop is far from a tactical magician so I have no idea how we get any points out of anything in the next month. Charlotte is going to come in and school us. We're the new Chivas.

  • In reply to Doug:

    There is an update on Magee in there.
    Nyarko also continues to train and work his way back. Should see him in early July.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    My bad. I missed that. After the first few paragraphs, I started skimming. Ohhh this hurts. And I'm dragging the family out to Columbus for the July 19 road trip. Hopefully, we'll have something like a usable squad by that time.

  • Well, this is all pretty depressing.

    I imagine Rolfe will score on Weds.

  • While these Notebooks provide a great amount of insight and information, they are my least favorite things to read here. All they do is make me hate Frank Yallop even more than I did the previous week. His quotes drive me insane mainly because he just says whatever the hell he wants and does whatever the hell he wants. How someone could say that the performance in the cup game can bring confidence is mind boggling. Everyone was terrible and we lost Maloney for at least 2-3 weeks. Win tomorrow and we are right back in the playoff race...

    I cant wait to see what this lineup will be tomorrow. Stephens and Ritter in the middle with Watson on the right and Jones on the left with Shipp in the middle. That will strike fear in DC...

    Please leave Frank Yallop.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    When they announced Yallop after what seemed like a 2 hour search, I was not sanguine about the choice at all. I haven't done a thorough statistical analysis but it seems that the successful teams are bringing in American MLS players (Kreis, Olsen, Petke). Schmidt and Arena are quality but it's time to put this guy to pasture. My vote is for Eric Wynalda. He knows the game, the American player and he did a decent job with that amateur team from CA in the USOC. Plus, I think he likes the Fire and would be a great, photogenic spokesman for the team.

  • In reply to Doug:

    I could get behind Wynalda being the choice after Yallop is inevitably cut loose. Having said that, I hope we'll cast a wide net and conduct a proper search.

  • In reply to schematic1929:

    I like Eric Wynalda on Fox.

  • Yeah, after 2014...and 2013...and 2011, I can't do the fall-behind/desperation-catch-up-season thing any more. This degree of drama is literally too much to handle. (And it's become so beyond old that only expletives are appropriate to use when talking about it.)

    The 10/10 countdown begins.
    10 wins to (just) have a chance to make the playoffs.
    10 losses to put the regular season in the ground.

  • fb_avatar

    I have to agree this is a depressing team as it stands now. I also have little to no faith in FY. I may attend a game or two between now and October but I will end going to see some quality play from the other clubs that are here visiting Toyota Park.

    Jeez what would it take to get Rocky Wirtz to buy this team. At least I can dream on.

  • Totally agree re Wynalda. I would also offer Ante Razov the job while his name is unveiled in the ring of fire. He has been an assistant for a long time now. I think if anyone can teach a forward what he needs to do to score it is Wynalda or Razov. Local ownership is critical. AH does not know or understand Chicago and how to connect the team to new fans in this market. MLS has got to do something soon because big money expansion teams will not be worth it when the Fire will be available for a song. AH needs to be forced out by the just to ensure he doesn't hire another coach named Frank.

  • Just to brighten your day....

    Joevin Jones has been named to T&T's Gold Cup roster. He will miss at least the 7/11 and 7/15 games.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    The US have a warm up game on the 3rd. It looks like T&T have a warm up game that week also. I wonder if he will have to go before that and miss the Houston match on the 3rd. Is there a date that the players have to be released? If T&T make it out of the group he would miss the 19th as well. If T&T make it past the quarterfinal, he could potentially miss the US Open Cup game and the following weekends match too. He could miss somewhere between 2-6 games for us.

    So much for Yallop having all of his players to choose from.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    If the squad gets depleted any further for the 7/11 game...I really don't want to even think about it.

  • Guys you give an employee at the most two years. If they do not perform you have to cut them loose. Yallop is the worst coach in the MLS period. How in the earth does an owner like Hauptmann have such a series of terrible management decisions. The longer he hangs own to Yallop the worst the already terrible PR situation is for Chicago. It's honestly hard to get anyone to discuss anything about the fire. I have been to other wonderful MLS cities and the excitement is jut incredible. Honestly I would settle for the Glenbard west coach to replace Yallop.

  • Guys please forget Egan for the mid season round table. Please incorporate Evan Whitfield into your program. He is the best guest that you have ever had as part of your show. He is Interesting and straight to the point about the fire. Egan and especially Kelly are sort of company men that sugar coat their comments to favor their bosses. Thank the lord I speak Spanish so I watch the fire on TV but try to tune into the game by radio. Jelly would make a great junk yard Darby announcer.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I agree, please no Egan. Listening to the infomercial on Saturday's makes my ears bleed.

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