With training camp opening on Monday, the Fire have added two more signed players to the roster. Midfielder Razvan Cocis is back with the club and 28 year old Portugese center back Joao Meira has officially joined the team.
"From our initial planning, we wanted to have Razvan back and are glad that we could finalize his return," said Nelson Rodriguez via a press release. Meira was available on a free after spending the last four seasons with Belenenses in Portugal, helping them to return to the top flight in 2013.Both should be considered depth signings. Meira has not played in a competitive match since last May, but Rodriguez also said that he could fill in at central midfield if needed. Both players are on one year deals with options.
Meira is expected to compete for the third or fourth center back spot with Eric Gehrig and Jonathan Campbell. The Fire are still pursuing Marcin Kaminski and expect a decision from him soon. Reports out of Poland suggest that a deal for Kaminski in Holland is not happening, and he has halted negotiations on an extension at Lech Poznan.
In addition to Kaminski, they are also close to adding another European center back, as Nelson Rodriguez alluded to early this week.
Should Kaminski decide to stay with Lech Poznan, the Fire have several other options in line. A player like Nemanja Vidic is a long shot possibility with reported Premier League offers coming in. There are other European based players targeted as replacements for Kaminski, who appears to be the first choice right now at center back.
Veteran MLS midfielder Nick LaBrocca, is still expected to be added soon as well.
Roster to date
GK - Zach Bennett^^, Sean Johnson, Patrick McLain
DEF - Johnathan Campbell, Patrick Doody, Eric Gehrig, Michael Harrington, Vincent Keller^, Joao Meira*, Brandon Vincent
MID - Kingsley Bryce, Razvan Cocis, Drew Conner, David Accam, Collin Fernandez, Matt Polster, Harry Shipp, Michael Stephens, Vincent Mitchell^, Alex Morrell**,
FWD - Kennedy Igboananike*, Gilberto*, Joey Calistri
^unsigned draft pick, international
^^open tryout winner
**unsigned draft pick