Fire notebook - Thiam's debut, Accam's return, NYRB, and more

The Fire will try to avoid a 30th consecutive match without a win on the road against another struggling side in the New York Red Bulls. The defending Supporter's Shield winners are leaking goals and already have seven losses on the season.

Veljko Paunovic was asked about New York and several other topics during his weekly media conference call.

Here are the highlights:

On Khaly Thiam's first game

"I think it was a good start for him. Good game. We believe that for sure he will improve. Once he understands better and adjusts to the demands of this league and of this level that he's on now (he will improve). I actually had a visit with him this morning and I asked him how he feels about the game and what he learned from the first experience that he had and he said that he felt very good, he knows that he can do better but the major lesson was how fast and how physical this league is and how fast he has to play in order to perform better and be successful. The other one is that he knows that also he had a couple of tackles where he was on the edge of being sanctioned. He said that he has to adjust to that. We also spoke about the performance overall and we believe we can support him for sure. He did a great job for the team."

On David Accam's status after his return to action

"I think he did very well in the game. He helped the team a lot with his 1 on 1 incursions especially since he committed so much of their defense. I think two yellow cards were on him. That means that David is coming back, at this point good. We hope that he will be ready for the next game too."

On Accam starting v NYRB

"We will see. We still have three days full days to prepare for the game. We'll see."

On whether or not he has the right players for his system

"Absolutely. We have the right players and the right guys. Of course we know where we are and where we're standing but for sure we will work hard, we will stay positive, and we will regroup."

On whether or not players still believe

"Nobody likes to see where we stay in the standings. Of course everyone is still very committed and everyone wants to work harder in order to improve that and make it better. I absolutely believe in our guys and I think they all believe that only working and staying together can we improve. I would say, it's too early to say that we are in a bad position but it's obvious that we have to win games and improve but we will do that."

On not taking a charter from Vancouver for player rest

"I think that we are doing a great job on recovery. I just feel fine with that."

On Jonathan Campbell's progress

"We are very happy of course. It's his rookie season and he's doing very well for the team. He's improving. His confidence is growing also. He was able to keep his performance on a very high level and in that time be one of our starters in all the games except the first one. That's very important in the team when you are in the first year here and the first year as a professional. A guy like that, everyone would like to have. We are lucky to have him but also we encourage him to keep on working because there is a long way to go for him and for the team. He can be even better, he can improve. He can still give more for sure, and I believe that his approach standing on the ground with his feet firmly is something that he is doing very well. It also helps him to understand that there is still a long way to go for him. We are very happy with him."


"The Red Bulls are a very, very good team. We know how well they perform playing at home. They attack, they're are a very attacking team. Their style is very direct. We know the individual qualities of the team. We are aware of that. We need to prepare for the game. As we always do. I believe that all our games are very, very tight. We will prepare for them in order to stop their attack and in order to also to create more danger in our play and our performance in the final third, where we have to improve and get better. We have to be very careful on set pieces. They have very good set piece takers and very good action. They proved that last year and this year too. We have to be careful with that."

On Lampson's game v New England 

"I think he performed very well. I think he did his best. He had a couple of very good saves. He's doing his best for sure.


  • Drew Conner played 80 minutes in Saint Louis FC's 2-0 loss to Louisville City this weekend.
  • Saint Louis FC hosts NPSL's AFC Cleveland in a second round USOC match on Wednesday.
  • General Manager Nelson Rodriguez will hold a media roundtable this Friday at 1pm. We'll have a complete coverage here.


Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Media roundtable you say? I hope you can ask him some tough questions. Or take questions from the supporters to ask him.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Very good point. At the start of the season, Rodriguez said that he wanted to see how the Fire would respond when they get punched in the mouth. Is 7 points in 9 games close enough to a punch in the mouth? What will the team do to turn that around, besides the "we have to work harder to improve" line that Paunovic gives the media every week?

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    I would call 7 points in 9 games a steel chair to the face

  • FC Cincinnati is drawing over 20,000 a game in their first year in the USL with Austin Berry as their captain.

    I know this is "Chicago Fire Confidential," but what's the latest news on the Sting franchise?

  • In reply to Modibo:

    We'll see if we can get Wilt again for an update.

  • Questions for NR: Lack of possession is a huge problem for the Fire. What if anything can the coaching staff do to stabilize the midfield, increase possession, decrease pressure in the back, and increase scoring chances? What is the front office doing to bring in talent to address this issue? Will this issue be addressed this year or is this to be addressed in year 2 of the the 3 year "project?"

  • Can you ask N-Rod if he is proud of the way the team has been playing this season? And if Andy is proud of the way things have been going?

  • Can you ask him why the 3rd largest market in the league has to wait 3 years for their team to improve when several franchises have gone from near bottom to near top in a single season the last few years?

  • In reply to AJties:

    3? Been a lot longer than that, IMO. We've made the playoffs - what - once in 7 years? And the one instance we were bounced out in a mid-week play-in game away from home.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    I agree completely, the only reason I stated 3 years in my question was NR's comments at the beginning of the year stating they are on a 3 year plan

  • Can you ask N-Rod when the Fire will create a USL team? The reason I ask is because when I look around the league and especially here with Vancouver:

    the mind set is giving youth someplace to blossom and hone their skills. I feel sorry for Fernandez because he is not getting significant playing time with the first team and with de Leeuw coming in July his few minutes will be non existent. A USL team could also keep players sharp like Sean Johnson who is being wasted.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    That's one of the questions on the list for Friday.

    I understand they are working toward a USL team. Just not sure what the time frame is.

  • So the jury is no longer out on whether or not having your own USL team is beneficial now?

    Glad it took N-Rod on a few months to come around to what everyone has already known for years. His learning curve is actually improving!

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