Fire officially add Thiam via loan deal

The arrival of Khaly Thiam in Chicago adds another midfield option for Veljko Paunovic. Thiam has been acquired on loan from Hungarian side MTK Budapest but in similar fashion to another Fire target, Michael de Leeuw, a competing MLS club held his Discovery Rights. In exchange for that, Chicago sent a conditional 2017 second round SuperDraft pick to the Columbus Crew. If Thiam starts at least 12 games this season, or if his loan deal is extended into a full transfer after the option to buy is exercised, the Crew will receive General Allocation Money instead of the draft pick.

Thiam appeared in 47 matches for MTK Budapest since 2014 and scored four goals in that time. The 22 year old box-to-box midfielder is expected to compete for a starting spot right away and should help the Fire in the possession game that they've been lacking. He ideally could line up in tandem with Matt Polster in a 4-2-3-1 allowing the second year player to take up the "holding role" but he could also challenge Polster for time with Michael Stephens and Razvan Cocis also available to play centrally.

Thiam begins training with his new teammates on Thursday. He is the seventh "international" player on the roster.

Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Sean Johnson says he's frustrated but has not asked for a trade......

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I'd be frustrated too if I were the best GK on my team and somehow could not even make the 18.

    Johnson is not an elite GK, but Lampson's performance so far clearly demonstrates why he's been a backup his whole career.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    I agree completely about SJ and wonder if ridding the Fire of a (relatively) big salary isn't the end game with SJ. On a related note, judgement, i wonder how the 1st pick in the draft, turned into the 4th pick, didn't yield a player who could start, or was at least equivalent to Harrington.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Also yielded a 12th overall pick who looks to be a starter for a good while.

    Just sayin''s pretty early to write off Vincent.

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    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Too early to write him off and I am sure soon enough he will displace Harrington... That being said, when they traded away Jovin Jones, I noted that they traded away proven talent for potential talent and it could backfire.... Of those 3 names, I think I would most prefer JJ especially since he adds to the attack as well, something the fire desperately need help with right now.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Sean Johnson is one of the better GKs in MLS. He is only 26 and has been starting for us since 2010. He came back from national team duty and was replaced by MATT LAMPSON? It is a joke. There is absolutely no logical answer to why Sean is not playing. I dont understand why we are damaging his future as a player right now. If Pauno somehow feels Sean is not good enough to make the 18 for the worst team in MLS, then they need to move him. He is making 250k and is apparently not good enough for this team. They somehow didn't think Shipp could add anything to this team so they move him but they keep Sean here? It doesnt make any sense and I am slowly losing faith in Pauno's ability. I understand that it is still EXTREMELY early to judge, but nothing has changed with this club. We are still a miserable team, with miserable players. We now just set up the team to hopefully not get scored on. We aren't going to score goals but we might keep a clean sheet because we set up with basically 6 in the back. These are all Pauno's guys too. After 7 games, he is keeping pace with Yallop by getting a point a game.

    The happiest I have been this season was watching Nyarko, Rolfe, and Shipp playing again at Toyota Park.

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    In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    You answered your own question in a way. He is making 250k...they already dropped or traded away everyone else (aside from DPs they are stuck with) with a significant salary or even players that asked for a raise (Jovin Jones). I think its pretty clear that he isnt playing because they want to move him and his salary. Maybe 2% of fans actually believe Lampson is a better goalkeeper. My guess is that no one in MLS wants him at that salary because they all have starting quality keepers already so Hauptmann and NR...I mean Pauno... keeps him on the bench in order to have him seek a new team in MLS or abroad.
    One point I would make though is that these are NRs guys mostly, not necessarily Pauno's

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    Think this is correct.

    SJ is pretty good. Better than Lampson. But he's still overpriced for his skill in the MLS GK market. He's been left behind (both in terms of MLS standards and national team prospects) by a new crop of really solid GKs across the league that make ~100k less than him, so I think he's a hard sell unless a team gets desperate or has the cash.

    If he's not gone (or has won the starting spot because Lampson isn't good) by the end of the season, expect an expansion team to grab him.

  • Michael de Leeuw confirms that he is only talking to the Fire right now. Just a matter of time.....

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Reading the Google Translate version of de Leeuw's comments, he sure doesn't sound like a guy who can't wait to pack his bags and move to MLS. I can see why this has taken so long.

    Rodriguez said that they have multiple targets for various positions on the field. I wonder whether the better tactic would be to move on to Plan B.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    So when will he start playing here May or July?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Should know next week.

  • Hey Guillermo, what do you make of the SJ situation? I cant look at it and think they want to piss him off enough to move him and get salary off the books, because by not playing him they are severely hurting his stock. But on the flip side, Lampson has been far from top form. Sure maybe they want SJ to improve his distribution, but they made that point at the start of the season. And for SJ to not even make the 18 this week, seems really out of sorts.

    I dont think SJ has been all world like most supporters, but on a last place team, with every move upsetting the fans more and more, and SJ skill as a shot stopper, why not give the man a game? Confused by the whole situation.

    Not a good look for someone looking to build a new culture of transparency and honesty.

  • In reply to KChance:

    It's an odd situation. I think they would like to get his budget hit off the books but it seems the decision to go with Lampson didn't originate there. Lampson apparently has handled the new GK coach's training regimen better than the other two keepers.
    It should be clear to anyone that Johnson is the best goalkeeper of the three and they've painted themselves into a corner if they want to trade him and get any value. That will be very difficult to do now.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    What do you mean by jandled the new training regime better? Do you mean he is in better running shape than the other two or?

  • In reply to AJties:

    Exactly that. The technical staff apparently likes what they see from Lampson in training compared to the other two.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Practice? We're talking about practice?

  • In reply to Tweaky:


  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Fantastic. Lampson is doing awesomely in rehearsal and then flubbing his lines in the actual performance.

    Does the technical staff like what they see from him in the games?

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    They must not be practicing things like punching the ball out of traffic, cutting off defenders in 1 v 1 situations, positioning in goal, not passing the ball to the opponent in a dangerous situation. You know, the things that matter in a game. But hey, he has fantastic distribution which has attributed to us having the most shots on goal in MLS this season.... Oh wait, we don't have that either?

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Wow that's a lame argument to have. They chose someone because of favoritism and not because of skill level. That is really messed up.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    "He's better in training" is a kind of lame excuse, considering the two guys' in question body of work on the competitive field, but it's not the same as favoritism.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I'd getting more and more curious to see how SJ would perform as starter (saves, distribution, and all the rest.) Just curious.

    If you wanted to see what the drills are, Saric's youtube channel has a lot of Serbian U20 drill videos. I'd imagine the drills are probably similar to what's put in use.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Sorry. His goalkeeping school, not just U20s.

  • Weekend picks

    Orlando City over New York RB
    Vancouver over Portland
    Toronto FC over FC Dallas
    Montreal and Columbus draw
    Sporting KC over Houston
    Colorado and Real Salt Lake draw
    Seattle over San Jose
    Los Angeles over New England
    DC over New York City

    last week 5-5
    Overall 33-54

  • The most glaring deficiency for the Fire is not Lampson but the lack of offense, if Johnson is not pushing it in training I can see why he is not starting. However, having him sit on the bench is not helping him or the team. Prior to the start of the season, the Fire might have picked up a quality player or high draft choice in a trade.
    At this point his trade value has diminished significantly.

  • Wtf is up with the fire having like 1 game in 4 weeks, then 5 games in 2.5 weeks? Who'd they piss off?

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    You figure since there is an even amount of teams that the league wouldn't have to schedule byes. This next stretch will determine the Fire's season. If they can't break that winless road streak and not pick up full points out of the next 2 home games its going to be a long summer of excuses.

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