Fire notebook - full squad for TFC, transfer window quiet for now

The secondary transfer window opened yesterday but Veljko Paunovic steered away from speculation during his weekly media conference call. The Fire head coach, as he has done all season, deferred questions about the additions and player moves to General Manager Nelson Rodriguez. Without naming names, he did however suggest that the team is looking at options within MLS.

Here's the rundown:

Paunovic on the transfer window

"There are some interesting players around the league, but right now we are focused on our team and our players to take advantage of every single training and week in order to prepare them well and improve our team from the point of training and performance. We are focused on that. As Nelson always said, (whether) we do something or we will not, when that happens we will address that. Right now, we are just focused on our team."

"If there is anything to share and at the point when that comes, Nelson will do that. Right now, we don't have anything."

On the squad approaching full health

"We have everyone full-go. We every single player training today. (Matt) Polster is recovered. He's cleared. Collin Fernandez, Arturo (Alvarez), everyone is back so the only player that is left in the last phase of recovery is Patrick Doody. He should be ready this week full-go too. We're very happy and we really appreciate that we can have all of our players healthy."

On Michael de Leeuw's role at Toronto this Saturday

"Michael is in his last week of preseason, let's say, in preparation for the competition. He's doing very well. He will be for sure in the roster for the next game, and we'll see how many minutes we are going to manage his load for this game."

On how de Leeuw will fit in tactically  

"We are working on that. It's good for us to have options and for sure, we will use all of our resources offensively in order to improve our performance in attack."

On facing TFC with key players missing and the Fire's road winless streak

"We are focused only on our team. We are focused on our players. We want to be the best we can be for that game. We want to win that game. Every game is another opportunity now on the road again. It's another opportunity to break down that negative record that we had in the last couple of years. We will focus on our team. We will do our best and we will prepare the next game to be successful for us."

Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • #PaunoSpeak

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    With polster and others back healthy, with Goossens finding great form and enjoying himself, and with de Leuuw finally available if they were to go out and find another big name for the attack, they would be riding a good bit of momentum that could push them to the playoffs. I understand the need to take the time and get that DP spot right but they should at least look at finding a TAM attacker if not a DP. Its all about riding the little bit of momentum this team has right now.
    Forgot about Dooty. When fully fit, I wonder where he will stand in the depth chart for LB. How many more starts does Vincent get to improve. If he doesnt, does dooty possibly get the nod over Harrington or will my dream scenario of Gehrig learning to use his left foot and starting at LB actually come to fruition (okay, i know the last one is very unlikely)

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    I liked what I saw from Doody last year in limited time. I think he can contribute.

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    I am not as thrilled with Gehrig as you are. Maybe I am missing something, but I think he really struggles to stay tight with opposing strikers in the box which leads to a lot of free shots. He is ok on the right, but not a long term solution. As far as LB goes, I think they are investing in Vincent and unless he stops improving, he will continue to play even though he may not be the better player at the moment. I say that because I think NR and Pauno want to prove to fans and the soccer world that they know what they are doing so they will play Vincent unless he regresses. From my observation, he needs to improve defensively, but he has improved every game. He is a long way from being great, but seriously think he has a strong upside. He is a smart player who defers too much right to others, but his confidence will grow to match his potential (I hope). I agree with you that he is now where he needs to be right now. Harrington should stay on the bench because of his versatility at being able to come in at a number of spots.

  • Guys no matter how good old vincent is or is going to be the Fire appear to have blown a Donovan Type pick in trading Jack Harrison to the New York team. He is doing so well that the under 23 England team is calling him up for their next competition. You almost never hear Villa praising a player but recently he said that Harrison had a world class future. Honestly how can two expansion teams Orlando and New York be better than a team that has been in business for more than 20 years. I wonder if NR can read he is in last place. They should be doing whatever it takes to improve their situation today not next year. Look at Colorado they are winning today.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Stating the obvious here, but, these things are hard to predict. In 1984 Michael Jordan dropped to the #3 pick (the Rockets took Hakeem Olajuwon at #1 and the Trail Blazers took Sam Bowie at #2). The Fire got Brandon Vincent, who was predicted to be MLS ready, and GAM in exchange for an injured 19 year old international slot forward. Seemed reasonable at the time (though by doing this it sounded to me that they didn't rate Patrick Doody as highly as I did) and still seems reasonable to me.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I think people need to ease up on the Harrison freak out. Sure he is playing well, but the Fire got two starting defenders and funny money for trading that pick and JJ. It's really easy to now say "well Harrison is doing better than Vincent, NR blew that pick". The Fire needed (and still need) multiple assets at the time of the draft. One attacking winger who is 19 and hurt at the time of the draft, if I remember right, wasn't going to turn the team around. Trading down to get more assets was the right move. Getting two starters at positions that are arguably harder to fill (look at how hard it is for MLS teams to keep solid CB and fullbacks as opposed to wingers) instead of 1 starter was the right move.

  • I am embarrassed to admit that I had forgotten about Patrick Doody. I thought he was with St. Louis. What was his injury and how long has he been out? I liked what I saw of him last year and would take him in a heartbeat over Harrington. Would not mind at all to see both Doody and Vincent get playing time on the left.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    Doody has been out with a hamstring injury for over a month. He has been with the Fire rather than with Saint Louis for his rehab.


    So if this does happen then that would mean Polster and Vincent would be gone for about a month right?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I suppose that's possible if that happens

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    They will take another team from South America. The US will not draw fans which is what this Olympics desperately needs.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Why wouldn't the US draw fans? The WC in Brazil saw lots of US fans. If you're picking a team to replace Argentina at the last minute based on fans showing up and spending money, seems like the US would be a pretty good bet.

    As for past instances: Euro '92 - Denmark was the last team to not qualify, and they got the bid. Granted, that was under UEFA, and the IOC will probably go about things in their own interesting way.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    And Denmark got in, of course, because Yugoslavia was disqualified due to domestic turmoil...

    Seems now though that Argentina has submitted a roster and a coach's name, so they will be going.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    The Zika virus scare. That's going to keep a lot of the US audience away this year.

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    Will be attending my first game in nearly 3 seasons as I'm flying to Toronto tomorrow for work. Excited to watch a game with a few actual stars and not give my money to Toyota Park. I'll walk to BMO field from my hotel, try that in Chicago.

  • From Soccer by Ives MLS Preview

    TORONTO FC vs. CHICAGO FIRE (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., MLS Live)

    Toronto FC remains beat up, but a meeting with the Chicago Fire may be just what the doctor ordered.

  • In reply to Doug:

    Giovinco will score 2. Our only hope is to press their mids and keep the ball in their half. It can be done given their injuries. If they play three in the back, Accam will terrify them.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    For now, this abuse is justified. Seattle is stinking up the place as well but past performances still make their game against LA a marquee matchup.

    But, it would be so nice a few months from now to see something along the line of "There was much concern among the Fire about Veljko Paunovic's 'process'. But the team's faith in the rookie Serb coach has paid off with a string of strong performances keyed by new additions xxx and yyy ..."

    Ahhh. This 2017 pre-season is so intriguing.

  • In reply to Doug:

    I agree completely, except I thought this was the 2018 pre-pre-season

  • In reply to AJties:

    Ouch. That really is glass half empty.

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