Fire notebook - looking ahead to RSL/USOC Semifinal, transfer window closing

The summer window closes tomorrow and the Fire are expected to add Armenian forward David Arshakyan before the deadline. Teams around the league are still working to sign players and the Fire could yet be involved in another move.

One transaction that could see Chicago's involvement is centered on the Philadelphia Union's pursuit of USMNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, The Fire currently hold the top allocation spot and Bedoya is subject to allocation should he sign with MLS. All indications are that the player wants to make a move to Philadelphia but the Fire would land some compensation for giving up the top spot and allowing him to go there.

The Union currently hold the number two spot and moving up for Bedoya would leave Chicago at number one. Oddly enough, the Union received some compensation in the form of allocation money for Michael de Leeuw's discovery rights several weeks ago. The Fire could see some of that back if Bedoya is intent on Philadelphia. He was reportedly close to signing there last year as well.

"At this point I have no updates for you guys," said Veljko Paunovic with regard to any official transfer news during his weekly conference call. "As usual, I will always leave that to Nelson. He will let you know as soon as we have something. We also have to be aware, there's only one day left. If there is anything, you've got to be ready."

Here's a rundown of the rest of the call:

Paunovic on the mood of players after the NYRB game

"Soccer is a game that we all know how it is. When you win, you have one night to celebrate, feel great, and enjoy when you win the game but then the next day you have to forget about everything and start moving forward and prepare for the next game. The same happens when you lose the game or basically tie the game like we did in the last game, which for us felt like a loss. You cry that night, you're disappointed. You can permit yourself that night to be disappointed but then you have to stand up the next day, wake up, prepare, and you move forward. You have to refresh. You have to bring back your posture and move forward and prepare for the next game. This is how we are preparing this week facing two very important games. One on the road against Real Salt Lake, and the second one, the Semifinals against New England in the Open Cup. Right now the challenge would be to recover the guys. Right now we have some small issues at this point. We'll see how we're going to manage this week on the road and how we recover."

On injuries and minutes

"At this point we know that Joao (Meira) is not going to be ready for the game against New England. We'll see if he can be recovered for the Open Cup game. (Joey) Calistri trained today but he still doesn't feel comfortable. Today we are going to play a scrimmage game in order to prepare for the next game most of the guys who didn't have an opportunity to play in the last games and the youngsters. We anticipate some adjustments in the line-up in the next couple of games just in case we have to have all our guys ready to play ninety minutes. That's why we will have a scrimmage today, especially for the guys who are not participating in the last month or didn't have the opportunity to play games for ninety minutes. Calistri is not going to play in that scrimmage because he is not full-go yet. He is not ready."

On placing priority on USOC over RSL

"First thing would be, as much as possible to have this scrimmage game where we have to build the proper pace of the game for the guys who are not playing. We have to be ready for adjustments that we may have to do. Right now, we know for the game against New England, Joao is not going to play so we have to see the available guys where they stand, the guys who weren't participating in games so often. That's on one side. On the other side would be recover the guys that have had the minutes and amount of games. We have to recover them and prepare for the game in New England. The road streak that we have is something that we are dealing with here. We believe it will come. We prepare for every game in order to win and we will do our best in the game against Real Salt Lake. We know it's going to be tough. There are a lot of adjustments to do there. Playing in altitude and other stuff, the momentum of the season is also very important. We manage with all of that. We believe that we are having huge improvement in our team in the last month, especially when we are playing at home. I think that's the process. As I said many times, we started with building a solid defense. Now we are very competitive playing our games at home. We are good in competitions like Open Cup and like we said many times, who important it is for us and the history of the club and for our culture. Having that opportunity to be the first team to win five times in this competition is a huge motivation for us. All these things, I think come in play and I think things are becoming very interesting and competitive. We need to improve. On the mental side, I think we did. In the game against the New York Red Bulls we came from the early lead for New York, which is something that we struggled with this year but there is improvement in that. But then we have to keep that result. That something that we still have to learn. Still, I'm saying, in front of us there are challenges that we have to deal with and there are also behind us, a lot of things that we improved. For me, it's very important to see that there is progress, that there is improvement. Most important of all is that we are becoming very competitive."

More on preparing for Real Salt Lake  

"We expect a team that wants to win (in Utah). For the sake of positioning and the way the are performing on the season so far, I think for them they see that this game is a must-win. It makes the game tougher for us. Playing on the road is going to be a challenge, as I said before. We believe that just by playing like we are doing right now, keeping our identity and that mentality of playing ninety minutes, even when you concede goals is something that we have to improve. We make our games tough for our opponents. That who we have to go to Salt Lake and play with that same identity. I believe at some point, something is going to break down. The streak is going to change and we will win a game. We will surprise in the coming months. I really expect that we will surprise everyone with good performance."

On the USOC Semifinal against the Revolution

"We played twice against New England. It's a different motivation for everyone. For us, for New England, and for everyone who's participating in Open Cup games. Motivation, from that standpoint is a different thing from playing the regular competition. I would prefer to talk about (preparation) once it's done because I don't want to discover our strategy for those games. I would say that we are taking both of the games very serious. We want to win in Salt Lake with all the positive things that we have on our side and also the negative that we have to improve. Managing the load and managing the roster is a challenge for us but we believe that we have a plan and I'll be very happy to discuss it after the game and when it's more appropriate after everything is done."

Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • God, I wish I could be at that Open Cup semi. We have a chance.

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    36 goals and 6 assists in 60 games. Might have potential but the Fire spends most of the time looking fot bargain basement talent rather than quality.

  • In reply to Ron Stone:

    It would be nice to have a proven top notch player come in. On the other, VP seems to have a good sense of a lot of young talent in Europe after his time with Serbian youth sides. Also, history seems to show tha big mid-season signings don't help in the present season, and might have a harder time fitting in generally. Given the impatience of the fan base at this point, I would think very hard about bringing in a big signing now if I were NR, given that a) the season is a wash except for the USOC and b) any problems with adjustment would be viewed as signs that the new player was a failure.

  • Paunovic wants the Fire "to be the first team to win five times" in the USOC?

    That honor went to Bethlehem Steel 90 years ago!

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    Maccabi Los Angeles also won 5 times.

  • He likely meant first MLS team. He missed the nuance or the Fire really think that.

  • In reply to seaside:

    Pretty sure he meant modern-day MLS team.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    IS David going to be our only signing bc we had since May to get signings. The Fire staff is like another Arsenal in my opinion. Would have been awesome to have Bedoya bc the last time we had a big signing other than Accam was Blanco. Hopefully we could still get another signing done today and get a world class signing from Europe in winter. Would love to see Mario Gomez and a true #10 like Lodeiro from Seattle.

  • In reply to DavidFromChicago:

    Possibility of one more. Should know shortly.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Is it within the mls or in Europe?

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    Do you know anything about him is what I meant

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    Possibility of either or.
    Another forward possible.
    They have until midnight.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Who do you the forward will be if its in the mls? I think it will be aguedelo for some strange reason.

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