Fire notebook - Montreal road game, player loans

The Fire will look to break a 39 match road winless streak across all competitions on Saturday in Montreal. Veljko Paunovic addressed that game, the loan of Collin Fernandez and Alex Morrell to Saint Louis FC and more during his weekly conference call.

Here are the highlights:

Paunovic on Rodrigo Ramos' recent performance

"We believe that Rodrigo needed a break, a rest in the long season. Physically and psychologically we needed a break (for him) and we believe that for the next game that he will be fine. So far I think he's had very good moments early in the season, he started very well. It's normal and it's usual for a player that comes to a new league and country (to have) adjustments. That's always the challenge for everyone. I think he has some issues, especially in games, but I think overall he did very well so far. He's a very nice young (man) and he's a very good soccer player. We believe that for this game (Orlando City) he needed a break and that's what we considered."

On his own coaching performance this year

"I think that's more to talk about that at the end of the season. What I can say right now is that I'm doing my best. I'm very. very committed and I'm giving my all (with the) knowledge and experience that I have as a player and as a coach"

On Luis Solignac's contribution so far

"When we saw him late in (the Orlando) game, actually was what we expected after watching him perform in Colorado. I think he did very well. I think he energized our team in the second half. Just by pushing Orlando in their end more often helped us to create more opportunities and chances as we tried to tie the game. We expect him to continue doing the same thing and improving also in front of the goal. Having those opportunities, he has to convert them, which we believe he will do."

On facing Montreal for the second time this season

"From the last time, for sure we are a different team. On the roster and also where we are standing at this point in the season. It's going to be a completely different game. Where we have to improve is mostly from the last game and from that game we have reference of the guys like Drogba, like Piatti, and their quality. There are others guys who played in that game and we measure ourselves with them. We know it's different from playing for the first time in-season with someone. That gives you a good insight of what you can expect. Not only us on the coaching staff, but also the players. Especially the players who played in that game and came in the second half. The challenge will always from now on the next game. We are focusing and always will play every single game to win. It doesn't matter the opponent. It doesn't matter where we play. We are doing the same thing so, and we can't say we've been successful in that but the approach will always be the same. We will always give our best. I believe that at some point things will change. We look ahead and as long as we have possibilities for playoffs it will always stay our main goal. Now, after the disappointment of the Open Cup, that was the best that we could do in the Open Cup and we still have twelve games in the league that we have possibilities to get to the playoffs. We will do our best to do that. The best approach will be always focusing on the next game and with (try) to win the game. Give everything and always have our best possible guys on the field and try to perform the best we can."

On Fernandez and Morrell loans

"We believe that young players have to play. In this case, in order to play on the MLS level we believe that they needed games on a different level. Having our partner in Saint Louis with possibilities and having an open relation with them was a great opportunity for them to get those minutes which are necessary before they perform on the highest level. We know that they had a couple of opportunities this year to play but now it's a different part of the season. Having the level of competition where we are right now is good for them. It's going to very important for them to take advantage of the opportunity to play. I think Saint Louis will get the minutes and at the point where we are ready, we will recall them."

On Saint Louis coaching change and guaranteed minutes

"We are dealing on the level of the institution. With the General Manager, this is the first thing that we wanted to be sure of before we could talk to our players and give them the opportunity. Our players have to always agree with that, and that's what happened. Right now we are waiting for them to make a long-term decision but right now that situation hasn't changed. We expect that they will play. If there is anything to adjust or discuss again, we will do. For sure, we are supporting our players. our head of scouting, Matt Pearson was in Saint Louis watching the game  this weekend. The coaching staff reviewed the game. We contacted the players before and after the game. We care about them and if there is anything that we have to do about adjusting the plan for them for the next months, we will do that. If we have to recall them, we will recall them."


Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Guys I have been away but as always I followed the blog. I was disappointed to see someone named Iron use profanities. Its the first time in the years that I have been following this blog that someone had to use bad language to support his claim. I secretly think that Iron 81 is actually Andy Hauptman in disguise.
    Now to the team. They are really horrible. How is it that Philly a team that was in chaos a year ago is competing for the lead of the league. The answer is good ownership and a smart General manager. I would give anything to have the know how of Phillies Gm Stewart running the Fire. Their draft was brilliant at the expense of the Ffre and the signing of Bodoya was another great move again at the expense of the Fire.
    I was releaved to see that someone finally gave a good reason for Rodriguez and Pauno being named coach and GM. The family is mad at Andy for making a fool of them and their sister due to his philandering. I thought that I was going nuts why would a major sports team in such a great sports town like Chicago name a rookie coach and GM. The answer is that they are preparing to sell the team. I only hope that they sell it to someone that actually lives in Chicago and cares about the sport and the future for many soccer fans .
    What everyone should do in order to finally get a positive move by andell is not re up their season tickets until something positive is done by the league to rectify the mess in Chicago.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Iron81 has shown no respect for other fans or the team in using foul language to drive home his shrill, rabidly partisan, and bitterly pyrric point of view.

    In doing so, he shows zero respect for the tradition and honor of the team, and with his spiteful attacks he degrades the pure passion of other fans. These are the actions of a true enemy of the Fire.

  • Going out on a limb here.
    Streak extends to 40.

  • I really don't understand that if Fernandez and Morrell needed minutes in order to play with the first team, why weren't they loaned to Saint Louis earlier in the season? Why now? They could have been loaned in April and had a whole summer of getting playing time so that by now they can come back and show what they have since the Fire are pretty much out of the playoff picture.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Fernandez was carrying an ankle injury for a good part of the early season.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I understand that, but the moment he was cleared to play he should have been loaned. Why Morrell wasn't loaned earlier is baffling.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I thought Morrell was on the bench a few times when our Accam was injured and Alvarez was playing the role of a "forward" once or twice. Then again, I could be confusing him for Calistri.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Fire's site shows Morrell played in 4 games for a total of 52 minutes with 2 shots, 1 on goal. The accompanying picture shows him playing against Montreal.

  • "The Fire will look to break a 39 match winless streak across all competitions on Saturday in Montreal." Shouldn't that be "away winless streak," no? I mean, it's bad, but it hasn't gotten THAT bad, has it? :-)

  • In reply to Modibo:

    haha....good catch....fixed

  • The latest scuttlebutt on Rodriguez is the folks at MLS HQ were happy to see him leave. He wasn't sent to the Fire, but for the folks in New York, it was almost too good to be true. If (and this is a big 'if' at the moment) MLS wants Chicago to continue to fail, placing, perhaps, more pressure on Andell to sell, than things have worked out perfectly for MLS at large.

    On another note, things don't look good for Majid Ekbal. While he has gotten all the way to the MLS upper echelon with his pitch, Mr. Ekbal's record as an honest businessman is less than stellar. Ekbal has been sued quite a few times over the years.

  • In reply to Bogdan:

    That is a huge “if” because it’s a dangerous strategy. I don’t think I’m the only Fire fan that has really started to check out of MLS because none of the other matches have any effect on us. Nobody’s chasing us and we’re not in the hunt for anything. My gosh, there was a time when we were celebrating (for like a week) that we didn’t have the lowest point total in the whole league. All I got left league-wise is hoping the Sounders lose. But, they made some big signing and Dempsey got a hat-trick so maybe I don’t even have that. MLS Soccer Sunday? Uhh, I think I have something else to do. For me, most of my soccer attention is shifting to north London (COYS) and WC qualifying. I have 3 tickets left on my STH card. Told my boys I’d take them to Haunted Trails and then the Fire game. Response: Hurray on the arcade but do we HAVE to go to the Fire game? The next generation is being lost.

  • In reply to Doug:

    Kind of interesting that you say that- I've been a sth since 2011, and in the post-game surveys I'd get, I'd always rate high "how likely are you to recommend a CF game to others?" This year it's dropped down to a "4" I could if someone wanted to experience just "live soccer." Everything else though....

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    I've been rating that part a 2. A neighbor of mine once said that he would become a STH if it wasn't for awful product on the field. He enjoyed tailgating and the atmosphere but he couldn't justify spending money to watch an awful product on the field when he could stay at home and watch the EPL and Bundesliga.

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