Fire sign Nikolic, look to add more

The Fire added their top striker target in Nemanja Nikolic this morning. A transfer fee and three-year contract for Nikolic lands him in Chicago to start the 2017 season. Nelson Rodriguez spoke to media this afternoon from Poland where the deal was finalized.

Nikolic will occupy a Designated Player spot and an international roster spot.

Here is a full recap of the call:

Rodriguez on the acquisition of Nikolic

"Earlier today we completed the signed documentation for the transfer of the playing services of Nemanja Nikolic from Polish league champion Legia Warsaw to Chicago Fire. Nemanja was one of our top priorities this offseason and a player we had been tracking for the better part of seven to eight months. He represents one of the types of game-breakers that we sought in the offseason. He's a champion, having won titles in Poland and Hungary. He is a four-time golden boot winner and one of the most prolific scorers in recent years in Europe. A player whose character is unimpeachable. He has an insatiable desire to score goals and to win. We are thrilled to add not only his talent, but his character and personality to our locker room. We feel that this is the first step in an offseason that we have carefully orchestrated and feel very good about securing his services in advance of the Holidays."

On the next steps for the Fire

"We set out to try in the offseason to find a game-breaker, a boss, and some help in central midfield. Some of those could overlap one another. Nemanja is a winner on and off the field. This is how he approaches his craft and how he is viewed by his teammates and coaches. He may very well turn out to be the leader, or one of the leaders that we seek in the locker room but we still need to improve our central midfield. We feel that with Niko, as he is commonly referred to here in Poland and some of our other attacking pieces that we should be able now to dependently rely on and consistently score some goals. We'd still like to add some experience to the central midfield area and that will be our focus in the remainder of this offseason."

On Nikolic adjusting to MLS

"He's already switched countries and switched leagues. He's a player and a person with a great deal of pride. He left Serbia to try his hand with a second division club. With Hungary he eventually has been capped. With the Hungarian National Team, he was a top scorer there and a champion there. He then has moved on to Poland with Legia, where his scoring and strike rate is borderline astronomical. We have a belief that goal-scorers score goal and as long as one knows how to utilize those talents appropriately that should not diminish. We have a high degree of confidence in the fact that he has already adapted to different countries, different playing styles, different languages. It makes us believe that he will adapt to Chicago and Major League Soccer. While we are confident in his ability to adapt, we must always be patient with new signings. It is still a man and a human being who has a family. He'll need time to adjust culturally. His English is excellent. Far better than both by Polish, Hungarian and Serbian, which he also speaks. We feel really good today about what we've been able to accomplish."

On combining with Michael de Leeuw

"We actually think that they will be extremely complementary. I say things but I don't partake in spin and time will tell. Michael is a very active and busy player who prefers to play underneath another forward. Nemanja does his best work in the box, but having said that is very mobile with a very high work rate. Nemanja is comfortable playing alone or playing in tandem with another forward so we think that versatility will lend itself, not only with Michael, but with our other returning attacking assets and still with some others that we are hopeful of signing. We see his versatility in his game as an asset as to how we which to play."

On progress made toward adding midfield help

"We have three primary targets. We believe we are making progress against at least two of those. We are working aggressively to close whichever one we can first. Acquisitions in the offseason can change for better of for worse very, very quickly. We're satisfied with where we are in our attempts, and our discussions, and our negotiations but we will not stop until we have success."

On the Sean Johnson trade

"When we made the decision to trade Sean we had in front of us a few different opportunities and options. In the end, we may the decision to move Sean to Atlanta. We did so because we thought we received fair compensation but we also did so because we have a value of family within our club and within our team. Sean has been a very good and loyal servant of this club. We felt that merited some special consideration. We thought that providing him the opportunity to return to his native home so that he could play in front of family and friends might be special, so we made our choice on that basis and we respect all the other choices that came thereafter. If we left something on the table, perhaps so. I don't know that to necessarily be true but I know it meant a lot to me that Sean called when he learned of his subsequent trade to New York City to thank us. I appreciated that and I told Sean on that call, and I meant it then and I'll repeat here - he will always be a part of the Chicago Fire family. He will always be positively remembered as a hero to the club and to the fans and when his playing career is over, we hope and expect that he will want to remain and active part of our club in some way."

On the pursuit of Nikolic

"When we opted not to fully participate in the summer window, it was with an eye on moves such as today. Our last year, I would say February-March-April, we pursued a different player from the Polish league and in that process we began to come to a realization that this was a league that we felt was highly underrated, that it was very relatable and transferable to Major League Soccer. It has tremendous crowd support. There's a great intensity in the matches in this league so we began to follow it more closely. In that course we noticed Nemanja and his abilities. We tracked him. We had Matt Pearson, our scout see him play live twice this fall and then Pauno went to see him play live at the conclusion of our season as well. The live reports married what we felt we had been observing through video and through following full games on television and online. Our character reports were very positive, and then Pauno's conversation with Nemanja, and mine, really convinced us of the character of the individual. This was a significant signing. There was many other suitors for his services and many other offers that Legia Warsaw had received. In the end, we are privileged and considerate an honor that Nemanja selected us as much as we selected him. For me, a big part of his character was revealed in that we had actually agreed to terms prior to the last game before the break here in Poland and frankly, the player risked a lot but he felt he owed to his teammates, to Legia Warsaw, and to the fans to play in that last game before the break even though nothing was signed. He not only played, but he scored a hat-trick because he wanted to leave as the top scorer and he did so. He wanted to leave his club and his teammates, and the fans here with a positive impression and it was his way of saying thank you. We find it completely in line with his professionalism, his championship pedigree, and his winning mentality."

On the report $3m+ transfer fee

"We never reveal the financial conditions, but it was a seven-figure transfer fee. It is a three-year contract for the player. It is a significant financial commitment being made. We believe that this is a big piece of our present and our future."

On MLS Re-Entry and league players

"The second phase of Re-Entry is Thursday. We have been exploring some possibilities in the draft. We have been speaking with the representation of some players and some players directly. We have not yet made a final decision as whether we will look to select a player or not and we're also examining some offers that we've received for the number one second stage Re-Entry position. We admittedly put that on hold over the last twenty-four hours. Pauno, the staff, and I will resume those conversations tonight my time, this afternoon Chicago time and we'll look to make a decision. We are active in conversations on players within MLS currently."

More on scouting Nikolic

"It came from watching Polish league games. We had been impressed in particular, by the way Legia Warsaw played. They are a team that absolutely goes for goal and believes in trying to score. There were a few players on this team that we had been tracking. As we looked at our team needs and our desire to increase our goal productivity, Nemanja's scoring rate and his approach to every game in which he played kept sticking out for us. After our first game of the season last year, a game in which we lost to New York City at home, a lot was made of our defense and the fact that we surrendered four goals but I remember looking at that game I remember think, very distinctly that we left three or four other goals of our own wanting. I think what Nemanja brings to us now is that player who at any moment, with the slightest break or opportunity, can find the back of the net. We believe he will continue to do so and we believe that will give our team a level of confidence and belief that may have been lacking ever so slightly last year."

On the pursuit of Bastian Schweinsteiger

"We always respect players that are under contract to other clubs. We do not comment on players who are under contract to other clubs so I will not speak specifically about our interest or non-interest in any player who is under contract who is under contract to another club. I will more generally say that we would like to add a more veteran presence in the midfield. Preferably someone with championship pedigree, who has won. Someone who is comfortable with the ball under pressure and can either play us out of the back or break the line to advance the ball to more forward positions. We'll continue to monitor those players that we feel have those attributes. We are going to aggressively pursue at least one player who we feel shows those qualities."

 

 

Filed under: 2016 Post Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Great step in the right direction. Glad to see Fire put some money on the table. Hopefully Niko pans out more than his high-cost predecessors.

  • Well done Fire. Now, who do they get in the MT? Any guesses?

  • Edit: MF

  • Let's hope they can bring in a midfield general and someone who can provide the necessary service for Niko, he can't do it by himself. Baby steps...

  • “Through this transfer, we have secured a champion in his prime, and one of the most prolific goal scorers in Europe over the last few years,” said Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez.

    Maybe so. Still, is there a reason why his main suitor in a major Euro league was Hull City?

    I'm glad to see NR saying that the guy still needs to adapt to his new environment. I get the reasons why they think he can be successful, and hopefully Niko has a better sense of what it means to live in a different country than Shaun Maloney did, but this is an important asterisk. There's still a less than 50% chance he converts his form in the Polish league into MLS goals. That's not anything specifically against the Polish league, it's just the story with major signings.

    And he doesn't yet realize what it means to play for Old Skinflint in the Bargain Basement Club.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    His kid is really cute on Instagram, though.

  • So who gets these guys the ball to convert chances? Lampson?

  • fb_avatar

    I mean, his distribution is second to none....

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    ^hahaha! Love it

  • I live in WI. Have the privilege of driving to Omaha, NE today for a family event. I bought a Chicago Tribune to read for the ride. Huge shock... absolutely zero mention of the Fire much less the Niko signing (safe to say biggest acquisition since Blanco?).

    But dont worry! There was room enough in the sports section to include a small story about the Cubs new closer bow hunting a bear back in 2010...way to go Chicago media.

    All the more reason to take the time and say thanks again for all your dilligent coverage GR. Your insight and information is the best way to find anything out about this team. Your ability to stay level headed while facing a storm of unhappy fans always impresses me. A lot of media outlets could learn from your fair, in depth, and well vetted analysis, mlssoccer.com included. Here's to hoping you'll have more positive results to report on this coming season!

  • In reply to AJties:

    Here here!

  • In reply to AJties:

    Hauptman has literally made us irrelevant in Chicago sports.

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    I definitely agree, but it's still discouraging the lack of respect the chicago media gives the Fire, regardless of their record. How many teams in chicago are winning teams every season? I seem to remember a certain historic championship drought for a team in chicago, and as a packer fan i have no problem reminding chicago that their football team is just as much a disaster as the Fire. Obviously mls is not to the level of the nfl or mlb, but i dont think that warrants the media completely ignoring the team. I cant remember who but someone had a great post on here last year where they were in a sports themed parking garage downtown. Each level was named after a chicago sports team. One level was named after your minor league hockey team, but no level mentioning the Fire. I think im remembering that correctly. You wouldnt know the team existed if you just read the papers.

    Again, i agree that ah is at fault for the vast majority of this, but the media has to own some of it too. It's as if the city is ignoring the soccer community completely. It gives the impression that chicago doesnt want anything to do with the Fire, MLS, or soccer in general. I think thats where the conversation gets really interesting. What is the TRUE reason for the lack of coverage? You cant tell me it's a simple money supply/demand issue if they are putting blurbs about wade davis bear hunting in the paper.

  • In reply to AJties:

    Ah yes I see where you are getting this from. There is actually a simple answer to that- soccer is not a staple sport of the USA. Soccer has just recently entered USAand is slowly forming to be a growing sport. When you think about American sports- Hockey, Baseball, football and basketball - you can see that there is a culture around it and has been played in the states for a while. Baseball for almost 300 years and the same with football and basketball. They are staples of American sports so in order for the Fire to get media coverage they have to be good.

    Overall most of us have fallen in love with the game and the Fire, but the country hasn't really. Baseball, football, and basketball will all stay staples of American sports - but soccer has a long way to go. The best and easiest way to do that is for the USMNT and USWNT to have suces in the World Cup. Everyone watches it no matter if your a soccer fan or not but each year people start getting into it and it grows. If USMNT can have sucess then it will likely sky rocket.
    Another way is for the MLS to grow bigger.

    If you look at country's like Germany and France they have been playing soccer for years and have a culture around it. Since so many people play the National team gets better. Hopefully the same will happen for the US. More people play the better and more soccer grows.

    That is literally the simple answer you are looking for. Soccer has a long way to go before it becomes a staple of American sports.

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    Dude you need to go back and refresh yourself on US sports history.

    Soccer and gridiron football were both popular in the late 1800s in the US, and most colleges had their own rules - some more like soccer, some more like football - until Walter Camp suggested his rules for college football in 1880. After that the differences started, but pro football wasn't a thing, really, until the 1940s.

    Basketball was invented in 1891. The pro game wasn't important until the 1960s.

    Hockey is a Canadian sport that was only played in the midwest and the northeast until very recently.

    The first pro soccer league in the US was founded in 1894 by baseball owners looking to use their stadiums in the wintertime. In the 1920s the American Soccer League on the East Coast payed higher wages for players than were paid in Britain and drew crowds rivalling baseball. In 1929 a pro league was established with teams from Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland that placed 2 players on the USMNT that took 3rd place in the World Cup. In fact, I have a copy of a game report in the Midwest Professional League in the Cleveland Plain Dealer from 1929 which got more lines than the article about the Packers winning the championship, right underneath it. Pro football was not a bigger thing than soccer at that time.

    The US has a soccer history. But the major media have always ignored it, like the Trib is ignoring the acquisition of Nikolic. In the late 1800s competitive walking was a thing, in the 1920s, track cycling was huge. Sports come and go. What is popular now was not always popular.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Thanks for the well written report Mobido! I knew most of this but didn't have all the details. But you are quite right! What becomes popular is often largely driven by the media's decisions on what they want to cover. A bit of collusion with certain sports owners?

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    Was your 300 year reference a typo? This country is only a mere 240 years old.

    There are more kids playing organized youth soccer at some level (house leagues, club, scholastic) than kids playing youth baseball and football combined. And the problems with youth soccer structure in America is another discussion all together.

    Yes MLS/soccer in general gets a 3rd row seat in Chicago media, not so in other MLS markets. The bigger hurdle MLS has to face is soccer fans in America dismissing it for foreign leagues, and the unfair comparison MLS gets to those bigger leagues.

    Its like comparing a Ferrari to a Chevy truck. One is sleek, fast and sexy, the other is a bit rough around the edges, brutish, gets the job done. Klinsman tried to change how Americans play soccer and that didnt work out too well for the USMNT or him either.

    I will watch the occasional EPL game or Borussia Dortmund just to see Pulisic, but I have no vested interest in the outcome of either, or any other league around the world for that matter. But I do have a vested interest in MLS, The Fire and the USMNT. Thats what MLS needs, to get people to pay attention to professional soccer in their own backyard

  • In reply to Fireman1:

    To be honest all of your are correct. The media has also neglected MLS ( i think this might have been stated before) because it is simply not on the same level as the rest of the world. Obviously the US are good at basically every sport but Soccer is the one which they aren't. So the media are thinking - why should I cover the one sport in which USA is bad at and doesn't win much at?

    Basically MLS is the only weak league compared to all other leagues. So to the media it 1) costs them more money and paper space in which they could use on a small story about Wade Davis. More people will likely Red a about the Cubs than the Fire. 2) Why cover a sport in which the USA is not good at and doesn't attract much interest (to them).

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    Be careful when you say "the rest of the world". The US is considerably better in soccer than many countries that are soccer crazy - think of our CONCACAF neighbors, and of some of the largest countries on earth like India, China, and Indonesia. And the US is not great in lots of sports - let's see... cricket, rugby, badminton, table tennis, field hockey, squash... that are popular in worldwide.

    Still, your point is about the US and their coverage of soccer. There are media markets where soccer gets a lot of attention - in Chicago, not so much. It has to do with the media, and it has to do with the weakness of the Fire. MLS is growing as a league. Check out this article in the Guardian for a comparison to both other US sports leagues and European soccer leagues - it's a bit dated (2014) but gives a decent overview: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/mar/12/mls-soccer-nfl-nba-mlb-nhl-epl-business

  • In reply to AJties:

    the parking garage was probably for O'hare. That was built and given the sports team names before the Fire existed. Not sure that if that's really a fair assessment...

  • In reply to edubs:

    The Chicago Wolves started in 1994, so yes, before the Fire was founded. I remember they got really popular around 1999 when they had some great teams and the Blackhawks were awful.

  • In reply to AJties:

    Next time pick up the Daily Herald. Its the one paper you are likely to find some Fire news in. I don't know if they covered Niko's signing, but you'll have better luck there then the Trib.

  • In reply to edubs:

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20161220/sports/161229854/

    off of the daily herald website... Not sure if it made print as I don't get the herald.

  • In reply to edubs:

    Thanks for the tip!

  • In reply to AJties:

    Thank you!
    I truly appreciate the comment!

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Why isn't Kubel on that draft list?

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    Which list?
    Could be because he's a junior.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    No I'm pretty sure he is a senior but I could be wrong

  • In reply to Firefan5819:
  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Oh dang

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    I was hoping he could be our rb

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I am really happy with the move for Juninho on loan, I see him coming off the bench for like Bastian if he does come and bringing that flair. If it was last year than he would be a starter but this makes our bench better. (I don't want to jinx Bastian coming here now)

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    He will start no matter what else happens. He has a DP level contract that will most likely be bought down with TAM. They won't pay a bench player that much. Having said that, i still hope they get Bastian, but i doubt it after this move. If they get BS or Guardado for that matter, i assume theyd move Polster to the bench.

  • In reply to AJties:

    Get Schweini! I like the idea of having the best MF in the league.

  • So many good points made about media coverage or lack of it. The sports radio guys in Chicago except for Fred H on ESPN 1000 really do not like soccer. Tom Waddle's daughter played at NU and he still does not like the sport. It's as if it is cool to mock the game if you are in sports media in Chicago. As far as soccer and MLS becoming more popular in the US, the way to do that is to somehow get the millions of kids whose first sport is soccer to continue playing soccer or at least following it when they stop playing at age 10-12. There is a huge cliff for kids in that age range that simply stop following or playing soccer. MLS needs to reach these kids before they lose interest.

    USMNT success in the World Cup will definitely help, but that help is usually short lived. Players on the USMNT coming from MLS teams need to highlighted to transfer the USMNT success to interest in those players playing in the league. I cannot tell you how many people still do not understand how players play for a club and play for their national team. The best thing to happen as far as explaining that is the use of professional hockey players in the Olympics. People get that comparison.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    It's really generational. The game will grow as parents and kids grow into a love of the game. That's how MLB and NFL grabbed a foothold here and how "soccer" established itself overseas. It's only a matte of time.
    The dinosaurs in media will be hit with an asteroid at some point in the near future.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    This argument goes back at least to the 1960s, if not earlier. US newspapers have been littered since then with articles about how youth soccer will lift the game as a spectator sport, and only now is it actually coming to pass. The optimism of soccer administrators is endless but their realism in the face of nativism, competition for field space and media attention, and sheer inertia has been tragically limited.

  • What's way to open our season at Columbus. That rivalry could maybe encourage the players to start the season off strong. Again theFire will be assessed on the first 5 games so why not start there.

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    A*

  • Ajties, thanks for the shout out. It was me that made the comment on the O'Hare parking garage.
    This topic totally fascinates me. There is a thread of truth in what Ahan Jain is saying but it is really a canard. There are a huge number of people in this country and this city that care deeply about soccer and consider their number one sport to follow. This has not yet filtered up to many of the mainstream media decision makers. Especially in old guard cities like Chicago that have plenty to feast on without spending time on a game that they, personally, don't have an appreciation for. It's still the lure of the crowd. How many people know next to nothing about hockey yet have joined the Blackhawk frenzy which, literally, sprung up overnight when WGN started broadcasting the games. My replay to the soccer knockers is that it would be easy to write up an essay on any sport and describe how useless it is. And baseball would be the easiest one to begin with. People in the stadium aren't even watching the game anymore. Seriously, if the powers that be at the 4 network stations plus WGN along with the Trib and the Sun-times suddenly decided they were going to treat soccer as a one of the Big 5 team sports, the people would follow their lead. Hell, they're doing it now despite being given plenty of signals that soccer is not a sport Americans want to consume. Given the slightest bit of "permission" from the local broadcast and print media, soccer would easily cement it's place.It will eventually. Everything is trending that way. There is live content available year round and it has huge, highly paid stars to draw people's attention.

  • In reply to Doug:

    The Blackhawks were the Fire ten years ago. They have used WGN and the Trib as a promotional arm coupled with a return to winning to get back into the picture. The "winning" part was the key.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Winning would help things a little bit...

  • Very hopeful about this signing. Time to give the ol' DP Etch-A-Sketch a good shake and start over.

  • On something exceptionally trivial: will Alvarez cede to his old teammate the #11 or will Niko take #17, which is currently not in use?

  • Sorry, #17 is in use by Collin Fernandez.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    In all honesty it really wasn't being used by Fernandez.

  • The Fire will open the season March 4 in Columbus and the home opener will take place a week later on 3/11 versus Real Salt Lake.

  • Sorry, can't get excited about this signing of yet another guy from a second- (third- ?) tier league whom I've never heard of. We've all seen this movie before -- how many goals was Mackie putting up in Holland or wherever before he came here to get fat? -- and know how it tends to end. Wake me up when the Bridgeview lease ends.

    In other news, Merry Christmas to all you loyal Fire fans and special thanks to GR for faithfully providing us with insights about a club which by every indication doesn't deserve our attention.

  • In reply to schematic1929:

    MacDonald was in the 2nd division in Belgium. Niko was in the first division in Poland and played (and scored) in the Europa league. Pretty sure he's better than MacDone on paper but that doesn't mean he'll score goals in MLS, so I share your cynicism even though I think Niko's a better prospect.

  • I am delighted by this signing. Lega Warsaw made it to champions league and this guy had a big part. Most definitely will provide a different level of quality, and along with De Leuw will change the dynamic. Hopefully Accam can get better chances by having these players around.

    I remember fondly picking up the trib and sun times when the Fire won the mls cup and they were getting a lot of mainstream coverage. They are getting no coverage by Chicago media because they suck. If they start winning games and getting up in standings they will get coverage. And the stadium will fill and become rocking. I can't believe the criticism of the stadium. It's a great field and there are no bad seats, and it's a good family experience. You don't have to worry about a lot of foul mouth drunks like at soldier field or wrigley. Remember that they played in soldier field and it was dreadful, and a pain to get to. Let's not forget that they played in Naperville too. They have their own stadium that just needs a good team to bring it alive.

    As to sports media here, these are the same people who complain that soccer is boring and try to convince you that baseball isn't. There is a big enough soccer fan base here to really increase the attention, just get a better team out there .

    This is a very good development and let's hope they get a few more quality players.
    Is the Schweinsteiger move dead now, GR?

  • In reply to Dstep:

    I loved when they were at Soldier Field. I could ride the lakefront bike path down from Rogers Park and catch games. It was impossible for me to get to Naperville or Bridgeview when they played there. Which is one of the issues with a city the size of Chicago - anywhere you put a stadium it's a pain for lots of people. You just have to try to put it closest to the people you most want to attend games.

  • I truly hope Nikolic is a huge success. We have been so burned in the past, but let's look at how this signing arose versus the others. We first heard of the pursuit through solid reporting from GR and others. We were not given a vague response of a terrific mystery player who shows up late for pre-season or sometime toward the end of July. We were cooked before those players arrived. Nikolic was legitimately pursued by other clubs arguably bigger than the Fire. He isn't some unknown mystery player no one else has ever heard of. Maybe NR and Pauno are gaining traction in soccer circles to be able close deals for solid players? I have a very good feeling about Nikolic.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    You have to think that this is a Pauno signing - Niko's a Serbian by origin who decided to play for Hungary. NR just signed the check.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Yeah agreed. Makes you wonder how much NR has to do with it overall. League stuff mostly it would seem. Nikolic, Alvarez, Goosens, Thiam, Arshakyan (arse-shakin), all played in the region. Ramos too. Pauno coached against him in the U20 WC.

  • The Fire have passed in Stage 2 of the re-entry draft.

  • Pauno was hiigh on Arshakyan and he is a total bust so lits hope that Nikolic holds up. The combo of Nilkolic , de leeuw and Accam should be exciting to watch. Let's hope that they can add someone in the middle. Is there any good central Mids from the college ranks? The two teams that really are impressing me this period is Atlanta and Dallas. For some reason Dallas can reach into the South Ameircan basket and come up with real quality players. How will old harry ship fit into the Seattle midifiled?

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Slowly ;)

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I imagine that Shipp will be a bench player for Seattle. All of their attacking players who are starters are better than Shipp.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Shipp might be but I depends how he plays and what happens to the rest of the roster. If he plays good and the starter in front doesn't he will take that spot.

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    I suppose that any bench player could move into a starting role if the player ahead of him faltered. He became an afterthought in Montreal because the players ahead of him were better. The players in Seattle are better still. His situation in Seattle is similar to what he faced in Montreal.

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    It all depends on Dempsey and how he feels come to the start of the season. I won't be surprised if he decides to retire because of his heart issue.

  • Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad, Wesolych Swiat, to all of you guys here. It was a rough year but we expierienced it together. I am so happy and really fascinated by all the reports whether it's From Guillermo or the Hot Time this year. Let's just hope we have more positive papers and reports to write in 2017 and could about time get into the playoffs! #cf97

  • Shipp reminds me of Baggio Husidic. Both have a good soccer brain, both handle themselves pretty well, but neither are all that fast. Baggio lasted three years here, I think, before going on to Scandinavia and then returning to LA Galaxy, where he has been a frequent contributor. I hope that Shipp has as solid a career.

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