Fire pick up options on 11 players; decline 7 others

The Fire announced today that they have exercised the 2018 options on Arturo Alvarez, David Arshakyan, Jorge Bava, Brandt Bronico, Jonathan Campbell, Stefan Cleveland, Drew Conner, Daniel Johnson, Dax McCarty, Matt Polster, and Brandon Vincent.

They have also declined options on Joey Calistri, Matej Dekovic, Patrick Doody, Collin Fernandez, John Goossens, Michael Harrington, and Richard Sanchez.

Matt Lampson earned an automatic renewal via a performance clause for games played.

The Fire also declined the loan purchase option on Juninho.

They will continue negotiations with Sanchez and Bastian Schweinsteiger in hopes of bringing them back in 2018.

Bava and Arshakyan are not typos.

Filed under: 2017 postseason

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Unbelievable. In what possible reality are Bava and Arshakyan worth keeping? Does the mafia have some dirt on Pauno that is making him keep Arshakyan? Is he so embarrassed that the guy was someone he scouted that he can't stand the possibility of being wrong?

    Second, I haven't read one summary that didn't point to goalkeeping as a significant need for the fire and yet they decide to keep Bava.


  • In reply to jlatwell:

    maybe Arshakyan is the love child from some tryst Pauno doesn't want to admit... there has to be blackmail involved here...

  • I am disgusted. Arshakyan is the worst player in all of MLS which is saying a lot! He truly is a horrendous player. Bava was awful as well but he doesn't bother me as much as long as we don't ever see him play. Lampson needs to be traded as soon as possible.

  • Thank you for the clarification at the end. Definitely didn't believe what i was reading the first 3 scans. Resigning David Ash and Bava may be worse than trading the milk man. I really dont understand the logic here. Arent both of those players on expensive contracts? I thought Joey C would be making less than David ash and IS A BETTER PLAYER. Please someone come up with a reason why either of these extensions make sense cuz i got nothin...

  • In reply to AJties:

    I've got nothing there.

  • Plus, Bava takes up an international spot.

  • what about Basti? are there any rumors rolling around the rumor mill for why its taking so long to resign him? is it just about money? if so, does he want more? or do we want to pay less?

  • In reply to edubs:

    He's been offered less than last year. He was originally looking for more. I don't think that's unusual.

  • Arshakyn is a terrible soccer player. Bava is a terrible soccer player. If both players were left unprotected in the expansion draft, there would be zero chance they were taken. They should both never see the field for our team, yet someone decided they are worth their salary for another year. That person should be let go immediately. Bava was replaced by Lampson this season. Matt Lampson is not good, but he is better than Bava. Bava was brought in because he is good with his feet, apparently. Whoever scouted him should also be let go. To be clear, we have a 36 year old back up keeper who is returning from a long term injury on our roster. Not only is that terrible in itself, he also takes up an international spot.

    I also feel terrible for Collin Fernandez. He was never given a chance to be successful here. This club does not give homegrown players any chance. Shipp was the only one who got to play and this regime shipped him out as quickly as they could. If I were one of these two high profile college kids with ties to our club, I would pass on a homegrown deal and take a chance elsewhere. This club is in shambles right now. I am not looking forward to this offseason. If they really offered Basti less money, then the FO has absolutely no ambition.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Don't forget Mihailovic.

  • Would have to agree with all of the above, Arshaykin in particular. I'm not convinced of the Fire's talent spotting ability beyond the obvious. I thought they got fleeced for J Jones, undervalued Shipp ( both good enough for Seattle) and Sean Johnson, and got relatively little out of the 1st and 3rd draft picks in consecutive years.Even last years pick Jonhson hardly saw the field. Last season's turnaround was impressive but we need a similar boost in talent again this year if we are to contend with the better teams.

  • In reply to Celt:

    We are right back where we were at the end of last season in terms of the roster. We cannot depend on Solignac and Alvarez to be an every week starter. Right now, they both are. Who knows what will happen with Accam. Seeing as BS is not signed already cannot be a good thing. With his wife pregnant, he seems like he will peace out to Europe. We severely tanked last season when we needed to have guys not in our first XI play regular minutes. Now those guys are pushed into our best XI because of departures. The roster right now is very not good. As starters, we legitimately need a starting GK, CB, CM, attacking mid, and a RW. That doesnt mention all of the role playing bench players we need. If we lose Accam, this team will struggle terribly.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    My gut feeling is that Schweinsteiger will be back.

  • It's been five days since the Fire announced who they have retained and who they are letting go. I still for the life of me cannot understand what they were thinking. Here is one thought. They think they can trade Lampson so they keep Bava as Backup. If that is the plan then the plan could not be more stupid. Here's another plan. The league asks NR to take the team so that its sale price collapses making it easy to afford the team and buy out the Toyota park contract. The new owner can then move the team to the new stadium being built by Sterling Bay. Please come true!!!!

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Careful what you wish for. What plays out in Columbus might influence the future of this club.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    That second one is not the case. Plenty more on that on The Athletic on Monday morning.

  • GR excellent article in the Athletic about the Columbus situation. I dont think enough Fire/MLS fans realize what is at stake if this move goes through. It will state the league cares more about the owners than it does the supporters. I cant believe MLS's blindness and arrogance. Do they not see what is happening to the NFL? Whatever one's position is on that (no politics here) one can't deny that league is hemorrhaging attendance and TV viewership. MLS doesn't have the deep pockets that the NFL has to weather the storm if part of the fan base is alienated. I am seriously more concerned about this more so than the Fire's current roster. If it does go through, USL here I come.

  • In reply to Fireman1:

    Thanks. It is a ridiculous amount of unwarranted arrogance on MLS' part.

  • Heard Schweinny is asking for Michael Bradley money. That's the hold up. They picked up Arshakyan to try to unload him and recoop the lost money in upcoming drafts. Not going to happen. Poor Decision.

  • In reply to FutbolJunky:

    Schweinsteiger was originally looking for close to $7m but the Fire initially offered less than he made last year ($5.4). It will get done and he'll be back in 2018. He also has a deal with Adidas that is pending and will help things along.

    Arshakyan's option was picked up because otherwise they would have been hit with the remainder of his cap hit as a Special Discovery player instead of being able to spread that hit out over the remaining two years of his contract.

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    It' s not a popular opinion but I didn't think Schweinsteiger was that much of an impact player. He spent a lot of time behind the defense (sweeper?) and most of his passes were sideways or backward. His play was mostly slow and deliberate, as was his speed. The playmaking and the scoring was left to others. Yes, he was a steadying influence and provided a certain gravitas, but compared to what you can get for that money I don't think it's worth it.

  • In reply to Alex Michalakos:

    Alex, I think you might be "trolling". I probably know less soccer than anyone on this site (caught the soccer bug a couple years ago), but Basti is arguably the best player in the league when healthy. Being a novice to the sport, I had no idea the value of a competent midfield. I used to get so angry in 2015 & 2016 because, how hard can it be to give the ball to David Accam so he can score!?! Turns out to be really hard, getting quality build up and service for wings/forwads might be the hardest thing I've witnessed in sports other than hitting major league pitching. Bastian is the BEST. Saw him live three times last year and he is all CLASS in the middle of the pitch. Sorry the long winded "man crush" novel, but the guy deserves his props.

  • Schweinny and his agent are doing everything they can not to come back and this does not fare well for the credibility for the Fire, Nelson, or the MLS. He's on Holiday now golfing and between holes takes a call from his agent about which offers in Germany he will take. "Changing the culture of the MLS and the Fire" is all BS. Twice he tried coming on the pitch without shinguards, just forgot. He never did that in Bayern or ManU. He was checked out and by the time the last playoff match came around, his mind was on holiday at the Adriatic Sea. Gone Baby Gone.

  • In reply to FutbolJunky:

    Settle down. Schweinsteiger will be back.

  • Nope. If he really wanted to come back, he would have told Nelson already. He's looking for a trap door.

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