Frank Yallop threw cold water on the prospect of bringing Marco Pappa back into the side during a media conference call this afternoon. “It’s up to Seattle now to see what they want to do (via allocation),” said Yallop. The Fire looked into what it would take to move up in the allocation order but a trade seems very unlikely at this point. “They want way too much for the value of that spot. They’re asking way too much. We won’t be doing that at this point. If things change you never know, but we tried our best to move up in the running for Marco. It doesn’t look too good right now”, said the Fire’s Director of Soccer.
He did close by throwing out a disclaimer however. “You never know in the league and you never know in any situation. Things change very quickly. It’s not from a lack of trying to land him but not right now.”
Pappa appears to headed to Seattle. Another of their possible targets with the top allocation spot, Erik Friberg signed with Bologna today.
Here are the highlights of the rest of the call:
- On offseason fitness – “Guys have really come in in pretty good shape to start the preseason and that kind of gets you ahead in that front. They’ve worked hard in the offseason. The first four days or so have been enjoyable. I’ve got to know the players now and they get to know how I work”. Yallop said he would have a better idea of the overall fitness level after the first game this Sunday.
- Pineda impresses – When asked which young players have stood out so far Yallop did single out midfielder Victor Pineda. “It’s only four days and don’t want to jump the gun by saying who’s doing great but Victor Pineda has done well in the (small sided) games that we’ve had. He’s the one that stood out (among the young players)”.
- On the early training plan – “They’ve worked on two-a-days for the first few days and had the afternoon off yesterday. We’re pushing them but not a pace where they’re going to break down.”
- On the competition at CB – “It’s pretty clear where I felt we were lacking. Austin, Baky, and Jalil at times played a lot of minutes last year and now we have competition for places and we have depth with the players who just joined our club. The move we made was about competition for places and I’ll figure out the pairings but we have some good choices. We have four very good ones (centerbacks) and there’s injuries, there’s lots of games, and there’s weeks when you have two matches and any one of those guys can play with each other and can be very successful together. It’s up to me to figure out the best pairing and how it will work with our team and they way we want to play and it’s up to the players to fight for the spot’.
- On Juan Luis Anangono – “He came in in good shape and he’s ready. It’s typical for a player to come into the league and take time to get used to it. He’s come back a player that’s a lot more comfortable. We haven’t played any matches yet but I’ve liked his attitude and every exercise we’ve done he’s given 100%. He likes to work hard and do well for his team and he’s very hungry to score goals. We’re hoping those things fall into place a he gets a ton of goals for us next season. He just needs to maintain the levels that he set last year, not so much in goal scoring but on the runs and the work rate that he shows – I think the goals will come”.
- On trialing right back Time Ward – “I had him in San Jose and he’s been out injured for eighteen months. I’ve kept in contact with Tim and lately every six months we text each other to see how it’s going. I found out he had surgery on his hamstring and he’s all better so I thought I liked him when I had him. It seemed a pretty simple solution for adding depth to our team. He’s looked okay. He’s done well. We’re looking forward to the moment Tim gets on the field and plays in the games and shows what he can do”.
- On the Homegrowns and draft picks -“If Harry Shipp wasn’t in the top five (of the draft) I would have been very, very surprised”. Yallop is also happy with the progress of Chris Ritter and Bryan Ciesulka.