Fire re-sign Nyarko to new deal / Pick up options on six, decline options on 11

As expected, the Fire have re-signed midfielder Patrick Nyarko to a new deal. The parties had been working on a revised contract for several months and an tentative agreement had been reached to restructure the previous deal before Nyarko’s injury occurred on October 18. The injury didn’t change the team’s intentions to bring Nyarko back although it won’t be at the same salary that was reported by the MLS Player’s Union in 2014.

According to MLSPU’s latest release, Nyarko made $284,500.00 in guaranteed compensation last season. With a restructured contract in lieu of an option renewal, Nyarko will have additional years added to his deal in exchange for a reduced rate. He underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee on November 6 and is expected to miss the next 6-8 months while undergoing rehabilitation.

Frank Yallop made it pretty clear that he wanted Nyarko back before the injury and the club honored that decision. “I’m glad we were able to work out a deal for Patrick to stay in Chicago,” said Yallop . “I’ve had the pleasure of working with him this past season and he’s a steady, positive influence in the locker room. It’s unfortunate that he suffered the knee injury at the conclusion of the season but we’re fully behind his recovery efforts and we look forward to seeing him return to the field.”

Off-season work

Yallop, Brian Bliss, and Head of Scouting Trevor James are still working the circuit in search of new players for next season. A center back, central midfielder, and striker are still the big items on the shopping list. Yallop’s post season trip included discussions with players in England, Sweden, Germany, and South America but no deals have apparently been struck yet. The main players scouted are all currently playing in the top flight of each country although it may be January before anything is finalized.

In the meantime, the Fire will select 13th in tomorrow’s Chivas USA dispersal draft. Don’t expect any of the more expensive veteran players to be on the Fire’s radar but some of the younger players on the squad may good a look for depth heading into camp.

Options picked up and declined

The Fire have made the projected roster house cleaning official by announcing that they have picked up the options for Alec Kann, Kyle Reynish, Greg Cochrane, Chris Ritter, Matt Watson, and Qunicy Amarikwa while declining options on eleven players.

Among the eleven whose options were not exercised are Marco Franco, Patrick Ianni, Hunter Jumper, Steven Kinney, Gonzalo Segares, Alex, Sanna Nyassi, Robert Earnshaw, Matt Fondy, and Florent Sinama-Pongolle. Loan deals for Benji Joya and Grant Ward have also expired. Joya won’t be back but the Fire are still hopeful on a return for Ward.

“We’re currently working towards new deals for several players who are out of contract or whose options have been declined and look to finalize those in the coming weeks,” said Yallop via press release.

The club also confirmed that Sean Johnson, Jeff Larentowicz, Lovel Palmer, Razvan Cocis, Nyarko, Harry Shipp, Juan Luis Anangono, and Mike Magee are all under contract for next season.

Now to use that roster space and cap room wisely……

MLS Draft-o-rama Schedule

Here’s the schedule for MLS’ busy offseason of drafting and player relocation. The league will open a half day trade window on December 8 followed by the Expansion Draft two days later.

November 19: Chivas USA Dispersal Draft

December 8: Half day trade window from 9am to 1pm EDT. Teams can trade and re-sign players during this period. Expect clubs to announce option decisions at this point.

December 10: Expansion Draft – Orlando City FC and New York City FC can pick up to 2 players from each club.

December 10: Trade window re-opens after the Expansion Draft and closes at 5pm EDT on December 11.

December 10: MLS Waiver Draft. Teams can choose from players released by their clubs.

December 12: MLS Re-Entry Draft Phase One. Teams can select players whose options were declined but must honor the current contract option.

December 12: Trade window re-opens at conclusion of Re-Entry Draft and closes on December 17 at 11 EDT.

December 18: MLS Re-Entry Draft Phase Two. Teams can select players whose options were declined and negotiate new contracts.

January 15: MLS Superdraft.

Filed under: 2014 Post Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Thanks for the Nyarko update.

    I'm more in favor of that move now I know his deal was restructured. 280k was considerably too much.

  • I know Segares was in decline, but now the only guys I see on the roster with any kind of history are Johnson and Nyarko. Even Stephen Kinney and Hunter Jumper had been around the block with the team a few seasons. I'm not saying they should have been kept around, but it's remarkable how much churn we've seen in the roster.

    More rebuilding... more losses or ties... and then sometime between July and August, another coach. And then more rebuilding, I'm sure.

  • So Marco Franco is out after not even one season at the pros? I know Shipp was the "real" first round pick, but shouldn't a first rounder be able to stick around longer? Any chance he gets re-upped at a better deal? Or does he go away in the coming drafts?

    Also, any chance Yallop or someone else went to Norway to get a new player into the Mix? There's at lease one American player in Norway that would look good in a Fire shirt next year. (see what i did there?)

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Franco made $36,500 last year so he was working on a minimum deal. I'm not sure how much of a better deal they could get him at unless his option for next year was substantially higher.

    I haven't heard one peep about the Fire being in the mix for Mix.

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    I don't think Franco will be back. He was already on league minimum, so I'm not sure how they could negotiate lower.

  • “We’re currently working towards new deals for several players who are out of contract or whose options have been declined and look to finalize those in the coming weeks," said Yallop via press release.

    But who from the Fire will they attempt to bring back? My guesses, if they can come to financial agreements: Segares, Alex, Nyassi, & Earnshaw.

    Disappointed that the Franco pick bombed so immensely. That's a(nother) big strike against the FO to miss that badly.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Those are probably the four right there plus Ward.

  • I really hope Quincy is not our best option at striker come opening day 2015.

  • What is the status on midfielder Victor Pineda since he is a homegrown player that just got back on loan from Indy Eleven?

  • In reply to longoria3:

    ^^^Don't forget Soumare as well.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Out of contract. They have a decision to make on him.

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    Would have rather see the Fire keep Earnshaw over Anannogo,
    also don't think Ritter is any better than some of the players who were cut. Right now the club looks like a bunch of second stringers.
    Nyarko and Magee are still question marks for next season.
    I renewed too early.

  • In reply to Ron Stone:

    I don't see Anangono back either. He's still under contract but they'll either extend the loan or buy him out.

  • I cannot see them bringing Soumare back. The guy is just too inconsistent and is somewhat of a loose cannon.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I'm with you. How many defensive lapses in 2014 can be pinned on him? It's amazing how poorly the Fire's defense has played compared to Our Year with Arne. Goes to show what a pillar Friedrich was, and how much he helped organize the backline.

    I just don't see that out of our backs now. Larentowicz is a better leader, better in my opinion than Soumare, but he's not a world-class center back like Friedrich.

    At the same time, if they can get Soumare back at a lower salary, I think he'd be willing to stay and ensuring some roster stability is beneficial (unless a guy's become a locker-room cancer).

  • South America? There is an Argentine #10 playing at Club Atlético Patronato I wouldn't mind seeing in training camp (hey, I can dream, can't I?)

    Pineda is going to be interesting. He didn't get significant 1st team minutes, yet was a continual starter and third highest scorer for a team on loan. If the Fire don't come up with a good contract (of which I think the structure will be a big deal,) the second the window of opportunity opens and he's not covered, Indy signs him.

    So- sign him to a new contract with the hopes of selling his contract to
    Indy and get some allocation money or whatnot?


  • Guys
    I received a call from the fire asking if I was going to renew the tickets that I have owned for the life of the team. I explained that until one of three things happened I would not reup.
    1. Andy sells the team
    2 yallop retires
    3 that they bring in at least 2 DP players that I recognized.not low cost hopes that were not even that good on their own clubs

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Brokerjohn, I re-upped my tickets and I had qualms about it all the way through the process. I've been a season ticket holder since the 2009 season and only kept the tickets the past three years because the team honored a Groupon rate I had purchased for the 2011 season. The 2015 season will be my first season back on full priced season tickets and part of the reason I did it was because they'd honored the discounted rate previously so I'd give them one more season from me at the full rate, hoping Yallop can put a winner together. This whole time I felt like I was going to get screwed somewhere along the line with this decision. Well, it didn't take long. One of the perks I considered in re-upping was the locker room sale and when the press release came out that only premium season ticket holders would get in first and everyone else would have to pick around the left overs. I've decided that it's MLS Cup winning season of bust for me after this year.

    Stick to your guns, go with your gut and re-up only when you think it's worth the investment.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    You mirror my thoughts as well. I'm in no rush to renew.

    Plus, the locker room sale is basically full-priced gear. The only thing worth having access to for affordable stuff is the Section 8 merch table, albeit without the first team gear.

    2015 or bust.

  • Guys. The new podcast about the fire and the mls in general will be available the first week of March 2015. The podcast will be hosted by two hard core MLS fans. The podcast will feature mostly fans that have intelligent insight into the team. There will be NO fire employees on the show. It should be available every two weeks on Monday mornings after the weekend games.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Looking forward to it.

  • Fire in pursuit of Scottish attacking midfielder Shaun Maloney......

    31 year old, out of contract at Wigan this summer and still in national team picture.

  • So we're looking for technical skills in Scotland!!? LOL

  • Guys I checked out old Shaun with a friend in Scotland. Shaun was a really good talent. He has a history of bad ankles that flar up after playing a few games. In addition the teams that he has played for think he suffers from depression and home sickness. He was playing in the epl and had to be returned home because he couldn't adjust to living outside of Scotland.

  • He had a nice strike against Ireland the other day (albeit he wasn't being marked and it was a set peice they worked on in training).

    But a 32 year-old guy, a year off of major hip and back surgery, with only one goal for a Championship club at this point in the season, and only 3 goals last year doesn't spell "designated player" to me.

    Not surprising, though, that this is the limit of the Fire's ambition. Can't wait to see him line up against David Villa, Lampart, or Kaka next year. It will further cement the team as the 'New Chivas," which apparently is Hauptman's goal.

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    As far as renewing goes, I was an STH 4 out of 5 seasons but didn't renew last year and won't this year. With this latest announcement about the Scottish guy I'm even more convinced that the Fire are hopeless under Hauptman.

  • So how come there hasn't been an announcement for a USL team or partnership yet? Why are the Fire going to the bare minimum when it comes to this subject?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    They have a deal in principle completed with St. Louis. They can't officially announce until the new CBA is done however.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Other squads have gone into the partnerships already, so why is the Fire/StL deal dependent upon the new CBA?
    So we're basicy not likely to have an announcement about the loaning out four to six Fire players at a time until days before the season starts (assuming a work stoppage is avoided)...
    ...while more and more serious organizations announce the formation of their own USL squads.

  • In reply to Mac97:

    Colorado Rapids and Charlotte Independence announced their partnership in September.
    Just wonderin'.

  • In reply to Mac97:

    Not sure what the hang up is but the Rapids announcement was made with a "pending league approval" caveat. Formalities aside, It will be St. Louis next season.

  • In reply to Mac97:

    (RIP Eagles.)

    On another note, the Independence had a "people's choice" for their badge. I think they made a nice choice.

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