Don’t expect a conclusion to the Fire’s coaching search until at least the end of the USMNT’s current camp. The odds on favorite to land the job, US U-20 head coach and senior team assistant Tab Ramos, won’t be free until after the US v Trinidad and Tobago match next Tuesday. While Nelson Rodriguez has recently had discussions with Guillermo Barros Schelotto about the position, several sources indicate that it’s Ramos’ job to lose at this point. One potential stumbling block could be the buyout of Ramos’ contract with US Soccer.
MLS released the schedule for winter player movement mechanisms yesterday. With the clock ticking, it would seem that Nelson Rodriguez will need input from whomever the coach may be. The list of players who will be eligible for Free Agency and the Re-Entry Draft will be made public on December 7. That doesn’t give Ramos, or anyone else much time to download a lot of information.
Here’s the current offseason schedule for all clubs:
December 7: List of all players made eligible for Free Agency and Re-Entry Draft made public.
December 8: At noon CT, Free Agents can begin negotiations with other clubs. Waiver Draft list made public.
December 9: Waiver Draft at 3:30 pm CT
December 10: Starting at 4:00 pm CT, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry Eligible players.
December 11: Re-Entry Draft Stage One at 2:00 pm CT
December 16: Starting at 10:00 am CT, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players.
December 17: Re-Entry Draft Stage Two at 2:00 pm CT
January 7-12: MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, FL
January 16: 2016 MLS SuperDraft
January 22: MLS training camps open
What seems like a thinly veiled plan for the Los Angeles Galaxy to keep three Designated Player spots and Omar Gonzalez on their roster for 2016 may help the Fire. Similar to the Gonzalez situation, the Fire bought down the contract of Kennedy Igboananike with Target Allocation Money in order to add Gilberto this past summer. According to SI, MLS is considering adding even more TAM to the pot this season. With allocation money and cap space already in hand thanks to the Didier Drogba and Shaun Maloney transactions, the Fire could have even more mystery bucks with which to add reinforcements. Add that to the potential departure and/or restructuring of several relatively high priced veteran contracts, Rodriguez should have some room to operate.
The Fire could use the additional TAM to buy down Igboananike again if they choose. The club currently has David Accam, Gilberto, and Igboananike as players who would count as DP’s if no moves are made.
Copa America in Chicago?
Soldier Field is one of the ten US locations mentioned in this article as hosts for next summer’s Copa America Centenario to be held in the United States.
S8C Food Drive
Section 8 Chicago is conducting a food drive for the less fortunate during the Holiday season. “We’ve worked to support the Greater Chicago Food Depository for the past several years, starting with in-person food collections and lately moving online with their Virtual Food Drive tool – this year’s drive runs through January 4, 2016. The Food Depository was named one of the top charitable organizations in this month’s Chicago Magazine and it’s always a great feeling to help them out,” said S8C Chairman Dan Martin.
Click here for more information.