Fire Face Cuts Ahead of March 1 Roster Deadline

WIth the MLS roster compliance deadline less than 24 hours away the Fire will have several cuts to make in order to meet the thirty man roster limit on March 1.  Currently the team has 21 signed players, 2 draft choices, and 12 trialists still available. 

The signed players :

GK : Sean Johnson, Jon Conway

D : Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Steven Kinney, Josip Mikulic, Dasan Robinson, Gonzalo Segares, Kwame Watson-Siriboe

M : Mike Banner, Corben Bone, Baggio Husidic, Patrick Nyarko, Daniel Paladini, Marco Pappa, Logan Pause, Victor Pineda, Bratislav Ristic

F : Calen Carr, Gaston Puerari, Diego Chaves

The Draft Picks :

F : Jason Herrick, Davis Paul

The Trialists :

GK : Alec Dufty

D : Micheal Muniz, Pari Pantazopoulos

M : Yoximar, Mike Videira, Martin Rivas, Shane Clark, Nabil Taider, Marko Maric

F : Gabriel Ferrari, Orr Barouch, Kwame Obeng Darko 

That head count including trialists brings the current number of players available to 35.  Frank Klopas has hinted that the final roster will include somewhere between 28 and 30 players although simply cutting five players isn’t as easy as it seems due to injuries to several “signed” players and the international status of some trialists.   

Mike Banner, Steven Kinney, and Dasan Robinson have not been able to participate fully in pre-season training while recovering from injuries.  MLS’ revamped roster rules for 2011 allows teams to place injured players on a “Short Term Injury List” which would require those players to miss at least six regular season matches.  Kinney is a sure bet for this list since he is not expected back until May.  With first kick less than 20 days away it is conceivable that all three of these players could end up on the short term injury list allowing three of the trialists/draft picks to earn a spot on the opening day roster.  With only five healthy “signed” defenders an opportunity could arise for Open Tryout winner Pari Pantazopoulos to make the squad. 

Since the reserve league is returning I’m assuming that Dufty is safe as the third goalkeeper.  That leaves thirteen players battling for nine spots if the Fire are keeping the roster at the maximum thirty for now. 

Herrick, Paul, Yoximar, Videira, Pantazopoulos, Rivas, Muniz, Clark, Ferrari, Barouch, Taider, Maric, and Darko are the men on the bubble. 

The team currently has three international roster spots open so the the national standing of each trialist will become an issue while determining who stays and who goes.  Orr Barouch, who apparently is on trial as part of loan deal with an option to buy from Tigres has seemingly cemented a spot for himself with a four goal outburst against New York last week. As an added bonus, Barouch has a US green card and therefore will not count as an international.  Barouch was born in Israel before moving to Southern California, playing with Chivas USA’s academy, and signing with Tigres.

Colombian midfielder Yoximar and Croatian Marko Maric have also been impressive and figure to be part of the March 1 roster.  Assuming that those two capture two of the remaining three international spots that leaves Rivas, Taider, and Darko out of the picture if the Fire leave one international spot available for another foreign signing. It’s important to note that although the roster cut down date is set for March 1, it does not mean that the 30 men listed on the squad tomorrow will represent the final 30 on opening day.  Additions, subtractions and trades can still be made before First Kick 2011. 

Here’s a guess at the 30 man roster on March 1.

GK : Johnson, Conway, Dufty

D :  Anibaba, Gibbs, Mikulic, Robinson, Segares, Watson-Siriboe, Pantazopoulos, Muniz

M : Banner, Bone, Husidic, Nyarko, Paladini, Pappa, Pause, Pineda, Ristic, Maric, Yoximar, Videira

F : Carr, Puerari, Chaves, Barouch, Herrick, Paul, Ferrari

IR : Kinney  

Cut : Darko, Taider, Clark, Rivas



Afternoon Update 4 pm :

The Fire announced the release of draft pick Jason Herrick and trialists Kwame Obeng Darko, Nabil Taider, and Shane Clark.  The current roster stands at 31 players.   


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  • I think the roster will have 28 PLAYERS. CCC should be an indicator how this season goes. I say Pari and Ferrari don

  • My guesses were off by one....

    The Fire have released draft pick Jason Herrick and trialists Shane Clark, Nabil Taider, and Kwame Obeng Darko.

  • I think Ferrari looked decent and his young age i think helps, and he should have the technical ability DLC wants from playing in Serie B

  • In reply to lijien:

    He's also a bigger guy (6'-2")than the other options at forward which may give him an edge.

  • In reply to lijien:

    A word about Chicago soccer history....
    30 years ago tonight the Chicago Sting had hosted the Atlanta Chiefs in the stadium ( 3 days previous the Sting won 8-3 in Atlanta to take a 1-0 series lead ).
    The Sting on this night lost their first ever game at the Stadium 9-5 with Atlanta getting 4 goals from Keith Furphy. This set up a mini game in which Atlanta took a fast 1-0 lead on a goal that Billy Mishalow should have had. The first half of the mini game finished 1-0, Atlanta gets a quick goal to start the second half to take a 2-0 lead and the crowd was stunned. The Sting was not making anything happen and it looked bleak until with 3:51 left in the game when Karl Heinz Granitza put in a shot from right win to make it 2-1 Atlanta. Just a seconds later the Sting was awarded a direct free kick , Granitza took it and sent a blazing rocket into the upper right corner past keeper Lou Cioffi to tie the game and the 12,000 people were deafening loud, so loud that just 50 seconds later Atlanta put a ball in their own net to give the Sting a 3-2 lead , 40 seconds later Brett Hall iced the game with a goal from the top of the box and a 4-2 win for the Sting , the Sting scored 4 goals in under 2 minutes late in the game for a comeback that to this day I still have trouble believing and I was there to see it happen Granitza's free kick goal would follow him outdoors as he did this many times in the 1981 Sting soccer Bowl Championship run.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    Nice Doug. I was a bit young to remember this, but I do remember great memories of the Sting while young. It's too bad they didn't make it longer term.

  • In reply to Drew:

    Doug remembers more about the Sting than I think the Sting do....the guy is a walking Sting encyclopedia.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I used to think Pato Margetic's Mullet remembered more about the Sting than Doug and then I read this entry and saw that Pato's mullet is no more and am now in agreement with GR. Good work Doug, your story made me feel like I was there. I'm too young to remember Sting games but I do remember being booed by the entire Rosemont Horizon during a Power game when I told the walking PA announcer that I didn't think the Power were coming back from a 5 goal deficit with 3 minutes left. Stupid 2 point/goal line...

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Thank you , I am glad I was able to recreate the game for you.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Thank you , that is a very nice complement.
    You are the MLS encyclopedia for sure .
    This goes to remind everyone just how deep the history of soccer in Chicago is.
    It would be great if the Fire could win MLS cup this year on the 30 tear anniversary of the 1981 Sting soccer bowl title.

  • In reply to Drew:

    I still say the move to Rosemont in 1986 halted the momentum of the franchise. Even when Cubs won their division in 1984 the Sting was still drawing very good and when the Bears won the Super Bowl in 1985 the Sting still was averaging 14,000 during the Bears' run. They thought their fans were in Rosemont and it did not work out.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    I don't remember this game but I do remember going to see a game where they had over 19,000. It also featured a late comeback and was absolutely electric. For some reason, I think it was Mark Simanton or one of the other Americans that hit a key goal. I think this was after the Soccer Bowl victory.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Doug, I believe I was either 7 or 8 years old at the time. My dad was the secretary on the board for the ISSA (Illinois State Soccer Association) and the lady doing the PA worked at the office and knew my dad so she "randomly" picked me to ask. I was booed by a large crowd and the Power came back in electric fashion. This prompted the old, drunk guys around me to taught me for not believing in the Power. Good times!

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Nice story , we soccer fans have alot of great memories and the sport is on the right track.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words about my Sting report.
    Since it was very well received , I will open the history books and give a game summary for each game the day it happened 30 years ago to tribute the 1981 Soccer Bowl winners.
    I will review the 1981 indoor championship series against Edmonton next week and then get back on it in April , the Sting opened the 1981 outdoor season in Tulsa's Skelly stadium.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    Possible Have Your Say feature?

  • In reply to cesba:

    That would be cool

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:


  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    Thank you, FireStingDoug for the fond memories of Indoor Season
    I was at those games with my son. I also attended the Out Door Games of the Sting with my family. I remember The Sting playing the New
    York Cosmos at Wrigley Field and beating them in front of 44,000 Fans. Those were the "Good Old Days" That's why I get so frustrated with the Current Fire Front Office Staff from Julian Posada on down. If they only knew how to do their job "There is no reason why the Fire can't have the kind of the attendance the Sting enjoyed." The Soccer Fan base in Chicago has grown since the Sting. Too bad our present Fire Staff doesn't understand how to
    tap into that Large Soccer Fan Base that exists in Chicago and surrounding Suburbs.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    The Sting had some good crowds but, my recollection is that, for the most part they struggled to get 10K. There was a short period when they were a fad (and I think MLB was on strike).

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Here's the Sting's average attendance for outdoor play over the course of their history.


  • In reply to oliotya:

    Here's their average indoor attendance:

    80/81 6,164
    81/82 13,322
    82/83 9,201
    83/84 11,974
    84/85 10,628
    85/86 7,345
    86/87 5,879
    87/88 5,977

    I think they moved to Rosemont in '84.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Here's an odd trivia fact. I think therer was a period when the outdoor NASL was fading and the indoor was gaining strength that a team (I believe it was the San Diego Sockers) had an indoor playoff game and an outdoor regular season game on the same day or close to it. The Sockers at that time were more interested in the indoor product so they must have slapped 11 guys on the field for that outdoor game. My how times have changed (for the better).

  • In reply to oliotya:

    You are right on , this game was the finale of the 1981-82 indoor NASL season coming off the 1981 soccer bowl.
    The game matched up the 11-6 Sting and the 11-6 Tampa Bay Rowdies with the winner of the game winning the Central Division and the #1 seed for the whole playoffs.
    The 4th quarter of that game saw Tampa have a 8-4 lead and in full control when all of a sudden the Sting scored 4 goals in just under 3 minutes to tie the game, 1 minute later indeed it was Mark Simanton who gave the Sting a 9-8 lead , that Stadium was going insane !
    However , with one minute left Tampa tied the game and it went to overtime where Charlie Fajkus won it for the Sting. To this day this may have been the best indoor game ever played from a skill standpoint and also with the emotion of the crowd. Rudy Glenn missed the game with an injury but a short time ago when I spoke with him he told me that there was no doubt in his mind in that 4th quarter that they were going to win that game. The Sting went on to play Tulsa in the first round, Granitza would miss game one in Tulsa due to a swollen like a balloon ankle.
    Doug , you were right , 2 Americans scored the tying goal and winning goal.

  • In reply to lijien:

    Fire won the coin flip and will host Colorado in the US Open Cup qualifying game. Date is still TBA.

  • In reply to cesba:

    If the season started, my guess is Puerari, Chaves, Carr, Ferrari and Paul since they need depth in forward. The one that surprised me that Herrick was among the roster cuts. What are the chances that Barouch make the final roster coming from an unknown?

  • In reply to longoria3:

    What are the chances that Barouch making the final roster coming out of no where?

  • In reply to longoria3:

    I'd say the chances are excellent.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    I wouldn't say Barouch was out of no where, a few years ago, there were reports of many clubs after him... Wonder what Chivas saw to make them give up on him.. or maybe it was just Preki and the kid couldn't do 502984308403984 wind sprints in a row..

  • In reply to longoria3:

    agree, they definately need to add forwards in addition to what they have signed, with only 3 signed, they are pretty thin there.

    overall midfield depth is pretty good, but who is filling the attacking midfield role is the question

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Expecting an announcement on some of the trialists being signed some time soon.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Sporting KC has traded Jack Jewsbury to Portland for allocation money.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I wonder this was a salary dump by SKC. Jewsbury was one their key players from that team with Harrington, Bravo, Nielsen, Arnaud, Kamara, Bunbury and Smith.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Could be salary related seeing that Jewsbury made $145K last year...either way it doesn't bode well for Peter Lowry's playing time in Portland.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    I too was surprised to see Herrick released. GR do you think Herrick will get picked up by another MLS club or a second tier team?

  • In reply to roscoe4342:

    I would think he'll get a shot somewhere...either MLS bench or NASL/USL.

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