Heading into the Philadelphia match on Saturday Carlos De Los Cobos isn’t anticipating many changes to the line up that has won approximately 65% of the possesssion battle over the last two games. De Los Cobos seemed enthusiastic about the performance of midfielders Corben Bone and Daniel Paladini. “All players in the world need time. Time to get experience. Corben isn’t the exception. He’s very good with the ball and is a very good distributor of the ball. With Daniel in midfield this gives us an opportunity to have good distribution of the ball and keep the ball. Efficiency is important and these guys have it.” said De Los Cobos.
When asked whether team captain Logan Pause would return to the line up if healthy the Fire coach indicated he would stay with the line up as is for now. “If he’s healthy, I want to keep the guys who are making a good job (now). Logan is always important for me. For that reason I named him captain. It’s normal and sometimes happens. He was out three weeks and the team is playing good. I think I’ll always need Logan, he’s a good leader in the group. He’s a smart guy, he understands the situation and he’ll keep working to return to play.”
Pause returned to full training for the first time in three weeks today and felt good after practice. “The hamstring feels great,” said Pause. “The last couple days I’ve been easing in and let the reins loose today. No issues. If you ask me now, it feels 100% but there’s a little bit of a test later today. We’ll see tomorrow how it feels.”
“I’m assuming ther won’t be any setbacks. I’ll be ready to go from my end. It’s up to Carlos and his staff to decided whether I’m in there or not. I’ll be ready if I’m called.” Pause was also impressed and supportive of the play of Paladini and Bone over the last few games, “More than I can say they deserve an opportunity to play. I’m proud of them and they’ve done well.”
In other news:
- Jon Conway will start against the Union on Saturday. “Jon will play. He had an accident on the second goal but he made a very good/great save when we were losing 2-1 and this gave us an opportunity to tie,” said De Los Cobos.
- Cristian Nazirit will travel and be available for selection. The coach would like to push to get him some minutes if possible.
- Pause will be re-evaluated tomorrow after a full training session today.
- Diego Chaves has a foot contusion and was held out of training for precautionary reasons.
- Josip Mikulic will not travel but did train. His shoulder injury has not healed 100% and the team will be cautious before returning him to the line up in lieu of Yamith Cuesta’s play.
- Patrick Nyarko is also improving from concussions symptoms.
- De Los Cobos seemed confident that his team is improving and on the verge of turning ties into victories. “We’re not winning but we’re close. I believe this. We’re close to winning (games). Maybe this Saturday. Why not?”