Thursday, January 17, 2013

SuperDraft 2013 Aftermath

So on Thursday the SuperDraft came and went and here is a little recap of the action that we saw the past couple days:
  • Fire traded pick #11, allocation money, and international slot to Colorado for Jeff Larentowicz and pick #30 on Wednesday.
  • The Fire in turn selected Yazid Atouba Emane with pick #30. Good pick because we are thin on the wing position. Various reports say he is still rough and needs time to develop, but at 20 years old he possesses good speed and technical ability. He apparently had a good week at the combine. You can read up on the Cameroonian youth player here.
  • Rumblings at the draft had Columbus and the Fire talking trade potentially involing Oduro from the Fire and Duka from the Crew.
  • Other rumblings from the Fire camp is that Pardo is contemplating retiring within the next couple weeks. This makes the Larentowicz trade make sense. Pardo being 36 and Jeff L.(yeah I'm not used to his last name so I'm going to call him Jeff L.) only 29, makes Jeff a capable replacement. I hope that Jeff does well and we can forget about his history with the Revolution.
  • With the trade that brought Jeff L. and the trade that brought us Lindpere we gave up 2 of our international slots. The Fire currently have 6 international slots and 5 are filled with Tornaghi, Macdonald, Alex, Friedrich, and Pardo. If our draft pick makes the team, which it sounds like he may, then he will also occupy an international slot.
Well that's all for now, stay tuned for more musing here and over at Hot Time in Old Town in the coming weeks as training camps begin league wide and the possibility of more trades and signings.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Squad Depth????

So I'll make this really quick. Thanks to Guillermo Rivera for pointing it out over at Fire Confidential, apparently the Fire are sending Alvaro Fernandez to Al Rayyan of the Qatar Stars League. To make a long story short if true, this leaves the Fire with 1 true winger in Patrick Nyarko. Frank and company better have something up their sleeve because that leaves an opening in the starting line up on the wing. With the current roster we have, in my opinion, we do not have someone that can fill that position. Some will say put Oduro out wide and I say no, he is in no way a winger that can cross effectively and create chances like Nyarko. Maybe put Pause out there? No thanks, he does not have the pace to match some of the outside backs in this league. Rolfe? Well we already tried that when Hamlett was around and that worked to a point and we are better off with Rolfe up top period. So what do the Fire do? What ever it is they now have another open international slot open and a mess of cap space freed up. Fire it is now your move and hopefully you get something done before the season starts on March 3rd. Well keep looking here and over at HTIOT for more of my musings.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Fire Makes a Move and Some Other Stuff

So the Fire made their first roster move of 2013. They traded a international roster spot to New Jersey for their Estonian midfielder Joel Lindpere. You can read all about it here. To me this is a good move. I'm not going to use the term "great" because we still have to wait and see how it actually works on the field. In the meantime I'll explain why it is a good move. Lindpere gives that box to box mid that could work well with either Pause or Pardo. He is a definite work horse that has experience in the league and also plenty of international experience with the Estonian national team. With this move he gives us more depth in the middle of the park so possibly we can move away from that 2 defensive mid formation. He also has a green card which is a definite bonus. Hopefully this works out for the team and pushes us into a better position than last year.

Well one thing that I have to point out with this club is their ambition. When Javier Leon talked about the acquisition of Lindpere here, his quote was:

"Joel is a versatile, dependable player that has proven himself in MLS,” said Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon. “He will provide a dynamic presence to our team in 2013 as we look to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs.”

Now this quote is coming from the president of soccer operations and my thing is are the goals of the Fire remaining the same as last season? Last season's goal was to make the playoffs and they did by limping in and then crashing out. Leon says they look to return to the playoffs? Why not look into winning back the Open Cup or challenging for the supporters shied? Why is just getting into the playoffs good enough? Is this a case of setting your goals low so they are easier to achieve? Enough about that.

Now that the Fire have made a move they still have to add depth along the back line. I'm guessing they will be adding this depth through the draft and also hoping that those that were drafted last year are ready to become capable backups to the starters. We will see as the Fire look to start camp in a couple weeks.

One more thing, while I was watching the United vs. West Ham FA Cup tie earlier in the afternoon, I wondered to myself, why the Fire did not throw an offer towards Joe Cole? At 31 and still capable of playing at a high level he could have been that DP to take the Fire's midfield and make it one of the strongest on the league. Plus he was available on a free transfer non the less. Then I remembered he is not #keanelikemoney or #puppolikemoney.

Well that's all from me tonight, keep looking for musings from me here and also over at HTIOT.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What I want for the 2013 season.

As we sit and open presents and share Christmas cheer with our loved ones, I can't help but think of some wishes for the beloved CF97. Well here are just a few of my wishes:

1. To have our cup back. We need to get the Open Cup back home in Chicago. We found out last year that no matter the opponent we have to take it seriously. I will never forget the words of my dad "No matter who you are playing and no matter the tournament you always put the best team on the field that you can".

2. The next thing on my list is that the Fire finally acquiring the CAM and proven goal scorer that this team needs. We may have the goal scorer position already filled if we keep Rolfe playing up top with Macdonald. In order to do that we need a proper CAM that can take over and create those chances so we can let Rolfe and Macdonald do their thing.

3. The final thing on my list is that the Fire set their sights higher. In 2012 Frank and company said their goal was to make the playoffs. Now that that goal has been achieved maybe they can have set their sights on the top of the league and the MLS cup. I hope they do this because I for one am tired of mediocrity. Mid-table is not good enough for a team that set a standard by winning the double in their first year. It's about time that we get back to that standard and accept nothing less.

Well that's it, I hope all of you have a great holidays and hope that there will be great things for us fans and the club in 2013. Look for more from me here and also at Hot Time in Old Town.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Season Opener and Home Opener Announced as Well as Some Other News

This week the MLS released the home openers for all 19 teams which you can find here. Also CONCACAF announced the Champions League quarterfinal dates here. So what does this mean for Frank and the boys? We travel to LA to take on the defending MLS Cup champion on March 3rd. This would be a good chance to see what the 2013 versn of the Fire will be like. The interesting thing is that LA may choose to rest players before their clash against Herediano in Coasta Rica on the 7th. On the 9th we will get to fill Toyota Park for the home opener versus Chad Barrett and the New England Revolution, followed by a visit to Kansas City on the 14th. Right now I'm calling 5 or more points from the first 3 games a good thing.

Some quickies:
  • Julian Posada has left the Fire. Question is when did he show up?
  • SKC signed a DP in forward Claudio Bieler. Never heard of him? Neither have I.
  • New Jersey has signed Juninho but still no coach
Well thats it for now, I will doing fewer posts on here in the future as I will be contributing some articles over at Hot Time In Old Town. So look over there for my musings, but I will still try to post here on a regular basis.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

1st Phase Has Come and Gone........Wait What?

So the 1st phase of the quasi free agency draft happened yesterday afternoon and there was only one selection that took place. The Fire selected Maicon Dos Santos in the 1st phase. Now earlier this week I had highlighted one of the players that I could see that could help the Fire out and Maicon was one of them. I just did not expect them to select him in the first phase. What this means is that the Fire now have a player that they can make an offer to and that offer basically has to match what his option would have been for the 2013 season. According to the MLSPU Maicon made roughly $113K in 2012 and I assume that is about what he was slated for in 2013.

Now do I like this move? Yes, but I also have a reservation about it also. Now Maicon showed early in the 2012 season that he could be deadly from outside the box. He scored a couple goals for DC that were absolute rockets from 20 yards or more out. He can handle the physically side of the game and as a bench player he should be able to provide a spark coming into games in the 2nd half. Now there are some downsides to Maicon. He has shown inconsistency over the years which has led him to being bounced around the league. I think that the inconsistency is something that can hurt this team but, using Oduro as an example, maybe Maicon just needs a different situation to be in to thrive. This move also provides cover at forward since we all know that Franco is not going to be back with the team in 2013. Well that's all I have time for today but look for my next thoughts to be about why the transfer market maybe be a bit barren for the Fire and trying to predict what Frank has in mind for 2013.