The Fire will go into next Saturday's match against the Montreal Impact without several key players. David Accam, Joevin Jones, and Matt Polster are all first team selections that will be out due to international duty. The Fire have two games in Montreal on the schedule and a win in this game can put more pressure on the Impact who are clinging to hopes that their games in hand advantage on everyone else will result in a playoff qualification.
With thirteen games remaining in the season, time will do some damage to the Fire's playoff dreams but a nearly complete and healthy roster showed what they're capable of on Sunday night. A 2-0 win over the top team in the Western Conference and a club that had won five consecutive matches highlighted much of what Frank Yallop has planned for but hasn't been able to implement completely through the team's first 21 games.
The Fire made the deal official this morning, announcing that Didier Drogba had signed a contract with MLS and was traded to Montreal in exchange for a king's ransom in general allocation money and newly created target allocation money. The acquisition of former Toronto FC forward Gilberto was also finalized and he will be added to the roster as a Designated Player.
The Fire won't have long to savor Saturday night's victory over the Seattle Sounders. A big "home and home" set of games with Eastern Conference rival Columbus lies ahead. The Fire will host on Wednesday night and then travel to Ohio for a rematch on Sunday afternoon. A full complement of players won't be available yet with Shaun Maloney and Jeff Larentowicz both still definitely out but there is some progress being made on Maloney's end.
The Fire desperately needed a win. Not only because of where they stand in the table but Chicago had never beaten the Seattle Sounders (0-6-3) since they entered the league as an expansion team in 2009. Playing at home against a Seattle side missing Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey, and Marco Pappa seemed as good a time as any even though the Fire were without David Accam, Shaun Maloney, Joevin Jones, and Jeff Larentowicz.
Both Sean Johnson and David Accam participated in full training yesterday morning. Frank Yallop told reporters in his weekly conference call that he won't rush Accam back and will continue to monitor his progress in practice this week before deciding on his status for the upcoming San Jose game. Joevin Jones started in left midfield against the Whitecaps and played well enough to possibly get other looks when Accam isn't available.
Frank Yallop met with local media this afternoon to discuss the opening night loss in Los Angeles and the upcoming home opener against the Vancouver Whitecaps. He discussed an array of topics including injuries, style of play, and the salary budget ramifications of the new CBA. Here's the rundown: On injuries David Accam has resumed training although it's only light work right now.
The Fire played to a 0-0 draw with Bob Bradley's Stabaek IF but the bigger story on the night is injuries. David Accam finally made his debut with the team after missing the first phase of camp on national team duty but left the match in the 62nd minute with an apparent injury just before he was about to be subbed off.
The Fire returned to Chicago Monday after Sunday's draw against the Philadelphia Union, as they prepare to take on the Colorado Rapids this Saturday at Toyota Park. Tuesday afternoon, the conversation on Fire head coach Frank Yallop's weekly conference call was weighted towards the rumors of Shaun Maloney departing Chicago for Hull City, but Yallop also gave reporters an update on the Fire's DP injury woes, as well as staying positive in the face of increasing frustration and lack of wins.
Jason Johnson rewards Frank Yallop with effort, a goal, and abighug. (photo via Chicago-Fire.com)
"Winning Cures All Ills" may be a cliche, but it's never seemed more applicable than this weekend atToyota Park.DespiteSection 8's "bannergate,"Head Coach Frank Yallop's job security, "#HauptmanOut," injury troubles, transfer window scrutiny, and Bridgeview finances,all anyone wouldtake away fromSaturday was the spark provided by a rejuvenated Mike Magee, Patrick Nyarko, and Michael Stephens and the clutchfinishingof Jason Johnson that delivered the Chicago Fire their first victory over the Seattle Sounders ever.
This week we talk with Sean Spence of Hot Time in Old Town, SB Nation's Chicago Fire blog, about the upcoming match between the Fire and the Philadelphia Union.
tBG) The Chicago Fire have undergone some pretty dramatic lineup changes since last season. Is the slow start the club has gotten off to in 2015 due to the club not gelling as much as necessary, or are people starting to second guess some of the personnel moves?
Frank Yallop didn't identify which player he was referring to when he said he was trying to avoid another "Jermaine Jones" situation while waiting for a decision on whether or not said player was going to accept an offer to play in Chicago but it's not hard to figure out who that might be. Chelsea forward Didier Drogba is still a possibility but at this point the Fire are still in a wait and see holding pattern.
Another late game collapse at home has pushed the Fire into ninth place it the Eastern Conference. During his weekly conference call on Monday afternoon, Frank Yallop told reporters that the team used the usual post game meeting to discuss more than just the result. Urgency and coming together to solve the problems that have plagued the team this season in seven losses is now vitally important with one-third of the season gone.
This was the type of attack that Frank Yallop likely envisioned this offseason while piecing together a rebuilt side. The Fire were dangerous from start to finish of this match, scored three goals and probably should have scored more. The return of Shaun Maloney and David Accam together provided the spark that had been missing through most of the first four games of the year.
This is certainly not the start that Frank Yallop was looking for and definitely not one that the Fire can afford. The inability to take advantage of anything at home coupled with late defensive lapses was of major concern last season and this home opener did nothing to assure anyone that those struggles have been left behind.
Frank Yallop's weekly press conference call centered around the impending transfer of Shaun Maloney to Hull City. On Monday, Yallop said that he hoped the deal would be completed within the next "24-48" hours. The reasons for moving Maloney continued to be a topic of conversation and Yallop clarified the Fire's side of the story.
The Fire averted what could have been an embarrassing US Open Cup disaster by squeaking past USL side Louisville City FC 1-0 in overtime. Quincy Amarikwa, who squandered countless opportunities throughout the night, scored the game winner in the 116thminute. While standing in the way of Guly do Prado's shot attempt, Amarikwa redirected the ball with his head past goalkeeper Scott Goodwin.
The Fire will look to take the first step on the road to a fifth US Open Cup title tonight with a fourth round match against USL side Louisville City FC. Frank Yallop told reporters during his weekly conference call on Monday morning that he will likely field a mostly first choice line-up against the third division team.
Here's a rundown of the news and notes following the Fire's first victory of the season. Frank Yallop covered a lot bases in his weekly media conference call. Perez joins the team Midfielder Victor Perez was in town this weekend to witness the team's first win of the season and suited up for training this morning.
Harry shares the sports memorabilia in his old house. (via Chipotle's Being Homegrown)
Near the end of the Fire's third loss in a rowlast Saturday, Alexi Lalas doubled-down on his flattery of second year stand-out Harry Shipp by suggesting thathewas the Fire's only "real" DP, and further stating thatHarry may be"Too Good" to play for Chicago.
The Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps played to a 1-1 draw thanks to a late tying goal from trialist Shahdon Winchester leaving the team with a 1-0-4 preseason record. Draws in practice matches aren't a big concern and Frank Yallop is fairly happy with the team's progress going into the start of the season.
The third draw in four preseason matches may raise some eyebrows after last season's record breaking number of ties but Frank Yallop was happier with the performance in this match than he was after Sunday's draw against Stabaek."I thought the performance was very good in all departments," said Yallop after the match.