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August 2010 Archives

Now Ljungberg must sit

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The Fire played without its best defensive player in Saturday's 2-1 loss at Seattle when Wilman Conde had to serve a one-game suspension for yellow card points accumulation. Now offensive spark Freddie Ljungberg will have to miss a game for the same reason.
Ljungberg can't play in Saturday's home game against the Los Angeles Galaxy, meaning coach Carlos de los Cobos will have to shuffle his midfield during this week's training sessions. A potential offensive boost could come from Nery Castillo, who didn't make the trip to Seattle. A designated player like Ljungberg, Castillo has been slow to regain his fitness since joining the Fire and spent the weekend home working on his conditioning. The Fire would also be helped by the return of leading goal-scorer Marco Pappa. He made the trip to Seattle but didn't play, apparently because he was nursing a sore hamstring.

The Fire had two surprises when coach Carlos de los Cobos determined his travel roster for Saturday night's game at Seattle. Nery Castillo wasn't on it, but John Thorrington was.
Castillo, the first Designated Player signed by the Fire this season, still isn't fit. That was obvious in his brief game appearances since joining the Fire. He was a second-half substitute in his first appearance and played only the first half of two other matches. Castillo has been doing extra work after practices to achieve game fitness and he'll go through more extensive training under fitness coach Alvaro Briones when the team is squaring off with the Sounders.
Thorrington, meanwhile, is finally recovered from a quadricep injury that has kept him out of every game this season. He'll be on the game roster for the first time at Seattle -- a place that doesn't bring back good memories. Thorrington was ejected for drawing two yellow cards in the Fire's first visit to Seattle last season. Also ejected in that game was Freddie Ljungberg, then a member of the Sounders and now the midfield leader for the Fire. Ljungberg was the second Designated Player acquired by the Fire this season.

When the Fire visits Seattle on Saturday night there'll be some major changes in the defensive end. Right back Dasan Robinson isn't likely to play due to a hamstring injury and Wilman Conde, the All-Star central defender, will serve a yellow card suspension.
Robinson will be replaced by up-and-coming rookie Steven Kinney, but coach Carlos de los Cobos isn't sure how he'll cover for Conde. One option would be to move left back Gonzalo Segares to the middle and return Krzysztof Krol to the lineup on the left side. Segares has played in the middle before -- prior to his five-month stint playing in Cyprus.
Then too, de los Cobos could opt to keep Segares on the left and bring in rookie Kwame Watson-Siriboe to play opposite veteran C.J. Brown in the middle. Still another option would be to play Krol and Segares at the same time, with Krol playing as the central defender.

The Fire may be done with its international matches for this season, but a big one will be coming to Soldier Field on Oct. 7. The U.S. national team will take on Poland in that one.
A goal by ex-Fire player Carlos Bocanegra in the 88th minute gave the U.S. a 1-1 draw with Poland on July 11, 2004, at Soldier Field in a match that drew 40,000. The teams last met on March 26, 2008, with the U.S. romping 3-0 in Krakow, Poland.
The U.S. and Poland have met 16 times since 1924. The U.S. has a 7-7-2 record in those meetings.

Major League Soccer's Home Grown Player Initiative has been in effect since 2007, but The Fire didn't take advantage of it until signing midfielder Victor Pineda. He'll be available for Wednesday's home game against the New England Revolution.
Each MLS team can sign two home grown players and they won't be counted against the 24-man roster.
Pineda, 17, worked his way through the Fire Player Development system and was a key member of the team that won the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-16 national championship this summer. The Fire was the first MLS club to win that title.
The 5-11, 140-pound Pineda, who lives in Bolingbrook, played at Plainfield East High School and spent two seasons with the Chicago Fire Juniors and three with the Chicago Fire Academy, where he had eight goals and two assists in 28 games.
He also was in the U.S. U-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla., in 2008 and 2009 and was called up to the U.S. U-18 team for a trip to Argentina.
Pineda isn't the Fire's first home grown player. Brian McBride grew up in Buffalo Grove before going on to a great international career.

Nyarko's out again

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The Fire gave forward Patrick Nyarko a long break to recover from concussion-like symptoms before and during Major League Soccer's All-Star break, but it apparently wasn't enough.
Nyarko, one of the Fire's best offensive threats in the first half of the season, helped out in the 3-2 win at Los Angeles in the first game after the break, but his symptom surfaced again during training last week. He didn't suit up for the New York game and a team staffer said the club will be very cautious in assessing Nyarko's availability in coming weeks.
Injuries were a problem during the first half, but Calen Carr -- who still hasn't played in a match -- was on the game sheet for the meeting with the Red Bulls. John Thorrington remains out of training, as has been the case all season, with a leg injury suffered in preseason training.

Tim Ward, a veteran defender, has been traded to the San Jose Earthquakes for a conditional selection in the 2011 Major League Soccer draft. Ward was a starter at right back early in the season before being shelved by an injury. He couldn't regain his job after Dasan Robinson got himself healthy and established himself as an effective starter.
Ward played six seasons in MLS after being drafted 12th overall by the New York MetroStars in 2005. A native of Waukesha, Wis., Ward joined the Fire in 2009 and appeared in 25 games, getting three assists.

Whether new designated player Nery Castillo will make his debut with the Fire on Sunday is uncertain, but the Mexico-born forward has completed the paperwork necessary for him to play with his new team. Castillo, who had been living in Greece and playing for a variety of European clubs, began practicing with the Fire last week but didn't make the trip to Los Angeles for last weekend's game against the Galaxy. Technical director Frank Klopas said that both Castillo and Freddie Ljungberg, the second designated player signed in the last two weeks, would be available for selection against the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Park. As was the case with Ljungberg, Castillo hasn't played in games recently and the Fire will evaluate his fitness level before determining when he will enter the lineup.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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