Training Scrimmage

From @samstejskal via Twitter:

Fire in 11 v. 11 scrimmage.

1st Team: Johnson; Segares, Gibbs, Mikulic, Anibaba; Ristic, Baggio, Pause, Pappa; Carr, Amani Walker

4-4-2 with Carr playing a little underneath Walker

Paladini (2nd team) looked good and Anibaba had a couple flashes.

Apart from Paladini, Nyarko looked relatively dangerous, Bone showed decently, and Walker and Carr each scored.

More after the break...

Not many 1st team surprises except perhaps Mikulic and Walker. Walker was the team's first pick in the Supplemental Draft at #9. This could be an indication of the absence of options at the forward position (he's the only forward on the roster taller than 6 feet), or an indication of a good find late in the draft (he beat out forwards Jason Herrick and Davis Paul, the team's 2nd and 3rd pick in the SuperDraft). Recent addition Gaston Puerari arrived in camp and began training on Monday, but has likely not been around long enough to earn a spot on the 1st team just yet. The player who will not be named will also hopefully add some depth at this position.

I find the midfield encouraging and the first word that comes to mind is consistency. I think we know what we can expect from our midfielders and I expect them to bring the same thing every game. They may not be the most creative of playmakers or the most impressive of ball handlers, but they will hold their own. Paladini from the Carolina Railhawks also seems to be making a good showing in camp so far. Paladini Highlights, in case you missed them.

Some holes in defense seem to have been patched this offseason with Gibbs and Anibaba showing a lot of promise. Mikulic we have not seen much of but notable and familiar names not on the 1st team for this scrimmage are Kinney, Banner, Robinson, and Watson-Siriboe. Banner, Robinson, and Kinney are still recovering from injury.

Klopas mentioned earlier that the team would probably end camp with a 28 man roster unless there was just too much potential, then max 30. At my latest count: 14 trialists remain, 4 unsigned draft picks remain, and 21 names are currently listed on the roster (Umanzor is one, though he is rumored to be heading out on loan). That leaves a total of 8 spots, or 10 players yet to be cut (7 and 11 if you count the pending international signing), and Klopas has stated that the team plans to make multiple cuts before heading to Florida next week. Amani Walker has likely secured one of those spots and I expect Alec Dufty to fill the 3rd keeper position. That leaves room for 5 more trialists/unsigned draft picks. Herrick and Paul seem likely candidates to make the cut. Predictions?

A cheap team, perhaps... but they say the best things in life are free. For a rebuilding year, this faithful Fire fan is cautiously optimistic.

Photos of today's training session including new arrival Gaston Puerari

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