It's time for another Wednesday hat trick and QOTD. With the MLS season fast approaching, excitement is building for the 2012 Fire campaign. It is likely the most of the players on the team right now will be on the opening day roster, but there could be an interesting development or two before the season starts. This especially holds true since the Fire don't play during the first week of the season. Frank Klopas has stated he fully expects to add a CB before the season starts. One would assume the sooner, the better so they have more time to practice with the team. There are a couple of other interesting developments that could involve the Fire too. Join me after the break for the hat trick and to put your 2 cents in with the QOTD...
1. In a previous hat trick here on HTIOT, we talked about the SPL club Rangers going into administration. Well, their plan to defer player wages was rejected by the administrators, and now players are going to have to leave the club. Gregg Wylde and Mervan Celik have already left the club. Strong rumors are floating around that Americans Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, and of course Carlos Bocanegra all leaving the club. Understandably, the Fire (pun intended) is being stoked again for us cf97 fans who dream of seeing Boca back in Fire Red. Don't forget about Bedoya, he is no slouch either. Unfortunately, I don't see Edu or Bedoya ending up in MLS, but I could be mistaken. It seems increasingly likely that MLS is the destination for one Carlos Bocanegra though.
The challenge if Boca does return will be getting him to the Fire. The Vancouver Whitecaps were interested in acquiring Carlos before he went to Rangers, and are interested in him again. They now sit at the top of the MLS allocation order. My feelings about this ridiculous allocation system are well known, so I won't get into that again. Suffice it to say, the Fire would have to move up to the top spot to assure they acquire Boca. Just like the Fire had to pay to acquire Brian McBride (who wanted to come back and only play for Chicago anyway), they would have to pay a hefty sum to trade spots with Vancouver. The question is how high the price would be. The players cuts at Rangers are expected to continue imminently, so we should have some breaking news on these players in the next day or two.
2. Even though we have to wait an extra week to kick off our 2012 MLS campaign, the Fire will kick off the new campaign with a bang. According to this article, 41,000 tickets have been sold for the Fire/Impact matchup on March 17th at Olympic Stadium. The Fire are well known for opening other team's new stadiums or playing them in places that give significant advantage to the other side, which seems like a big disadvantage for the Men in Red. The flip side of this is that the Fire get to experience loud (and sometimes hostile) environments. To me, this experience can only be a good thing. It does seem as if the MLS has an unwritten rule that the Fire are the only teams that can open new or big stadiums. That's fine by me if we are always the first team that comes to mind to undertake these tasks. It's certainly good when our beloved club is in demand for high profile events.
3. In case you missed it, the Fire have signed draft pick Hunter Jumper to a contract. This is great news for Hunter and for the team. Jumper has impressed at the Combine, as well as preseason play. He did so well that Frank raved about his play and ended up ending the trial of Ivan Guerrero, who was doing well himself this preseason. That's how much confidence Hunter instilled in Frank that he was the right man for the job. He will also provide valuable cover on the back line at LB behind Gonzalo Segares, which is further good news for the club as it was lacking depth at LB. Welcome to the Fire Hunter!
Question of the Day