It's been an odd week or so at the corner of 71st and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, Illinois. Marco Pappa is out. The Fire decided to take the transfer fee from Dutch club SC Heerenveen instead of keeping his MLS rights. There were rumors swirling about that this was because they were interested in Carlos Bocanegra, which you know by now signed with Racing in the Liga Adelante; the Spanish second division.
Orr Barouch was supposed to go to Israeli club Beni Yehuda Tel Aviv on loan, that never happened and he is still with the club. Steven Goff spoke to him and he had some reveling things to say about the botched deal.
"Just spoke w/Fire F Orr Barouch. Says #MLS blocked loan to Israeli club. Had travel plans set. Still training with Chicago. (via @SoccerInsider- Steven Goff's Twitter)
In between all this transfer madness, some may have forgotten there’s still a game to be played on Sunday.One would think that losing a key player like Marco Pappa during the middle of preparation week for a big Conference matchup wold make them consider changing strategy. Not so says Frank Klopas. "We knew this day was going to come. One of the reasons we he had the opportunity to bring Flaco in. And with him and Nyarko, we have three very good players who are going to be able to rotate in."
Houston, as we know, is tough. They went in to Tegucigalpa, Honduras tied on points but down in goal differential, and came away with a draw, playing a little over 30 minutes down a man, as Nathan Sturgis was sent off early in the second half. "Obviously you're traveling at this point it takes it's toll." The Gaffer said. "But they know it's an important game , and with them and us it will be a battle.
"But we know them very well. They'll be good on set pieces, and they defend very well." He continued to say. "We have to use our ability to stay back and our ability in transition to attack their back line, because I feel they're not as fast in the back." Frank said. "We have to bring energy. For 90 minutes, from the start to finish. It's all about our will; We have to impose our will on them, and we have to want it more then they do."
-Training once again was Logan Pause, and he looked so happy to be out there, and said as much. "I'm just happy and blessed to be here today playing and feeling better. And I'm just going to take it day by day."
-In case you didn't know, Calen Carr returns to Toyota Park Sunday and he's scored 6 goals in 14 appearances this season! I asked Logan Pause about how it feels to see his good friend again. " The word I'd use for him is perseverance. He battled some serious injuries today it's great to see him starting and scoring goals. I'm really proud of him and happy for him. But of course, I want to keep him at bay this weekend."
-The rumors about the Fire having conversations with Carlos Bocanegra to bring him back into the fold were true, and Frank Klopas went on record saying as much."We tried, and we always try. But it's dificult." Klopas said. "If I were in that position, I wouldn't trade it unless I knew what player was coming in... But yes, we did try"