With the recent signing of Cristian Nazarit, the Chicago Fire have filled the roster and used the final international slot. A lot of people have taken note at the large number of forwards we have now, and that our defense is still lacking in discipline and health. Given that, why did we pick up Nazarit, another forward, instead of adding to our depth defensively? Well, when you find a good deal, especially on young attacking talent, you make the move. The problem we have now is we'll likely need to trade someone away in order to beef up the backline. Who should go? Follow after the jump to find out.
Right now we have a bunch of unproven forwards, a ton of midfield pieces, but defensively we're a bit hobbled and weak. Josip Mikulic and Cory Gibbs have suffered with injuries, Dasan Robinson has looked to be off the pace of the game a bit, and Yamith Cuesta is still somewhat prone to rookie mistakes. Meanwhile, Kwame Watson-Sirboe seems to have completely fallen out of grace with Coach de los Cobos. We just netted our first clean sheet of the season last night, but we're still one injury away from absolute disaster at the back.
To me, the logical step is to move one of our midfield pieces, in order to get ourselves some more defensive support. Trade's are always difficult though. You don't want to give away too much, and fans tend to get a bit upset by trades, especially when sending away a fan favorite. That said, for the good of the team, trades end up being necessary at times. The question is, who do you send away? With our strikers being unproven or necessary to our survival, I don't see any of them being either good moves, or giving us much return. In the midfield though, we have some young pieces that could actually serve as solid trade bait.
I have to stress that my idea pains me, because the player I'm about to suggest is one of my favorites. That said, I think moving Patrick Nyarko makes a lot of sense now. Nyarko and Dominic Oduro play very similarly. Both are going to give you a ton of speed down the wings, probably make the wrong pass, and if they shoot, most certainly they'll miss. I know Nyarko racked up a lot of assists last season, and that he's a fan favorite. Still, Oduro has 2 assists in 100 less minutes than Nyarko so far. Granted, it's only 2 assists to Nyarko's 1, but Oduro has consistently been effective in our offense in his short time with us. When they've played together, Nyarko's ended up out left and managed to be largely ineffective.
Right now I can't see putting both of those players on the field together. If I had to choose strictly on skill, Oduro has to get my vote. He's flat out faster, seems to be less injury prone, and gets himself in dangerous positions constantly. Nyarko's great too, but we have a marginally better version of him in Oduro. It'd make a lot of sense to move Nyarko to a team that needs someone quick on the wings in exchange for some defensive support. There are a number of teams out there right now that could use a speedy player down the wings. Seattle, with the recent loss of Steve Zakuani, comes to mind as a team in need of some speed down the wing.
I think we're bound to see the Fire front office move somebody before the season's over. For me the question is who and when, not if. I can't see sending away a young prospect like Corben Bone, or a creative midfielder like Baggio Husidic. We can still get a lot of use out of them, and don't have direct replacements for their skills. At the end of the day, someone has to go though. You don't want to be stuck with the defense we've put out so far, all season do you?