The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that they have waived rookie midfielder Davis Paul. Frank Klopas said, "We want to thank Davis for his contributions to the Chicago Fire and wish him the best of luck in his next venture". Everyone here at Hot Time In Old Town does the same. Davis Paul is a great guy who works hard and is a creative individual. He'll likely find some MLS or other soccer league team to play for but he also has a design company on the side conveniently named Davis Paul Design. From the interview he graciously did with us earlier in the year to everything else I've read and seen, he'll be missed in the organization. It's a shame things didn't work out on the field for him.
More on his time with the team and what his roster spot means after the break.Paul was the 15th selection in third round (51st overall) of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. He long outlasted Elmhurst native Jason Herrick who the Fire selected 6 spots earlier (45th overall) but dropped early in pre-season. Paul seemed to continue to beat the odds when Carlos de los Cobos had him on the bench for every game to start the season and Paul put in a full 90 minutes against the Colorado Rapids in the Fire's first U.S. Open Cup Play-In game. This lead up to the Upland, California product starting against the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 17 before he was subbed off in favor of Patrick Nyarko to start the second half. After that, Paul somewhat mysteriously didn't show up on the bench at all except for the May 7th game against Vancouver and last night's game against the Rochester Rhinos. He also played in the first two Reserves League games but he never substituted in a MLS or USOC match.
Going forward the Davis Paul move won't have a significant impact on the field for now. As I wrote last month, Paul was taking up one of the No. 25 to No. 30 roster spots that must make under $42,000. The Fire don't currently have any players on the roster to fill those spots and they won't find any big name on the market that will play for that kind of money. The timing is significant because July 1st is the deadline for when contracts become guaranteed but it also comes at the same time when the U-16 and U-18 Academy seasons have wrapped up and the PDL season is winding down. Could another homegrown player be on the way? Might the team try and peel one of its PDL players into the big leagues? Time and us will tell you if and when it happens. The light of the transfer window madness is beginning to shine brighter with every window.
Speaking of which, Toronto FC made a big splash today by signing forwards Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans to Designated Player contracts. It's a large gamble for a troubled franchise but it just might payoff.