Frank Klopas went on record about his decision to start Rolfe and Nyarko up top last weekend. News came out just before the game that Sherjill MacDonald had strep throat and would miss the match completely, not even making the 18. Most fans rejoiced in this sequence of events. While the result still ended up being a familiar lamentation for Fire fans, the offense looked more lively than they had most games in 2013. Of course this is not really saying much, and we also have to take into account the state of the Union defense/midfield.
Still, the Fire created chances, mostly because of Patrick Nyarko. Unfortunately, he is not a long term answer up top, though he certainly did make things happen. It was a stark contrast to what we are used to seeing in the top third of the pitch this season to say the least. With Klopas coming out and saying that he would have started Nyarko and Rolfe up top despite MacDonald's illness, one has to wonder if the gaffer is finally starting to see reason. While it seems like beating a dead horse at this point, it's hard for anyone to make a legit argument to defend Mackie keeping his job given his production levels in 2013 thus far.
It would also appear that the same Rolfe/Nyarko duo will again appear up top this weekend in Philly. This could signal a significant shift in roles as it would seem the overpriced MacDonald is not automatic first choice any more. And that is ok with me. Until he starts contributing in a meaningful manner, he shouldn't be starting to be blunt. In my book, no matter how much he makes salary wise, Frank needs to start the team that gives the Men in Red the best chance to win. Frank should not feel compelled to play someone that is not earning their keep just because a bad contract was given out.
The Fire have to figure something out, and different looks must be given a try. Looking back at the Union game, chances were again created and not converted. I expect more chances again this weekend against Philly. The same 900 pound gorilla remains- who can actually convert them? Up until this point, the answer is no one.
We have 6 goals this year. 6. Jack McInerney (yes, we all remember him) has more goals than the entire Fire team. 3 other MLS players have as many goals as the Men in Red. This is simply not acceptable. With the second worst goal differential (behind absolutely awful DC United), it's clear that a proven scorer has never been more needed in Toyota Park and that person is not Sherjill MacDonald or even Chris Rolfe.
It's been a very long time since we had that all out scorer. It's high time we had a true striker again and this is something that must be a priority to Andrew and Javier in LA. It's getting old trying to shoot for that "diamond in the rough" by cutting corners cost wise. If we want goals, and we can't properly scout and bring in young players to do that, then we are going to have to pay for that production. Simple as. Being cheap has not brought us an elite scorer and it's time to put that method to bed. Paying good money for proven players is a way to get that.
Moving on to Robbie Rogers news, it was also reported today that the Fire are discussing a trade for Rogers rights as we speak. This again goes into the common sense file. We all know that there is no way Rogers is coming to Chicago. He never was, so the Fire might as well get as much value as they can out of these rights. A great return could really add value to that Duka/Oduro trade that appears skewed in that yellow's teams favor at this current point in time.
It's clear now that Rogers wants to play again in MLS, and LA wants him. That means it's time for the Galaxy to pony up to acquire him. As has been debated recently, the Men in Red should ask for a lot. The popular discussion in Chicago revolves around Mike Magee, and a package to go with. I say why not? While some will argue this price is overrated, the Fire need to start the negotiations high. As with any good business deal, you ask for more initially, and if you have to come down, ultimately your goal is to end up with a deal on the level you wanted anyway but make it look like you are giving the other side a bargain.
Even if LA balks at a Magee deal, we can shoot for draft picks and allocation money. We have done well in the draft (one of our strong areas at least), so we should be able to flip those picks around for some value. And we could certainly use some money to help relieve the cap burden we are currently facing. Magee for Rogers plus perks would be great. In the end, if they won't give him up, then we simply ask for more in other compensation. That puts the ball in Bruce Arena's court. Give up Magee and less in other areas, or keep Magee but be forced to pay more elsewhere? That truly makes it a win-win for the Fire whether they get Magee or not. And that's considering the club wants him. The fans do, that is clear, but does ownership look at the deal this same way?