The Chicago Fire are currently in their usual first stop on the preseason "warm-states tour," Ave Maria, FL. While there, they will be playing their usual yearly match against Florida Golf Cost University of the Atlantic Sun Conference on Sunday morning. Interestingly, former Fire backup net minder Alec Dufty is an assistant for the FGCU Eagles. Before the match this weekend, big boss man Frank Yallop had his media conference call today to discuss the first week of training, among other things, and there were several nuggets and tidbits to come out of the call.
- The price Seattle Sounders quoted to Chicago in order to get the top allocation spot to Marco Pappa was too steep for them. "They're asking way to much from us to get that spot at this point." Rumors from others in the media have speculated that Seattle was asking for a package that included winger Patrick Nyarko, one of the longer-tenured players in Fire red. He did, however, note that things change quickly in the league, and I inferred that if he did fall in the allocation order, Chicago would pick him up, maybe.
Austin Berry is healthy! I mean, we already knew that. But he's training and competing with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, and Bakary Soumare for spots. "I've already seen a difference in the mentality they bring in to any group," Yallop said, speaking to the additions of Palmer, JKH, and Ianni. "I think the moves we made has really added to the competition of the group."
- Juan Luis Anangono is fit and working hard, and seems better adjusted to the league. "He came in good shape. He's a player that's a lot more comfortable," Yallop said. "Every exercise we've done, he's given 100 percent. He likes to work hard, he wants to do well for his team, and he's hungry to score goals."
- Former Fire player Tim Ward is a trialist with the team, and is doing fine. "He's looked okay. I want to see if I can get the best out of him and he sticks on the roster."
- The homegrown guys are adjusting well, Shipp and Ritter especially. "They're well-versed in the Fire way, and when they come in they have an allegiance to the club already."