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Exit Interview: Khaly Thiam

Loanee from MTK Budapest fails to wow in his first (and probably only) season with #cf97

MLS: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Khaly Thiam, CM

6’1", 183 lbs., 22 years old

Signed on a season long loan from MTK Budapest on May 4th, 2016

MLSPU 2016 Salary: $144,000

2016 Statistics (MLS Only)

20 Appearances (15 starts), 1,285 minutes, 21 Shots (3 on target), 1 goal, 3 yellow cards, 1 red card

Scouting Report

Young, athletic central midfielder lacking technique... often unable to advance the ball through midfield... gives the ball away in sloppy positions... far too prone to just boot it for Accam, but this is related to his poor vision in midfield and technique.... still young, so could take the next step on a good team where his initial role does not demand so much of him.

2016 Recap

When the Fire realized they were probably going to need another warm body in midfield for the rest of the season, the front office went out and got a project player, with potential to be part of Veljko Paunovic and Nelson Rodriguez’ much-heralded "core group" in Thiam. The Fire paid the $50,000 GAM fee to acquire his discovery rights from Columbus, and got him on a season long loan, which will most likely be the end of the line for Thiam at Toyota Park.

Normally, I’d throw a little bit of video analysis in here, but in the case of Thiam, I think the raw numbers up there speak for themselves, along with the tweet above. In a 20-game try-before-you-buy stint, Thiam got sent off as many times as he was directly involved with a goal in MLS this season. He just did not have the impact that he needed to if he wanted the front office to make his loan deal a more long term stay. The tweet above sort of encompasses the Fire midfield this season, but since Thiam was sort of the player that was brought in to provide a major upgrade, he ended up shouldering most of the blame. Thiam was miscast in a role that didn’t fit his skill set; he’s much more similar to Polster, and a lot less like the sort of tempo-dictator that the Fire needs in midfield. If you want to see a game that truly encompassed the Khaly Thiam Experience in Bridgeview, go watch the Open Cup semifinal against the Revs, and follow Thiam across the pitch.

2017 Outlook

Based on the transactions made thus far in the offseason, it has become apparent that Khaly Thiam’s first season in a #cf97 shirt was also his last. This was partially of his own doing, and partially because he just came to Bridgeview at the wrong time. I would like to wish Khaly well wherever his career may take him.