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Chicago Fire Tactical Thoughts: Pre-preseason 2017

Reading the tea leaves to see how the Fire might line up next season

Now that Santa and the reindeer have delivered several outstanding pre-season moves— from the Fire FO/CS to all good little Fire fans— it’s time to look at how the current roster (don’t blink) would look spread across some typical— and some not-so-typical— tactical systems. As this pre-season has evolved, the players acquired have moved the roster— and the on-field arrangements/tactical systems— closer to the competitive team environment advocated by Coach Paunovic.

There are 18 players on the Fire 1st team roster; all five of the systems we’re reviewing use all 18 players; I’ve include a spot for Luis Solignac (since he was protected during both Re-Entry drafts) AND I’ve included a spot for the latest rumored DP - Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The Go-To System .... the 4-2-3-1

Two Systems We Should See This Season

To Press Our Opponent .... the 3-4-3

To Fall Back and Counter-Attack .... the 4-1-4-1

Two Systems Which Are Unlikely But Very Interesting

Build the System Around THAT Player .... the 4-4-2Diamond

Attack! Attack! Attack! .... the 3-5-2

In any of these systems, it is obvious that Santa still needs to bring us:

One Starting All-Star Right Back (to move Kappelhof into his CB spot)

Two Goalkeepers (which begs the question - Can any of those NCAA GKs play sweeper-keeper and also distribute with their feet?)

Two Center Backs (unless we acquire an All-Star RB - see above - then one CB)

And a note for Santa...

Dear Santa,

We’ve been good little Fire Fans so let’s keep this train moving in the right direction!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Fire Fans Everywhere

Some thoughts to ponder:

1 - In any formation NOT a 4-2-3-1, who starts— Polster or Juninho?

2 - In the 4-2-3-1, who are the front four? Accam, Nikolic, de Leeuw, and pick one— Goossens or Alvarez or ??

3 - How does Schweinsteiger fit into the 4-2-3-1? Does Coach Paunovic build an attack/system around his strengths?

4 - If we get Andres Guardado instead, where should he play in the 4-2-3-1? Which formation/system would suit Guardado better— the 3-5-2 or the 4-4-2Diamond or ???

5 - As the FO/CS continue to develop the roster before pre-season 2017, it’s beginning to show enough quality and depth to think about separate MLS and Open Cup line-ups. Two questions: Who should start the early round Open Cup games? And which formation should they play— and why?

6 - As you’ve been scouring the web for soccer, are there any All-Star or International caliber CBs who are available which our Fire should consider signing/bringing into pre-season camp?

Finally, there are lots of ??who?? spots in all the systems/formations we reviewed. Are there any MLS players available in the Free Agent category or who went unclaimed in the Re-Entry draft which should be pursued for 2017?