Editor's Note: Pauno's Ponderings will be a weekly feature moving forward as the new Fire head coach checks in with the media on a conference call each week.
So John Goossens is still unsigned.
The rapidly rising fan favorite is still a trialist, according to head coach Veljko Paunovic who held his weekly media call Monday.
Goossens turned in a superstar performance Sunday, spurring many fans to call for his official signing, but Paunovic said his status as a trialist remains the same at least for now. But fret not, Paunovic gave no indication that the club would not be signing Goossens (and likely Arturo Alvarez) to contracts.
While it is disappointing to see John Goossens remain unsigned, Paunovic was unclear as to whether the Dutch midfielder was attracting interest from any other teams. I am sure he has opened some eyes, but the Fire still have to be the front runners to sign him.
Paunovic covered a wide range of subjects as always, including the following:
- To my surprise, Paunovic said he was happy with the performance of Johan Kappelhof and Joao Meira in Sunday's game. Perhaps it is just a new coach establishing trust with his players, but the duo really was underwhelming in their debut. I fully expect them to improve, but still, it was a bit of a downer for most fans.
- Paunovic said everyone still is fighting for a starting spot, which I believe outside of Matt Polster and David Accam. Everyone else really does need to make a mark. John Goossens certainly has, but he is not even an official member of the team. Other than that, I think Paunovic has quite a few decisions to make.
- Paunovic said the trialist situation COULD be finalized this week. I would certainly hope so after the camp both Goossens and Alvarez have had. With a roster short on bodies, there is no reason to send either of them home.
- Rodrigo Ramos had his first full day of camp with the team on Monday. Paunovic said he would like to see him in action in at least one of the two remaining preseason games, but it would depend on his fitness level. Harrington was serviceable Sunday, but some competition for the spot will only help.
- Paunovic said Brandon Vincent came into camp ready from his stint with the U.S. National Team. Still, Vincent needs to pick up on the concepts, Paunovic said. Vincent looks like a clear cut starter to me, even though Patrick Doody is quite good. The fact we haven't seen much of Doody this preseason leads me to believe Vincent is the guy.
- Matt Polster generated a lot of talk with his leadership on the field, including his defense of backup goalkeeper Matt Lampson late in the game on a cheap shot from Blas Perez. Paunovic called Polster a great teammate and said he understood the reaction, even though the situation was not ideal. Razvan Cocis is a solid guy, but I will continue my campaign for Polster as captain. He deserves it.