David Arshakyan had a rough year in Chicago. Some less-than-great performances took him out of the first team rotation as the Fire re-emerged as an Eastern Conference power. When the club tried to send him to the Tulsa Roughnecks— our USL affiliate— Arshakyan’s response was “lol nah.”
The Armenian international got some minutes toward the end of the season, largely due to injuries forcing Pauno to make some difficult decisions. I wish I could say that Arshakyan had improved his game during his time out of the first team. He had not.
Arshakyan got a big opportunity during the climactic game against the New York Red Bulls in the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. With the Fire behind in the scoreline, Arshakyan was brought on as a Hail Mary attempt to get the Men In Red back in the game. He was terrible.
Several of us at Hot Time— myself included— were so dismayed by Arshakyan’s dismal performances and alleged bad attitude that we had to conclude that he was A Problem. I went so far as to say that I never wanted to see him in a Fire shirt ever again.
It appears my prayers have been answered.
The Chicago Fire announced earlier today that Arshakyan’s contract had been terminated by “mutual consent.”
Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez didn’t beat around the bush in the club’s press release. “Despite the best efforts of both sides, these past 16 months did not work out as either would have hoped,” Rodriguez said. “We wish David the best of luck as he continues his career.”
In terminating the contract, the Fire free up $178,000 in guaranteed compensation (no I’m not kidding) as well as an international spot. Talk about addition by subtraction.
Hot (Time) Take
Thank fucking Christ.
I mean look, I’m sure he’s a decent guy, and I’m sure there’s a team where he could make a real positive impact. The Fire was not that team. Every time he took to the pitch it was as if the Fire had been handed a red card. Actually, it was worse than that— when you go down a man, teams generally have a sense of how to work around it. You can’t just pretend a teammate isn’t on the pitch. You’re obliged to include him in the proceedings, even if you know whatever he does is going to be a disaster.
There’s nothing that Arshakyan offered that the team couldn’t have gotten from a Homegrown Player or an academy signing. And at $178k in guaranteed compensation, Arshakyan was the kind of dead weight player that, frankly, you’d expect to see on this team circa 2014-2016. With the club seemingly committed to turn the page on those Wooden Spoon seasons and build on 2017’s success to turn the Men In Red into consistent winners and playoff contenders, there’s just no room for a David Arshakyan in this squad.
Best of luck, future endeavors, etc. etc., get the fuck out.