Hours after the MLS Cup Final finished, the league’s official hot stove season kicked off. Half-day trade windows, waiver drafts, various and sundry roster moves, all making for a whirlwind week and a half since the season ended.
It’s also coming right before the holidays. Which, uh, can be a problem in terms of staying on top of things.
happy national "Let's reconnect after the holidays" week— Dave Gershgorn (@davegershgorn) December 18, 2017
With the Hot Time staff pulled away for one reason or another, a few things fell through the cracks. We’d be remiss if we let some of the bigger trade and transfer rumors fell through the cracks.
And so, with Christmas looming on the horizon like a civilization-destroying asteroid, let’s do a quick overview of the three biggest rumors involving the Chicago Fire roster.
Rumor #1: Grant Lillard’s Impending Homegrown Deal
Chicago Fire in talks with Grant Lillard, a 6-foot-4 center back from Indiana, on homegrown contract. No deal yet.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) December 15, 2017
The Hinsdale native has just wrapped up his senior season with Indiana and is apparently looking to go pro next season. The Fire hold his Homegrown rights, and the erstwhile rookie would definitely fill a position of need (and for very little money + cap overhead). This seems like a no-brainer for the Fire. Do the thing, guys. Do the thing.
Rumor #2: Iker Casillas???????
Hearing Iker Casillas and Chicago Fire mentioned in same sentence. Unclear whether it would actually happen. Portuguese report says Casillas wants out of Porto this winter. Contract done in June. Peripheral figures trying to steer him to MLS. We'll see ...— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) December 14, 2017
What we know right now is Iker definitely wants out of Porto, either in January or at the end of the Primeira Liga season. MLS, and the Fire, are one of a number of possible destinations.
Putting aside whether this is even a reasonable possibility, let’s talk pros and cons.
Pros: For a time he was one of the best GKs in the world. Has a ton of experience (and accomplishments) under his belt. Would bolster the kind of winning mentality that the Fire stated they want to cultivate in signing Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty last year. Would arguably solve our goalkeeper problem.
Cons: He’s 36 going on 37. He’s nowhere near as good as his peak years with Real Madrid. Salary would almost certainly be an issue, unless MLS picks up part of the tab (something we shouldn’t necessarily count on). And while GK is a big problem the Fire need to solve, it’s not the only one, and splashing big on Iker could mean that other pressing needs in the roster— such as central defender and playmaker— get overlooked.
Rumor #3: Alan Gordon
Hearing that #cf97 and a handful of teams are in contact with Alan Gordon.— שӞᵽªᴙǡ (@TrueMartyParty) December 18, 2017
Pros: He’s still capable of doing a job in this league. He has good hold-up play, he’s good in the air, and he has a knack for winning possession. While he almost certainly wouldn’t be able to offer a meaningful challenge to Niko for minutes, he’s potentially a solid back-up option up top.
Cons: He did this. (I know he apologized later. I don’t care.)