Diego Campos, the Clemson product and recent draft pick by the Chicago Fire in the MLS SuperDraft, showed some real promise in his debut over the weekend. He entered in the second half for recent signing Aleksander Katai and showed flashes of being a great player.
For the Fire, this is great news. With the lack of a big time signing, the younger players will need to step up if the Fire hope to make it to the playoffs this year.
The Costa Rican youth international had a great shot in the 79th minute, starting on the right side of the field when he cut inside to just outside the Timbers 18 yard box and let out a good shot that went just outside the first post.
Campos had this to say on his debut performance:
I think I did ok. Again, my job was to bring more energy, put the ball in the penalty box. I thought we did that and that’s why we scored two goals. The crosses from the guys were great and the finishes were great.
Head coach Veljko Paunovic added:
He came in, he gave us a little more calmness with the ball. He found very good gaps, we found him. Dax connected very well with him. That gave us that transition from our end, from our half to their half, in the final third also. The build-up in our first goal was related to that transition and that fluidity of our play. He understands very well how we want to play.
Pauno also said he wanted to be cautious introducing a rookie to MLS play as to not burn them out. Campos joined fellow rookie and draft pick Elliot Collier in debuting this season as well as, homegrown singing Drew Conner. Mo Adams and Jon Bakero, the first two picks in this year’s draft have yet to debut.
While his debut is promising, the Fire will need many more similar performances from him and the other batch of rookies to aspire more to than just a middle of the pack finish.
Let’s hope the kids can pull it off.