Fire Notes: Grazzini negotiations continue, Friedrich nears return & more

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By JEFFREY KRAUSE

Chicago Fire playmaker Sebastian Grazzini is currently in ongoing contract negotiations with the club, and the 31-year-old Argentine is getting a bit anxious to see the next step of his career resolved. Grazzini's contract status must be decided by July 1, a date that is rapidly approaching.

"If economically, financially there's a good contract, good offer, I'm willing to stay," Grazzini said through a translator. "But as everyone has seen they've taken a long time to decide. 

"If I hadn't played well it would be understandable. I don't want to have problems here or leave on a bad note, but the truth is that the situation puts me in a tough spot because I have a family and the contract came up 20 days ago and there still hasn't been any movement."

Grazzini, who signed a one-year deal with Chicago from Club Atletico All Boys in his native Argentina, also indicated that he has had offers from clubs in his home country of Argentina, but that he would like to stay in Chicago under the right circumstances. He has two goals and three assists in 12 games this season after accounting for five goals and four assists in 11 games last season.

Here are a few more notes from Chicago:

FRIEDRICH RETURNS FROM INJURY

German centerback Arne Friedrich returned to full training this week after suffering an injury to his right hamstring against Sporting Kansas City on May 12. Friedrich indicated that the hamstring has fully healed, and that he's ready to return to action Sunday against New York, but the oft-injured player may opt to be cautious and wait one more week to return to the starting lineup. 

"The most important thing is the hamstring is better," Friedrich said. "We have to do what is best for my body, but we have a few more days to train, and at the end of the week we'll discuss what will happen on the weekend."

ALEX JOINS CLUB

After a few days off during the international break, the Chicago Fire went back to work Tuesday as they prepare to face New York Red Bulls on Sunday. The day marked the first time new Brazilian midfielder Alex Monteiro De Lima, who goes by just "Alex," joined the club for full training.

Alex, formerly of FC Wohlen, joined the Fire during preseason training in Ave Marie, Fla. for a brief stint before returning to finish the season with his Swiss club. He signed with Chicago in April, but is unavailable to play until the transfer window opens June 27. He will be available for selection when Chicago takes on Sporting Kansas City June 29.

“Finally I’m here in Chicago,” Alex said before his first training session. “It’s brilliant to join the club now that I’ve finished the contract with Wohlen in Switzerland. Now that I’m here, I’m excited to help the team get in the best places. I’m happy to be here to start this new experience.”

KLOPAS OUT SCOUTING

Head coach Frank Klopas was absent from training Tuesday, and he was not in Utah as the Fire took on Real Salt Lake in reserve league action. A team spokesperson indicated that Klopas was on a "scouting trip" but would not elaborate further.

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8 Responses to Fire Notes: Grazzini negotiations continue, Friedrich nears return & more

  1. shelsilverstein says:

    scooped on this by about a day by other blogs w/ exactly the same ino

  2. 99 says:

    fantastic point shel. you must Ives quality control committee?

  3. UD FLYER FAN says:

    Krause,

    As fire fans dont you think that the days of not having a good DP are driving us crazy. Blanco was the man compared to who we have now. Gibbs, Pause over paid, Pardo is the man, but we need an actual attacking mid who can contribute right away. Oduro and Nyarko are good speed options up front, but with no one pulling the strings for them, all they are is track stars. Even guys like O. Alonso (Seattle), Morales (Salt Lake), are better play makers than we have. At this point, fire faithful are praying for a player like Freddy Adu at this point, someone who can penetrate and collapse a defense. Am I blind of does Chicago need one of these players badly. (if all your going to do is bash me, dont waste your time. )

  4. Victor says:

    UD no…the Fire don’t need someone who can collapse on D’s…..We need another forward to partner up with Oduro, a physical striker who can lay it off to Oduro. I agree Pause is overpaid and should be gone and same with Gibbs. There is no reason why we shouldn’t have a DP on this team being in such a big market.

  5. This was written about a day ago, but posted now because of site scheduling. Few stories going up the last few days, in case you didn’t notice.

  6. Some good points there. Blanco was definitely a pivotal player for the Fire, even as someone at the end of his career. Gibbs is solid if he’s healthy (which has been an issue), and Pause has tenure with the club, which accounts for his near $200k guaranteed comp. I believe it’s more important for the Fire to find a target striker to compliment Oduro (who’s on pace to equal his 2011 output), and Rolfe.

    A DP signing would be good, but I don’t necessarily think bringing in a DP just for the sake of having a DP is the answer. While some DP signings have worked well for clubs, some, arguably, have not. I think it’s more important for the Fire to find a player who’s going to fit in Frank Klopas’ system and be able to have an immediate impact, rather than whether or not that player holds a DP title.

  7. otergod says:

    given his success with the U18s and U20s i woould like to see Pineda be given a shot.

  8. wildchild says:

    Anxious or eager?