29 November 2011
Posted in MLS
In preparation for the MLS Re-Entry Draft, the Chicago Fire have announced that the options of Jon Conway, Alec Dufty, and Baggio Husidic were not exercised. The Re-Entry Draft is the first of a few drafts that basically consitute how players are moved during the MLS off-season. Fans should prepare for tons of player movement the next few weeks.
Jon Conway played early in the season when Johnson was benched but struggled and failed to grasp the starting role. He was relegated to the bench and only appeared in the second half of friendlies versus Manchester United and Chivas. Alec Dufty did not see any action at all with the 1st team in 2011. He split time with Conway in the reserve league games. Baggio's playing time fluctuated the past 3 seasons but he was never able to consistently gain a spot in the starting XI. He was destined to be released once his Generation Adidas status was up and his 2011 did not prove he was worth his cap hit. His salary is too high for the type of production he has displayed. There is an outside chance he might be brought back but it would have to be at a reasonable salary. Daniel Paladini represents a player similar to Husidic but at a smaller salary. Paladini will likely slot into the backup midfielder role and allow the Fire to let Husidic walk. Goal keeper is a different animal all together. The move leaves the Fire without any GKs on contract besides their starter, Sean Johnson. The very same Sean Johnson who is expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season with national team duties. If the US qualify for the Olympics, like they are expected to, he will miss a couple more weeks in the summer for the Olympic Tournament. This makes finding a new keeper the top priority for the Fire.
Overall, I agree with the roster moves. While this off-season should not have the roster turnover of last year, it will be interesting to see who the Fire add to the roster in the next 7 weeks before players report for pre-season training on January 17th, 2012. Let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter. My screen name is @Raul_HnL
Also, Major League Soccer has set the home opener for the Fire on March 24, 2012. Let the countdown begin
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