Fire bring in Croatian midfielder

De los Cobos will watch Tapalovic on one-week trial

Croatian defensive midfielder Filip Tapalovic officially
started a week-long trial period with the Fire on Tuesday after arriving late
in Chicago on Monday night.

Tapalovic, 33, played for HNK Rijeka of the Croatian first
division last year and spent several years of his career playing in the German
Bundesliga. 

“The directors told me to watch him,” Fire head coach Carlos
de los Cobos told MLSsoccer.com after practice on Tuesday morning. “We will have him for all the week
and after that we [will make] our conclusions.”

De los Cobos, who described Tapalovic as a “strong” and
“smart” player, certainly could use another central midfielder on his
roster. Both John Thorrington and Logan
Pause, the Fire’s central midfield pairing for much of 2009, are currently
dealing with injuries. Thorrington (quadriceps) confirmed Tuesday he will not play in the team's home opener against San Jose on Saturday, while Pause is questionable for the match with an undisclosed leg injury of his own.

Should Pause not be able to go on Saturday, de los Cobos said
that Baggio Husidic and Peter Lowry would likely get the start in the central
midfield.  Lowry has started both matches
thus far this season and Husidic has come on as a substitute in both games.

It’s not all bad news on the injury front, however.  Defender Wilman Conde, who missed last week’s
game at Colorado with a left foot contusion, said on Tuesday that he is all set
to go for the home opener on Saturday night.