Krzysztof Krol Reflects on his MLS debut

On-loan defender reflects on MLS debut and looks ahead to Opening Night


After missing out on the Fire’s 2010 opener, defender
Krzysztof Krol made his MLS debut in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw away to the
Colorado Rapids. On loan from Polish side Jagiellonia Bialystok, Krol made a
solid defensive contribution, helping the side earn its first point of the new

Making the transition from one league to another often
provides players a learning curve, though Krol looked comfortable at left back.
Despite having not played a full competitive match recently, he felt good about
Saturday’s performance.  

“I don’t remember the last time I played 90 minutes in a
league game,” said Krol following Tuesday’s training session. “I obviously come
in without a great knowledge of the league and didn’t want to give up too much
going forward. I had some difficulty in the last 20 minutes but I think I put
in a solid performance and we earned a result in a tough place to play on the

 One of two changes made
by head coach Carlos de los Cobos ‘ defensive corps from the opener against the
New York Red Bulls, Krol did well dealing with the international attacking
tandem of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings, as well as handling Mehdi Ballouchy
down the right flank.

Overall the former Real Madrid man has been impressed with
the quality of play he’s seen so far in Major League Soccer.

“There’s a lot of running so fitness is very important and I
need to continue to gain in that area. 
On top of that, players are physically strong all over the field and
play with a lot of intensity. This is a good league with talented players and a
place for guys to build their game in order to step to the next level.”

 A fan favorite in
Chicago’s Polish community before stepping foot on an MLS pitch, the European
veteran is looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd for the first
time in 2010.

“We had a long preseason where we learned what Carlos expect
of us and we’ve started the year with two matches on the road. I’m personally
excited for my first game here at Toyota Park on Saturday and I know everyone’s
looking forward to playing in front of our fans for the first time this season.”

The 23-year-old already experienced an outpouring of support
from the Fire’s Polish fans at the club’s Season Kickoff Luncheon two weeks ago
and will receive a more intimate welcome Wednesday night when the Husaria
Supporters Group hosts a “Meet and Greet” at the Retro Café with the club’s
newest Polish signing.