Fire Trial Four

French attacking midfielder Martin the standout of the bunch


The Fire is using the World Cup break to take a look at some new faces, bringing in four players for a weeklong trial period.

The group features 21-year-old French center midfielder Malaury Martin, 31- year-old Cameroonian player Mba Adek, 20-year-old Mexican defender Victor Perales, and a 30-year-old Serbian player whose name was not released by the Fire.

“So far they look good in training,” said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. “It’s a good opportunity with this break right now to bring some players.”

With the transfer window set to open up shortly, Klopas said that this group of trialists will be given a more serious look than players who were brought in earlier this year.

“Definitely,” Klopas said when asked whether or not he’s seriously considering signing any of the trialists. “The guys that we have here have just finished their contracts, so it’s guys that have played at a high level. With other guys sometimes it’s difficult. Guys that are not with teams sometimes you can get lucky and find a guy that’s out there but normally they’re out of a team because of certain reasons.”

“At least [with] these guys you know they’ve played. They’ve finished their contract there in a high league, in a competitive league, now it’s just a matter of seeing them in our environment here.”

The most noteworthy of the players is, by far, Martin. The attacking midfielder rose through the ranks at French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, progressing from the academy all the way to the first team. Martin also has experience with the national team, albeit at the youth level. He captained France at every level from U-17 to U-21. Malaury’s stint as youth team captain included France’s run at the 2007 U-19 European Championships, where he led Les Blues to the semifinals.

But despite his impressive resume, Martin never really broke into the first team at Monaco. So he now finds himself in Chicago, courtesy of a connection between Klopas and Jerome de Bontin – AS Monaco’s former president, and current Chicago resident – that facilitated the trial.

“You got to be always looking for opportunities,” Klopas said. “These guys are in big clubs but sometimes [a new] coach comes in and maybe he’s got his own guys that he wants to play and there are opportunities there. It’s through the relationships that you’ve built and the times that you fly over [to Europe] and you meet people. More than anything that pays dividends in the long run, it doesn’t always happen overnight but I think that you got to sit in front of people and build the relationships and once you do that opportunities like this will come up often.”