Flaco Fitting with Fire

Teammates talk what they expect from new DP

Alvaro Fernandez

Photo Credit: 
Chicago Fire Communications

The Chicago Fire made a splash late last week with a major trade that saw Uruguayan Designated Player Alvaro Fernandez join the club via trade from Seattle.

With just a couple training sessions under his belt this week, ‘Flaco’ is fitting right in according to his new teammates.
 
“It helps to get a player that’s been successful in this league already,” said Fire midfielder Pavel Pardo. “He has great technical skill on the ball and a great attacking sense. He’s working his way into the team very well and he’ll be ready for Saturday.”
 
Joint leading goal scorer Dominic Oduro gave a more cautious approach in echoing Pardo’s comments.
 
“Seattle plays a little bit differently than we do so there’s that adjustment,” said the Ghanaian international. “But you can see what he brings as soon as he steps on the field. We have another midfield option, someone that can support the attack and provide a lot of danger on the wings.”
 
Fire head coach Frank Klopas said last week Fernandez would be utilized throughout what’s becoming a crowded Fire midfield with the likes of Chris Rolfe, Patrick Nyarko, Marco Pappa and Alex rotating through attacking positions this summer.
 
It’s a good problem to have for Klopas as it allows the second-year manager to push Rolfe further into a more advanced and natural position up front, supporting the likes of Dominic Oduro and last week’s other Designated Player signing, Sherjill MacDonald.
 
“We play with a first and second striker that play off of each other,” Klopas said Tuesday. “[Specifically] at times we’ve played Chris [Rolfe] wide because we needed him there. Now that we have more depth [in midfield] you’ll see him closer to the first striker.”
 
The first chance to see both new Fire Designated Players Alvaro Fernandez and Sherjill MacDonald comes Saturday when the Fire welcome Eastern Conference foe Toronto FC to Toyota Park. Tickets are still available by calling (888) MLS-FIRE or by clicking here.