Frank Klopas went with "experience" in choosing Logan Pause at right back Saturday vs. Montreal
A converted right back, Thompson had seemed to make the position his own over the past month, providing some needed stability to the revolving door caused by injuries at the spot.
“[Logan]’s played there before and we didn’t have any other options,” said the Fire manager post-game. “Paladini was in good form and my other option was Mike Videira and he’s had enough concussions. We put a right back that is experienced and has played that position before.”
RECAP: Fire fall 2-0 at Montreal
Early on in his career, Pause made his way onto the field a lot by plugging in as a right back and has played there when needed throughout his Fire tenure.
Coming into the season, the 11-year club veteran seemed set to be first-choice there before a quad injury kept him from the team's first four matches.
With Thompson beginning to take initiative at the spot, Pause’s return in early April saw him slot back into central midfield next to Jeff Larentowicz and their tandem play had been largely credited for the team’s turnaround performances over the last month.
HIGHLIGHTS: Impact 2, Fire 0
In contrast, Videira performed well there in a 0-0 draw at Sporting KC on March 16 before leaving the match in the 83rd minute with a concussion.
The Duke product has donned a protective rugby helmet ever since returning to the field as a late-game substitute back on April 7 vs. New York but hasn’t had significant playing time following the injury.
Pause started well at the spot and even created a little bit going forward in the first half but took the blame for giving too much space to Andres Romero and Marco Di Vaio on Montreal’s two second half strikes.
“The game was unfortunate,” said the Fire captain.
“I think, individually being involved in both goals, I feel like I could have done better. It was not good enough defending for me and I felt like I let the team down a little today.”
Pause puts both goals on himself but things became more difficult for the Fire following a controversial red card to Larentowicz in the 63rd minute. Referee Fotis Bazakos’ decision pushed the team down to 10 men and eliminated the side’s hope for anything more than a point.
“It’s hard to think that the red card was fair if they ended up moving the kick outside of the box,” Pause said.”It’s the referee’s decision so we have to live with it.”
Thompson will return to the fold at right back and with Larentowicz out on May 11 against Philadelphia (unless a potential appeal is filed and upheld), Pause will most assuredly be back in central midfield, likely partnering with Paladini.
“We have a little bit of a break now so we have to move on. I think today we were not on top of our game, but we have been progressing, so we have a lot of soccer to play in the next couple of months. We have to regroup and get back to work and be ready for May 11th.”