Still with a tight hamstring, Patrick Nyarko is "hopeful" to play Sunday vs. Sporting KC
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- If Patrick Nyarko says he’s one-hundred percent healthy, he’s probably not.
The fleet Ghanaian winger has played through many an ailment during his time with the Men in Red and still continues to provide consistent danger.
This was evidenced most recently when Nyarko provided the team’s first go-ahead goal in the 47th minute of Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over San Jose.
Roughly 20 minutes later, Nyarko pulled up lame with a tight hamstring in the center circle and was replaced by Joel Lindpere, leaving the match and his availability for Sunday’s quick turnaround vs. Sporting KC in some doubt.
GOAL: Nyarko puts the Fire ahead 2-1 vs. San Jose
With the Fourth of July off on Thursday, the team reconvened Friday at Toyota Park with Nyarko and those that played a majority of the minutes doing regeneration work.
“My hamstring is still pretty tight,” Nyarko told Chicago-Fire.com Friday. “I’m hopeful I can make Sunday’s game. It’s just very tight and it’s been going on for a while. It was mostly more precautionary on Wednesday but I jogged a little bit today so hopefully I’m fine.”
If Nyarko is unable to go, the Fire would likely push Dilly Duka to the right side of midfield and utilize Lindpere on the left.
Nine-Game Unbeaten Streak
The Fire extended their unbeaten run to nine games across all competitions Wednesday night (7-0-2) but perhaps more impressive is the fact that the team has gone without a loss with a congested fixture list.
According to Nyarko, there’s been a good balance between the players and coaching staff to navigate the current 11 games in 49-day stretch.
“I think there are a lot of guys on this team that have been through stretches like this and a lot of younger guys that are helping take the load,” he said.
“The coaches have rested guys when they could so I think looking at the group, we’re more than confident and we can’t wait for the next game to try to keep that momentum going.”
What Magee is bringing
Just as much though, the team’s rise seems to have coincided with the acquisition of Mike Magee, who was named June’s MLS Player of the Month and has tallied seven goals and four assists across all competitions since joining the Fire via trade from LA at the end of May.
While the offensive production helps, according to Nyarko, its Magee’s other intangibles that has seen the team rise as a whole the last five weeks.
“He’s brought that winning mentality. You can see by how he goes about his business, how he tries to lift up guys when we’re down or when we need it on and off the field.
“He goes around and talks to every guy before the game and he never stops motivating. Whether it’s a break or in the run of play – he keeps motivating guys.”