In part two of my sit-down with Frank, we discussed the team’s starting defensive group and the potential for reserves to take a bigger step in 2013.
Today, I get Frank’s thoughts on the attacking acquisitions made by the team over the offseason.
It was December 7 and we were in the midst of listening to the phase one Re-Entry Draft conference call. Per usual, it proved a quick affair as 10 teams before the Fire all passed before the call moderator asked Chicago for its selection.
With everyone presumably expecting another “pass”, Fire Vice President of Soccer Operations brought life to an otherwise dull affair announcing the team had selected Brazilian forward Maicon Santos from D.C. United.
It would be the only selection that day but one that could prove fruitful.
Though the Fire will be his fifth MLS team in as many seasons, the powerful forward had just come off a career MLS campaign, tallying seven goals and three assists for D.C. before a toe injury suffered in the summer slowed his production.
His contributions still helped propel United to a second place finish in the Eastern Conference and the club’s first participation in the MLS Cup playoffs since 2007.
“I know he’s bounced around with different teams but he’s a guy within the league that’s been able to produce,” Klopas told Chicago-Fire.com. “When you look what he did last year in D.C., scoring seven goals and even contributing in the Open Cup before he got injured down the stretch.
“I think he technically has very good feet. He’s physically strong with his back to goal, you can play to his feet but he’s mobile, you can play into depth also. He has a very good ability to shoot from distance and is someone that can score goals so we think he provides us that much more depth.”
That last sentence seems to be the greater theme of the Fire’s offseason. With the likes of 2012 MVP and Golden Boot winner Chris Rolfe, Designated Player Sherjill MacDonald and 2011 MVP and Golden Boot winner Dominic Oduro in the current arsenal, it’s hard to argue that Klopas doesn’t have options.
“I don’t think you can have enough quality forwards that can score,” said Klopas. “Through a long season you have to rely on a lot of different players, especially with the goals we’re going to set. We had a good season in 2012 but we have to improve and get better for this year and this is an area where we feel we’ve done that.”
Undoubtedly last week’s move to acquire attacking midfielder Joel Lindpere has added even more to Klopas’ hopes for the season but just like in defense, it doesn’t seem he and his staff are done looking for upgrades.
“I definitely feel we’re a much better team in certain spots [of the attack]. I think in other areas we’re still going to look to add some more depth."
In Thursday's final installment, I speak to Frank about his thoughts on squad rotation and what he's looking for in next week's MLS SuperDraft.