BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Chicago Fire midfielder Egidio Arevalo Rios returned to training on Friday after arriving back from two FIFA World Cup qualifiers with Uruguay the past week.
With Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Argentina combined with Chile’s 2-1 win over Ecuador, Rios and La Celeste confirmed they’d have to play in another two-legged playoff with Jordan to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
“I feel good,” Rios told Chicago-Fire.com after training. “You come back knowing there are two more games we need to play in order to qualify for the World Cup. You put that in the back of your mind now as we have two games and a great chance to qualify for the playoffs starting Saturday.”
Rios took a knock to his knee which required him to leave Uruguay’s 3-2 win over Argentina for a few moments Tuesday.
With his apparent injury, long travel back on Thursday and Alex’s successful partnership with Jeff Larentowicz in the team’s 3-2 win at FC Dallas last weekend, it left some to wonder whether Rios would get the nod in Saturday’s important home match vs. Toronto FC (LIVE 7pm CT on My50 / Time Warner Sports Wisconsin).
“The swelling has come down on my knee,” he said. “I need to do some physical therapy to be ready for Saturday but I feel fine."
Asked if he was ready to go 90 minutes, Rios simply said, “Without a doubt. That’s why I was brought to this team – to start and play 90 minutes. On the flight back I began my recuperation and if I’m required for tomorrow’s game, I’m going to be ready from the start.”
Klopas confirmed Rios would be ready to go following Friday's training session, saying, "He looked good in training. Rios is a pro that's been in these situations before."
Asked if that was an indication of who he would start in midfield, the Fire manager would tip his hand, stating, "I'll tell you at 6:30pm Saturday."