There weren’t a ton of positives in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Columbus. Described by Fire head coach Frank Yallop as a “flat performance” from the first whistle, aside from Juan Luis Anangono’s first half hit off the post was the club and professional debut of 19-year-old loanee Grant Ward.
After suffering a broken metatarsal days before officially joining the team on loan from Tottenham Hotspur back in March, Ward finally returned stateside on May 11 and jumped into full training last week.
With Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko out for Saturday’s match, Ward’s debut might have come a bit earlier than he’d expected.
“It was exciting to come on but I didn’t realize it would be that early,” he told Chicago-Fire.com this week. “I haven’t trained that many times but it felt good. I was confident coming in, I tried and did alright. Obviously it’s never good to come on when you’re losing but it happens.”
In what was an otherwise drab affair, Ward helped create a few chances and pitched in defensively, winning tackles in the center of the park and out wide.
“I felt [Grant] did well when he came on. Not just with the ball but defensively too,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop said Wednesday. “It was the first game he’d played in three or four months and you could see his enthusiasm to be back and maybe even a little frustration in the team not being able to do more.”
With Yallop saying that Magee (calf), Nyarko (knee) and Alex (hamstring) all are in doubt for Sunday’s clash with the LA Galaxy, could Ward play a bigger role for the team this weekend?
“He’s not really played for three months but we’ll see,” Yallop said. “Maybe he has a chance but we’ll see if he gets through the week.”