BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Frank Yallop addressed the media for the first time since the drawn-out Jermaine Jones saga came to an end via a blind draw Sunday afternoon and the Fire manager made it clear he was readly to look ahead.
“For a club point of view, very disappointed we didn’t get him but we have to move on,” Yallop told reporters post-training. “I made the statement as I did and it kind of spoke the truth. I was upset but we move on and keep going.”
While the Fire didn’t land the U.S. international midfielder, the pursuit of the player signaled ownership’s desire and willingness to go after impactful players to benefit the team going forward according to Yallop.
“For me no, it’s the start of it,” he said. “It’s the first time, other than David Beckham [Yallop managed the LA Galaxy during Beckham’s MLS arrival in 2007], I’ve been involved in getting a top, top professional I think that’s exciting for me and the club.”
With the MLS transfer window closed, it’s unlikely another player of that category will be coming to the Fire before the September 15 MLS Roster Freeze date, though the team did get immediate dividends from free agent signing Robert Earnshaw who scored five minutes into his club debut Saturday at Toronto.
Even though a big name might not come before the end of the season, with the available funds, Yallop says he and his staff are plotting for the next window.
“It doesn’t stop now. We have some money to spend and we’re going to try to do it right, whether it’s right now, it’s a tough one but again moving forward, the club wants to compete and get going and add some real top players. I’m excited about the next little while that we can really look at some top notch players to bring in and obviously help us not just for this season.
“Again I’m not giving up on anything, but it’s not easy moving guys in and out, for us it’s making sure we get the best of what we have at the moment and look to really get some guys in that are going to help us not just next year but for years to come.”
One move that signaled the view towards 2015 was the trade of defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to Chivas USA in exchange for allocation money last Friday. The Colombian defender appeared 19 times for the Fire this season but had fallen out of the starting lineup of late and was due a salary increase in 2015.
“In general moving forward it was a big salary for us to handle for next season,” Yallop said. “I thought it was a fair deal and I think that Jhon wasn’t starting regularly anyway. I thought it was the right time to do that and get on with it. Obviously a great guy who played well for us but just felt the hefty salary for next season was probably a bit too much and we’d have to do it at the end of the season.”
And while some trades are made tougher by salary constraints on both sides, as the roster freeze date moves closer, Yallop wouldn’t rule out a move inside the league that could strengthen the side for a playoff push and view towards next season.
“Myself and [Technical Director] Brian Bliss made calls right after we didn’t get Jermaine,” he said. “We’re asking every team for what they have and what we have to move and try and maneuver. At this point it’s not an easy time to trade. Of course the deadline makes it a little bit easier because teams sort of make their mind up at that point but we’ve heard some interest here and there from different stuff so hopefully something comes through.”