BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Gonzalo Segares returned to the training pitch on Tuesday, and the Costa Rican defender – who ended a five-year stint with the Fire when he joined Cypriot club Apollon Limassol in January – said he’s happy to be back with his old team.
“This is where I started my career and the team had always been great to me,” Segares said Tuesday. “I’m happy to be back.”
But Segares didn’t have the most pleasant road back to the Windy City. The 27-year-old struggled to attract suitors after his contract with Apollon expired this May, making his two-month stint as a free agent a frustrating one, he admitted.
That frustration ended last week, when Fire technical director Frank Klopas called Segares with a contract offer.
“Frankie called me at the right time,” Segares said. “He was trying to figure out what I was doing and I told him that I was still free and they made a good offer.”
Now that Segares is back in Chicago, the question becomes what position he’ll play. He’s a natural left back, but Klopas hinted he could spend some time in the middle this season. Segares said he’s open to either spot.
“I feel comfortable in both,” Segares said. “But that’s a decision of the coach. I just got to come back and get back in shape.”
Segares – who, again, has been out of season since May – doesn’t think it will take him very long to get back into game shape.
“Fitness-wise, I’ve been running and stuff, I just need to get my touch back,” Segares said. “[I want to be back] as soon as possible. We’ll see how I feel about the [Aug. 18 match against New England] when it comes around.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.