The Chicago Fire resumed preparing on Monday for Wednesday’s game against FC Dallas (7:30 pm CT, watch LIVE online), training for just the third time since last Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat in the US Open Cup final against the Seattle Sounders.
This week’s On Fire takes a look at three stories from Monday’s practice:
1. Oduro ill, may miss Wednesday’s match
Team goalscoring leader Dominic Oduro was one of several key Fire players missing from Monday’s training, out with a 105-degree fever.
Fire interim head coach Frank Klopas told MLSsoccer.com on Monday that Oduro, who has bagged 12 goals this year for Chicago, could miss Wednesday’s Brimstone Cup finale as a result.
“He was sick, he had a 105 [degree] fever so we sent him straight to [the team doctor],” Klopas said. “Hopefully he’ll use the couple days to take some meds and recover, but the fever was high so I don’t know.”
2. Pappa, Nazarit out, too
While Oduro’s status is still up in the air, the Fire already know that they’ll be without midfielder Marco Pappa and forward Cristian Nazarit for Wednesday’s match.
Pappa is on international duty with his native Guatemala and won’t return to Chicago until after Tuesday night’s match against Belize in Guatemala City. Klopas told MLSsoccer.com that he’ll rest Pappa on Wednesday and play him on Saturday at D.C. United.
“[We've] got to be smart,” Klopas said of Pappa. “He’s played a lot of minutes and traveled a lot. The pace at the international level is a little bit above league play and he’s a key player for that team, too. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy for him, he has logged a lot of games and minutes and travel and so he’s got to get recovered. I know that he’ll be ready to go for the last two games when he comes back.”
Klopas said that Nazarit, who hasn’t played in a league game since Aug. 21, will miss Wednesday’s match with an injury he picked up in Sunday’s Reserve League win at Real Salt Lake.
3. Grazzini ready to go
Though they’ll be without one key midfielder in Pappa, the Fire will have midfielder Sebastián Grazzini available for Wednesday night’s game.
The Argentine missed all but five minutes of the Fire’s last three matches across all competitions with a left hamstring injury, but the Argentine playmaker trained fully on Monday and should be ready to go against FC Dallas.
Getting Grazzini back should be a huge boost for the Fire, who looked a bit lost without him during their Open Cup final loss at the Sounders.
“He’s ready to go,” Klopas said. “It’s good especially because Marco’s away with Guatemala. It’s huge for us that he’s been able to train full out and is feeling good.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.