Logan Pause

Fire could see fourth different player slot in at right back Sunday vs. Chivas


BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Injuries among the Fire’s defensive corps have complicated things for Frank Klopas this year.

The Fire went into the season with injuries to veterans Arne Friedrich and Logan Pause, forcing Klopas to insert Steven Kinney in the middle and push Jalil Anibaba outside at LA.

That pair did well the next week as they switched positions against New England but Kinney picked up a quad strain in the match, forcing Mike Videira into the lineup for Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Sporting KC.

Videira played 83 admirable minutes in the defensive effort before a late clash of heads forced him out of the match with a concussion.

“The injuries have made the start of the season difficult,” Klopas told Chicago-Fire.com Wednesday. “We went in from preseason knowing how we were going to play and the injuries have changed things now.

READ: Athletico Injury Report

There was a good sign Tuesday as Pause, the presumptive 2013 starter at right back, came off the team’s injury list.

Asked Wednesday if the Fire captain was ready to take his first bow of the season Sunday, Klopas was non-committal.

“He trained a little bit today but it seemed like his back and hamstring were bothering him so we just have to see what’s going on. I saw him come out a little bit towards the end when we were playing.

“It’s been two days training this week so we’ll just have to see how he reacts and feels after that.”

With Videira ruled out and Kinney listed as questionable for Sunday, if Pause isn’t ready to go, it seems likely that Wells Thompson, who replaced Videira late last Saturday, would be the go-to player at right back vs. Chivas USA.

The late minutes for Thompson at Sporting Park weren’t his first at the position.

“I went through a transition when I was in Colorado last year, kind of teetering playing right back. I’ve played there several times over the years and have also played left back a little bit.

“I like it, I feel like I can do well there. I think it plays to my assets as a player – being aggressive, just kind of eager to play the ball sometimes. If I slide in there this weekend, I’ll feel more than comfortable.”

READ: Pause's availability for Sunday in doubt

If he does get the start, it’ll mark his first in a Fire uniform since coming to the team in a trade deadline deal with Colorado last fall.

“A start would be great if it happens,” he said. “It seems like it’s been a long time. Obviously we’re all here because we’re competitive and we want to play. I want to play and I’ll be eager to show well if I get the opportunity.”