BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Newest Chicago Fire signing Răzvan Cociș arrived back in the U.S. this past weekend and began training at Toyota Park on Tuesday.
The Romanian international took in an hour-and-a-half long session with first team players that stayed back from the team’s match at San Jose on Wednesday as well as a mix of PDL and Academy players.
“It feels good to be back and here with a new club,” Cociș told Chicago-Fire. “I’m excited to get started with the first team when they return this week."
Having last played for Ukrainian side Hoverla Uzhorod, Cociș said part of the reason he left was because of financial problems at the club. The other reason: the currently political instability in Ukraine.
“I was thinking about safety for my family and we decided not to go back,” he said. “I think these times in Ukraine it’s not hard to play football but it it’s very hard to concentrate on the game.”
Fluent in English, Cociș was first attracted to the idea of playing in MLS when the Romanian national team played a pair of friendlies at Soldier Field in 2006.
The 31-year-old midfielder says the league’s quick growth has made it an attractive option for a host of Eastern European players.
“The level of play has grown in such a short time it’s become a very viable option. We saw the national team do very well in the last two World Cups and for me this was a motivating factor to come to play in the U.S.”
Răzvan Cociș trains at Toyota Park Tuesday (Jeff Crandall/Chicago Fire Communications)
Cociș enters a 3-4-11 Fire team that feels they should be slightly higher up in the Eastern Conference table. Despite a difficult start in the first half of the season, the Fire find themselves just three points out of the last playoff spot in the East and Cociș says he doesn’t feel any pressure as a midseason signing.
“I feel duty to come in and help the team do well. There’s no pressure. I want to help the team do better, get results, advance in the Open Cup and get to the playoffs.”
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for Cociș. After finalizing his paper work the first week of July, he returned to Romania, gathered his family and all arrived in Chicago on Sunday.
- TICKETS: See Cociș debut vs. Tottenham
He’ll train with the players in Chicago the next few days before the full first team returns for Friday’s open training session at Toyota Park ahead of Saturday’s friendly vs. Tottenham Hotspur (TICKETS).
Fire head coach Frank Yallop had said he hoped the friendly vs. Spurs could see Cociș make his club debut and the player says he’s ready to play a part if called upon.
“I’m not as fit as the other guys because my season ended in May, but I need to get up to speed with the team. How much I play is something we need to discuss with the coaches and trainers, but I can play, of course.”
So how do you pronounce Razvan Cocsis anyway? Click play below... You're welcome.