Fire sign Uruguayan forward Puerari

Fire sign Uruguayan forward Puerari

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
Posted: 1:15 PM

By Jamie Bradley
CSNChicago.com

The Fire took another step in their rebuilding process on Thursday, signing Uruguayan forward Gaston Puerari. Puerari, 25, played most recently for the Montevideo Wanderers of the Uruguayan Primera division.

In 35 appearances with Montevideo Puerari scored eight goals and with his previous team, the Rampla Juniors, he knocked in six goals in 30 appearances.

His signing makes him the tenth new player to join the Fire since the 2010 season drew to a close and the team lost a number of its big name players.

Puerari is expected to have a good shot of finding a spot on the team as there are currently only two other forwards on the roster, Calen Carr and Patrick Nyarko.

Rumors of a move surface, but David Accam stays with the Fire

Rumors of a move surface, but David Accam stays with the Fire

Rumors surfaced on Wednesday that David Accam could be on the move this transfer window.

However, just like in the winter, the rumors didn’t lead to anything and Accam is staying with the Chicago Fire.

Taylor Twellman of ESPN first reported that French club Nantes was going after the Ghanaian. Nantes was American international Alejandro Bedoya’s club before he joined Philadelphia earlier this month. Doug McIntyre followed up with a report saying Nantes offered $3 million for Accam.


However, the transfer deadline for the big leagues in Europe closed tonight and Accam is still with the Fire. Accam is currently with Ghana’s national team for a African Cup of Nations qualifier.

Interest in Accam is no surprise and nothing new. When healthy, Accam has been the Fire’s most dangerous attacker and is the most valuable asset on the team.

This winter rumors started of a possible move for Accam after he trained with English Premier League club Stoke City. Accam has expressed interest in moving to Europe, specifically England, at some point in his career.

The sticking point for a move to England is that he would not be able to get a work permit without going through the tricky appeal process. Accam does not hold an EU passport so he would need to get a work permit to play in England. The only way to get a waiver for one is to have played a certain percentage of games with your national team in a given period. Accam is with Ghana now, but missed the last international window due to injury.

Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez is hosting a media roundtable, the second one of the season, on Thursday. While the Accam move didn’t happen, it will be brought up for Rodriguez to comment on.

Fire try to regroup after season's most lopsided loss

Fire try to regroup after season's most lopsided loss

Momentum is something Chicago Fire coach Veljko Paunovic talks about frequently.

When the Fire beat Montreal on the road for the team’s first road victory in more than two years Paunovic talked about the need to capitalize on that momentum. After a home draw against the LA Galaxy and more recently a resounding 6-2 road loss to D.C. United, it’s clear that the Fire were unable to keep the momentum going from that streak-busting road win.

“You can just go back and see how the mood changed after we won the game in Montreal, how positive everything was,” Paunovic said. “Then you can see the same thing or the opposite thing when you lose the game against D.C.

“Momentum is very important and at least we have some control of how we can react and how we can respond to the momentum that we are leading now. We have to understand that the next game will give us another boost.”

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Khaly Thiam’s red card in the first half at RFK Stadium changed the match just a few minutes after Michael de Leeuw tied it with his second MLS goal. Paunovic said he talked with Thiam about the red card.

“He is aware that he made a mistake and we have to understand that he is a young player still adjusting to our league,” Paunovic said. “My most important thing that I could share with you from our conversation is that he learned. He learned that he has to control his emotions, he has to control his competitiveness and of course he has to know that every action we make on and off the field represents our team so he learned from all this and he also addressed the locker room and we move forward. That’s very important for us to learn from our mistakes, but for sure don’t forget them and don’t repeat them again.”

The loss at D.C. was a killer blow to the Fire’s playoff hopes. D.C. is in the all-important sixth spot in the Eastern Conference and is now nine points ahead of the Fire. Chicago has nine matches to make up that ground, which would be a tough task for any team, let alone one currently with the worst record in the league.

Despite this, Paunovic still brought up the playoffs during Tuesday’s conference call with reporters.

“We have games to play and we are not abandoning and we are not giving away our goals to reach the playoffs,” Paunovic said.

The Fire’s next three matches are all at home against Eastern Conference teams currently in playoff positions. In order to maintain this playoff chase, the Fire likely need to win all three considering a three-game road trip follows.

Defensive mistakes, red card cost Fire in ugly loss at D.C.

Defensive mistakes, red card cost Fire in ugly loss at D.C.

RFK Stadium hosted one of the stranger games of the Chicago Fire’s season on Saturday.

It also may end up being a killer blow to the Fire’s playoff hopes.

The Fire lost 6-2 to the host D.C. United, falling nine points out of the playoffs with nine matches remaining.

Patrick Mullins had a hat trick and former Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko played a role in three of D.C.’s goals. The six goals were the most the Fire have allowed this season.

Fire midfielder Khaly Thiam received a red card in the 34th minute in a match-changing moment. Thiam fouled Nyarko then argued with the ref and dropped the ball on Nyarko’s face while Nyarko was still on the ground.

Nyarko keyed the opening goal in the 25th minute with a backheel in the box to Marcelo, whose low cross was finished off by Mullins.

Michael de Leeuw answered for the Fire (5-12-8, 23 points) by tucking away a big rebound from goalkeeper Bill Hamid after Matt Polster hit a half-volley at Hamid. The relief was short-lived for the Fire because Thiam was sent off a few minutes later.

Nyarko set up Mullins for a goal in the 40th minute and then Luciano Acosta did the same for Mullins in first half added time to make it 3-1 D.C. (7-8-11, 32 points). Razvan Cocis got the Fire back within one on the final kick of the half with a long shot that took a big deflection, lofting the ball perfectly over Hamid and into the net.

However, Nyarko quickly restored D.C.’s two-goal lead out of halftime with a goal in the 51st minute. Mullins finished off his hat trick in the 76th minute and Nick DeLeon finished the scoring in the 89th.

David Accam, who was favoring and icing his left leg after Wednesday’s draw with LA, did not start the match. He subbed on at halftime. He and David Arshakyan, who made his Fire debut off the bench, will both leave for international duty and miss next weekend’s match against Philadelphia.