Patterson: Young Fire Midfielders Find Success

Patterson: Young Fire Midfielders Find Success

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
4:08 PM

By Jen Patterson
CSNChicago.com

For Baggio Husidic and Peter Lowry, this season has given them the opportunity for more playing time and both of the young midfielders have found success on the field.

The production on the field has not gone unnoticed by coach Carlos De Los Cobos. Baggio and Pete, they are young players. The last season they did not have many opportunities to play. Now its different, they are playing. They are maturing every game. Im very happy with these guys. They are working very hard to win their space on the team, said De Los Cobos.

Husidic and Lowry each scored in the 2-0 shutout victory vs. Houston which may partially be due to how De Los Cobos can relate to the midfielders on more then a coaching level.

24-year-old Lowry said, Hes been great. He played center-mid when he was a player. He was very successful. We can take a lot away from that. He knows a lot about the game. He really has worked with us a lot. Hes had so much success as a player and as a coach.

Carlos is a people person. He likes to talk to the players off the field. Its nice. You know him as a friend off the field as well, said Husidic.

Fire Technical Director, Frank Klopas, has watched the development of the midfielders from last season moving into this season and knows that with every game comes improvement. They are good players, with anything you need to give them confidence. The coaching staff has done that. You see the games and opportunities they have. They have taken advantage. There is still room for improvement but you can see they have a good attitude, said Klopas.

Libertyville native, Husidic, also credited veteran Brian McBride, saying that he has learned little things from him that matter a lot on the field that you cant learn from a coach. These midfielders will look to continue their success on Saturday in Toronto.

Fire draft two Charlotte 49ers to close out draft

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USA TODAY

Fire draft two Charlotte 49ers to close out draft

The Chicago Fire drafted three players in the first two rounds of the MLS draft on Friday and added another two players in the draft's final two rounds on Tuesday.

The Fire selected two players out of Charlotte in the final two rounds. Midfielder Brandt Bronico went with the third pick in the third round, No. 47 overall, and defender Matej Dekovic was picked with the third pick in the fourth round, No. 69 overall.

Bronico was a key cog all four years at Charlotte. He was a three-time First-Team Conference USA selection and Conference USA Player of the Year as a senior. He totaled 25 goals and 23 assists in four years, including nine goals and five assists in 18 matches as a senior. He had eight goals and 10 assists as a junior.

Bronico also scored an eye-catching goal on the final day of the MLS Combine.

Dekovic is a defender born in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a First-Team Conference USA pick this fall while playing at left back. The Fire don't have much depth currently at outside back, but Dekovic's status as an international player will give him an uphill battle to make the team.

The Fire open preseason camp in six days on Monday, Jan. 23.

Fire trade for midfielder Dax McCarty

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USA TODAY

Fire trade for midfielder Dax McCarty

Midfield has been an area of focus this offseason for Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez and another new addition to that group was added on Monday.

The Fire have traded $400,000 in general allocation money in return for midfielder Dax McCarty from the New York Red Bulls. Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two first reported the trade.

McCarty was an All-Star in 2015 and part of the league's Best XI that season when he had eight assists to go with a goal. Last season he made 26 starts for the Red Bulls and totaled three goals and had five assists.

"Since the middle of 2016, we made acquiring Dax our No. 1 priority," Rodríguez said in the club's press release. "We believe adding his character and leadership in the locker room, as well as his exceptional soccer abilities on the field, dramatically improves our team."

The last time McCarty played at Toyota Park was a 2-2 draw on July 31 when a Khaly Thiam tackle caused a fractured tibia, which forced McCarty to sit out a month.

McCarty got married on Saturday, which delayed his arrival to the current U.S. national team camp. McCarty's participation in national team camp means he will join the Fire's preseason already in progress. The final match of the camp is on Feb. 3 while the Fire are set to start preseason on January 23.

McCarty, 29, has spent the past five and a half seasons with the Red Bulls. He began his career by playing five seasons for FC Dallas and was with D.C. United for part of the 2011 campaign before being traded to the Red Bulls. As an 11-year league veteran and the Red Bulls' captain, McCarty adds leadership and experience which Rodriguez has prioritized this offseason.

The Fire already added a former MLS All-Star in midfield this offseason in Juninho. The pair could line up next to each other in the preferred 4-2-3-1 coach Veljko Paunovic used for most of last season. This also could potentially put Matt Polster's role with the team in question. As the roster stands now, the third-year midfielder would be competing for two veteran All-Star caliber midfielders who were brought in at a high price.

Not to suggest a position move is in the works for Polster, but he did split time between midfield and right back with the Fire in 2015 under coach Frank Yallop and played there for the U-23 national team in Olympic qualifying. Right back remains a position of need by Rodriguez's own admission.

The trade also adds further context to the Fire trading the No. 3 pick in the draft on Friday. The Fire swapped the pick for $250,000 in general allocation money from New York City FC and Tenorio is reporting the Fire will send $400,000 to the Red Bulls for McCarty. To add those two moves together, the Fire dealt the No. 3 overall pick and $150,000 of allocation money for McCarty.