Fire's Grazzini out for crunch matchup with RSL
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Injured Fire midfielder Sebastián Grazzini will not play in Wednesday’s crucial league match at Real Salt Lake (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online) and is a huge doubt to feature in Saturday’s fixture at Houston, according to Chicago interim head coach Frank Klopas.
Klopas told MLSsoccer.com on Monday that he hopes Grazzini, who injured his left hamstring in the first half of Sunday’s 3-2 win over New England, will be back in time for the Oct. 4 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final at Seattle.
Grazzini has three goals and four assists in nine games since joining Chicago from Argentine side Club Atlético All Boys in mid-July.
“He’s getting a MRI [on Monday] and it’s hard to say how long he’ll be out before you see the MRI,” Klopas said. “The goal is hopefully to have him ready for the US Open Cup final; maybe for Houston. It all depends on what the MRI is going to show.”
Klopas indicated that Grazzini will be one of the only regulars out of the lineup at the Rio Tinto Stadium, with the interim boss saying that he plans on starting a first-choice lineup against RSL. He won’t do the same on Saturday in Houston, hinting that he’ll rest some of his more key players ahead of next week’s all-important final – which will be the Fire’s fourth match in 10 days.
“You have to,” Klopas said when asked if he’ll leave out some of his starters against the Dynamo.
“Wednesday is a game where I think that most of the guys that played [against New England], unless there are more injuries, can play ... but I think the Houston game on Saturday is going to be very difficult,” Klopas added. “[It’s impossible] for guys to play on Wednesday, play on Saturday for 90 minutes in the heat and then recover in time for Tuesday. We’re going to have to make changes.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org