Fire's Klopas mum on Robayo, optimistic about Pardo
Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas isn’t saying much about reports that claim his team will soon sign Colombian midfielder Rafael Robayo.
The 27-year-old sent out a tweet on Thursday that indicated he’d be joining the Fire for the 2012 season. Colombian news outlets jumped all over the story, reporting that the former Millionarios central midfielder would indeed be heading to Chicago.
Klopas wouldn’t confirm those reports in an interview with MLSsoccer.com on Thursday night. However, he did say that Chicago recently scouted Robayo.
“We’re not in a position to confirm anything at this point,” Klopas said. “I think Robayo is a good player. He’s someone that would fit well in our team, but the team is in no position for me to confirm anything at this point.”
The Fire would have quite a crowded midfield should they officially sign Robayo. Chicago already have Sebastián Grazzini, Logan Pause, Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko and Daniel Paladini under contract. They’re also in the process of negotiating a new contract with veteran holding midfielder Pável Pardo, who played a very important role for the team after signing in late July.
Both Pardo and the Fire have said they want to see the Mexican midfielder back at Toyota Park next year. Pardo told MLSsoccer.com earlier this offseason that he expected to have a deal in place by the end of November, but negotiations have obviously taken longer than originally expected.
Klopas said on Thursday that he still expects to re-sign the 36-year-old Pardo, who scored one goal and provided five assists in 13 regular season games with Chicago last year.
“Nothing has changed,” Klopas said. “We’re in the process of trying to re-sign the player. It’s always been said, he said it and we said it, that he wants to sign here and stay on the team and that’s how we feel also. We’re just trying to work everything out. Nothing’s been finalized [with Pardo], but we’re very optimistic.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.