Fire Notebook: Franco heavy from move, aims to play soon
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – It's no wonder that Chicago Fire forward Guillermo Franco was a little bit tired before playing 61 minutes in the Fire’s Reserve League game on Tuesday. He and his family had just moved halfway across the continent the day before, arriving in Chicago with barely enough time to lace up his boots.
“I felt pretty good overall, but [Monday] was a big day for me,” Franco said through a translator. “My family arrived, and you know everything that that entails, taking care of the kids and the luggage, so I felt a little bit tired because of that.”
The newly acquired striker was nonetheless involved several times in the first half, almost springing Dominic Oduro through for a breakaway in the third minute and just missing the lower corner on a shot in the 40th minute. But the fatigue of adjusting to a new city caused him to tire early.
Franco could be available for the Fire’s game against Columbus on Saturday, but coach Frank Klopas isn’t sure if he’ll dress the former Mexican international.
“It was important he played, which he needed because he hasn’t played in a long time,” Klopas told MLSsoccer.com. “We’ll just see how he feels his coming week.”
Franco is still going through the visa process, but he hopes to be called into the gameday roster as soon as possible.
“The coach’s plan is, as soon as I get my visa, I should be eligible, and I wouldn’t have a problem being on the bench, being ready to help the team,” Franco said. “I was a little tired today because of everything I had to do [Monday], but that’s normal.”
Pardo still questionable
Pável Pardo went through light training for the second straight day after sitting out last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Montreal with hamstring tightness.
Klopas isn’t sure whether he’ll be available on Saturday.
“We’re pushing him a little bit every day more day by day, so we’ll just have to see how he reacts with training more,” Klopas said.
Without Pardo or injured holding midfielder Daniel Paladini, Klopas shifted his formation, inserting midfielder Alex and pushing him up the field.
Logan Pause, meanwhile, was told to sit back more.
“[Alex] was more attacking. It just changes with personnel,” Klopas said. “We wanted Logan to play a little bit deeper and do a very good job on Felipe, which he did, and obviously with Alex we wanted two more attacking guys. With Alex, it was one of the best games he played. But he can play better.”