Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman labels team's start "a disappointment," calls for new signings
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman made it clear on Thursday that he'd like his technical staff to make a signing or two before the transfer window closes on May 6.
Whatever it takes to reverse the slow start to the season (2-4-1, 7 pts), although the outlook is brighter after the victory over the Columbus Crew last weekend.
"I’m hoping we turned a corner [in the Columbus game]," Hauptman said in an impromptu Q&A with reporters at Fire practice on Thursday. "The first part of the season has been a disappointment. I don’t want to shy away from the truth, but that’s been what it is. Obviously we’ve been hit by different injuries and different challenges, but I think at the end of the day, I think the expectations are to perform at the level of the last three games rather than the ones before that."
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A goalscoring forward, a playmaker and a defender are currently on the Fire's wish list, and if Hauptman had his way, they would materialize in the next few weeks.
“I'm hoping that there will be signings before this window closes,” he said. “That’s my hope and that’s what I’ve tasked the technical staff to shoot for. We also have to be realistic about what the options are out there and what are the kinds of players that are really going to have an impact.”
The Fire made a run at one potential impact player in Chilean striker Humberto Suazo this offseason, but Monterrey signed him to a three-year extension, putting him among the highest-paid players in the Liga MX.
And while Hauptman didn't want "to set expectations" for a Suazo-like recruit, he did make it clear he wanted the Fire's success rate with new signings to improve.
"It’s not easy and I wouldn’t say we’ve been particularly good at it to date," Hauptman said. "But we’re trying to take all of the steps necessary to do better."
Anthony Zilis covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com.