BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire may have to wait at least another week to see their first-choice defense in action.
Center back Arne Friedrich is close to returning to the field, but he's not quite fit enough to return to the field for Sunday's game against the New York Red Bulls (5 pm ET, ESPN2, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
“Not against New York,” Friedrich said Wednesday. “I didn't sprint in the last couple of weeks, so I have to build very slowly. I feel very well. I've practiced a couple of days with the team. I'm not fit, because I didn't train for five weeks with the team, but my body feels great. I just have to take care of my power and my speed.”
Logan Pause, though, may be ready to return to the field after suffering a quadriceps injury, which eventually led to other small injuries. He'll likely slide into the right back spot on Sunday, but he could eventually slide into his natural defensive midfield spot.
“I'm feeling really good right right now,” Pause told MLSsoccer.com. “I went through a spell of some good days, some bad days, but I feel like I'm over the hump.”
The midfield situation, though, remains unclear. Patrick Nyarko injured his hamstring in training early in the week, prompting Fire head coach Frank Klopas to say that Nyarko would likely be out on Sunday. On Wednesday, he said the Ghanaian was day-to-day.
“We're hopeful [he'll play],” Klopas said. “It's day-to-day. He's feeling a lot better, so we'll see.”