BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – New Fire forward Cristian Nazarit trained with Chicago for the first time on Thursday, playing with the second team during a full-field scrimmage before working with the other forwards in a finishing drill at the end of practice.
Nazarit didn’t have much of the ball in practice, but he did keep a high line and display a willingness to take defenders on off the dribble.
“He’s a good player — strong, smart, witty,” said Fire defender Cory Gibbs, who marked the 20-year-old Nazarit for part of the scrimmage. “I think the first session was really good for him and I think he’ll be a key asset for us in the future.”
Gibbs ready for Saturday
Gibbs, meanwhile, said he will be ready for Saturday’s match against Vancouver (8:30 pm ET, Watch online for FREE) after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. He participated in his first full training session Thursday since sustaining the injury, telling reporters afterward that he feels good and will be ready for the weekend.
“It’s good to just be back and playing again," he said. "I missed it. I feel close to full strength. I think the trainers have done an exceptional job getting me backm… and I feel ready to go.”
Fire winger Patrick Nyarko joined a large group of teammates on the sidelines for Thursday’s training. The Ghanaian winger, who came off the bench in last week’s 1-1 draw at Colorado, is day-to-day with a general illness, according to a team representative.
Defender Josip Mikulic (questionable; left clavicle contusion) and midfielders Logan Pause (questionable; right hamstring strain) and Mike Vidiera (out; concussion) also missed training on Thursday. Pause and Videira watched from the sidelines while Mikulic did some individual conditioning work.
Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday that he didn’t expect Pause or Mikulic to play this weekend.
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.