Frank Klopas and the Chicago Fire will sign another center back before the 2012 season starts.
The head coach said as much during a conference call with reporters on Thursday, with full knowledge that there's little depth behind last year’s starting pair of Jalil Anibaba and Cory Gibbs.
Greek defender Stavros Stathakis left camp last week, and Klopas said his signing is still a possibility. Other options, however, are on the table.
“We might bring a few more into this camp and make a very good assessment and make the best decision for us,” Klopas said from Ventura, Calif.
Klopas disputed a report out of Panama that the Fire pulled out of a contract offer to defender Eduardo Dasent.
The Fire coach said Dasent’s Colombian club, Atlético Bucaramanga, wanted to send the 23-year-old Panamanian to the Fire’s training camp so Chicago could evaluate him, but that never happened.
“It just didn’t work out,” Klopas said. “[The report] is not accurate. We never had a contract offer for the player.”
Colombian midfielder Rafael Robayo arrived at the Fire’s training camp in Ventura on Wednesday night and participated in practice on Thursday.
Klopas said Robayo won’t play on Saturday against Chivas USA, but he should see time in next Wednesday’s game against Portland.
“He’s been doing some things on his own, but I think it’s going to take him a little bit longer now,” Klopas said. “We spent time with him yesterday and today with our coaching staff and our fitness staff to see some of the things he’s been doing.”
Puppo, Oduro a good partnership
Klopas said he liked the combination of forwards Dominic Oduro and Federico Puppo, who started alongside each other against Real España in New Orleans last weekend.
Oduro scored two goals in the 3-1 victory.
“I went with the two because I think they play well off each other,” Klopas said. “Puppo’s movement off the ball is very good. He’s very smart. I think there’s a good understanding when he plays with Dominic. They created some very good opportunities. Those two are very dynamic, and they’re fast.”