BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – It’s easy for Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas to gauge Patrick Nyarko’s value around Major League Soccer.
The speedy midfielder doesn’t score many goals, but Klopas says team executives across the league notice his ability to break down defenses, and they make it clear that they’d like to have him.
WATCH: Strong Nyarko header puts Chicago in front
“We always get calls on Patrick, a lot of teams want [him,]” Klopas said Thursday. “He does things that maybe you don’t see when you look at a stat sheet. He’s a rounded player, for what he does without the ball for 90 minutes.”
The Ghanaian, however, was not one of six Fire players on the fan ballot for the July 25 All Star game at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Now that the votes are in for the starting lineup, Fire personnel are making a push for Commissioner Don Garber or All-Star coach Ben Olsen to make Nyarko one of their picks for the All-Star team by sending them open letters and starting a twitter campaign.
Riding off a push from the MLB's Chicago White Sox to have fans make pitcher Jake Peavy an All Star – by starting the Twitter hashtag #TakeJake – the Fire are using the hashtag #PickPat to raise awareness for Nyarko’s candidacy.
“A couple years ago, I thought I deserved to be on the team, but unfortunately ,I didn’t get selected,” Nyarko said. “This year, I think I’ve played well enough.”
Nyarko only has two goals and three assists, so statistically his candidacy is a tough sell for an attacking player. This year is only the second time he’s scored multiple goals in a season during his five years in the league.
But captain Logan Pause thinks the men in charge need to look beyond the numbers.
“He’s an elite player in this league, and teams fear him,” Pause said. “Maybe the stats like that aren’t necessarily on there where it’s an easy ‘on-paper’ pick. But the damage that he creates and how dangerous he creates with the ball is second-to-none.”