BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire midfielder Corben Bone hasn't played much this season. But he's hoping his performance in Saturday’s 2-2 friendly draw with Santos Laguna will help change that.
The 13th pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft delivered the second-half equalizer on the defending Mexican champions, and he thinks he showed his coaches that he can be relied upon down the stretch.
“It’s a good confidence boost, and it’s good for me as a player going forward,” Bone said. “I think hopefully that shows the coaching staff that I can score goals in a spot that you have to to perform.”
That spot, which has opened up after star midfielder Marco Pappa’s transfer to Heerenveen, has Bone and a host of other Fire reserves making their case for more playing time.
A group with just two regular starters struggled to keep up with Santos in the first half, falling behind 2-0. But the reserves settled in during the second half and nearly beat Santos.
“The first 45 I think was pretty eye-opening for us as a group,” Bone said. “And as the second half came, I felt like the team was more comfortable playing with each other. I think the ball moved a little better in the second half.”
Homegrown player Victor Pineda made his first start for the Fire first team on Saturday, playing in a deep-lying, central position before pushing up to play on the left side in an attacking position.
Pineda received positive reviews at both positions, and coach Frank Klopas has told him that he has the skills to be a central midfielder. But the 19-year-old youth national team player said he needs more games to be comfortable at that position.
“Obviously here, it was hard for me to adjust to the speed of play defensively,” Pineda said. “I think that’s something I need to get better at. I’m more comfortable out wide because that’s a position I’ve played for the [U-20] national team and here.”
Klopas thinks he can go either way with Pineda in the years to come.
“I think he can play either position,” Klopas said. “As a young player, I think the one thing now he has to do is to improve his work rate and make sure he tracks runners and defends well. He definitely wants to do all of those things and I think definitely he played well.”
Setback for Gibbs
Cory Gibbs started running a few weeks ago, but he suffered a setback in his rehab that will push back his return.
“We pulled him back a little bit right now,” Klopas said. “At the beginning, they said it was going to be six months, but you never know. I think it’s still that time frame that we talked about. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that he’ll be available before the season’s up.”