INDIANAPOLIS – The Chicago Fire are prepared to move on without Uruguayan midfielder Álvaro Fernández.
But that doesn't mean a deal to send the Fire's designated player to Qatari club Al-Rayyan on a six-month loan, as has been reported, is done.
“Officially, we don't have anything yet,” Chicago President of Player Operations Javier Leon said. “The reality is that he has an opportunity to play in Qatar. He has a team there that's really interested in him, the coach is from Uruguay … we're evaluating that possibility. There's nothing there.”
The team is coached by Uruguayan Diego Aguirre, and Leon said Fernández thinks joining the club will help solidify his tenuous spot on the national team.
“The coach is very good friends with the coach of the national team,” Leon said. “He felt like this would give him more of a chance to be part of the World Cup roster.”
Pardo evaluating future
Coach Frank Klopas said on Thursday that 36-year-old veteran Pavel Pardo is evaluating his future with the club despite being under contract for one more season.
“I think for Pavel, he's getting to a point where he's making decisions if he's coming back or not coming back,” Klopas said. “So I think we have to be smart and proactive, knowing that, here's a guy that's given so much but at some point, he's not a young spring chicken anymore. Opportunities are there where we're bringing guys in who are not only here for this year, but for the future, and especially in key positions.”
Fire don't hesitate to give up pick
When the Fire had the opportunity to trade the 11th pick in the draft for Larentowicz, they didn't hesitate.
“We didn't feel we were going to get a player like Jeff with that pick,” Klopas said. “I think that we look at it, there's a player that we wanted, and we had scouted the draft pretty well and we just felt this was a guy we wanted and we made it happen.”
Klopas said that, with the Homegrown players thinning the draft pool, he didn't see the depth in the draft that had been there in years past.
“There's value in this draft and there's players that are going to come out of it and have an impact,” Klopas said. “But as there's more Homegrown players and I think that as teams develop their younger players more, you're going to see, as I think you saw a little bit in this draft, that maybe the difference-makers were not there.”