BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos wasn’t in a revealing mood after training on Thursday, giving reporters zero clues as to who he’ll start – or what formation he’ll use – in Saturday’s season opener at FC Dallas.
“Right now, I know who is starting, but I want to wait for the match to say,” de los Cobos said.
The Mexican tactician couldn’t hide who he played in an intra-squad scrimmage, though. The first team, lined up in a 3-5-2, featuring Sean Johnson in net; Jalil Anibaba, Josip Mikulic and Cory Gibbs on the backline; Gonzalo Segares, Bratislav Ristic, Logan Pause, Marco Pappa and Baggio Husidic in the midfield; and Gastón Puerari and Diego Cháves up top.
Absent from the first string was winger/forward Patrick Nyarko. He featured on the flank for the second team.
Three players who didn’t practice and definitely won’t feature on Saturday are Steven Kinney, Mike Banner and Calen Carr. Kinney and Banner are still dealing with injuries picked up last year while Carr will miss the match due to a concussion suffered earlier in preseason.
All three are the only players listed on Chicago’s injury report.
“The other guys are all ready to play,” de los Cobos said.
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.