Chicago Fire DP Arevalo Rios in training
Courtesy of Chicago Fire

With Chicago Fire MF stretched thin, team hopes new Designated Player Arevalo Rios can suit up

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire will have their whole forward corps at their disposal when they head to New England on Saturday, but their midfield may be thin.

Mike Magee said he'll return to practice on Tuesday after sitting out Saturday's game with a calf injury, and Chris Rolfe is set to play after dealing with hamstring tendinitis.

“It was more precautionary; we just wanted to make sure it didn't linger for the rest of the season,” Magee told “The busier our schedule got, my Achilles and calf gradually got worse and in the first half of [last week's US Open Cup loss to D.C. United], it kind of grabbed on me. I just wanted to make sure we didn't overdo it on Saturday's game.”

Midfielder Patrick Nyarko, on the other hand, hasn't practiced since he took a knock to the head last Wednesday, and he could miss Saturday's game with concussion-like symptoms.

“There's always hope but you never know,” coach Frank Klopas said. “As the days go by, hope gets slimmer. In the next couple of days, if he's not out here training, it's very difficult, so we'll see.”

Dilly Duka is optimistic he'll play after slightly spraining his ankle on Saturday.

“I'm looking at that, I want that,” Duka said. “We're going to see how it goes every day, we're going to see how it is. But I want to be able to dress and travel with the team.”

Chicago may add another midfielder on Saturday. Klopas hopes the Fire are able to open up an international slot this week so new Designated Player Arévalo Ríos can be added to the roster.

“I'm waiting to hear what happens,” Klopas said. “From tomorrow, we're going to start to do tactical work in training. I'd like to know today to have him involved in that because we need to work on our shape and the way we approach the game and how to defend as a group, and it's important to have him. If not, then it becomes more difficult as days pass by.”


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