Three years ago, Frank Yallop visited Tottenham Hotspur and came back with a significant piece of his 2012 Supporters' Shield-winning San Jose Earthquakes team: midfielder Simon Dawkins.
He hopes to have done the same in 2014, this time as head coach and director of soccer operations of the Chicago Fire.
The Fire brought in 19-year-old Spurs winger Grant Ward for a two-week trial, which ended shortly after he scored a goal in Wednesday's 2-1 preseason win over Colorado in the opener of the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz. Yallop hopes to bring him back soon.
“He had a wonderful two weeks with us,” Yallop told reporters on a conference call. “We'd love to be able to keep him, but it's obviously up to Tottenham. We have a great relationship with them. I feel like we can get that done, but at the same time, you never know. ...
"Grant's very committed to coming back and working this out. He's done well enough that we're in that spot. We'll see how it goes. I won't put a percentage on it, but I'm hoping that it works out and we have Grant available for us because he's a good young player.”
The right midfielder scored twice in his four preseason games with the Fire. Like San Jose's move for Dawkins, the Fire would acquire Ward via loan, but Yallop said he's “thinking long-term” with any move for the youngster.
For his part, Ward seems to hope the deal is done sooner rather than later.
“I think it's been positive since I've been here, I've enjoyed my time,” he told Chicago-Fire.com. “I'm hoping to get a loan here and to play some games.”
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Yallop said the club will act quickly to make a move rather than bringing Ward in during the season.
“We're hoping to get it done now,” Yallop said. “I've seen enough of Grant. I saw him when I was in England, watching him in training and playing games. I saw enough of him to prove that he can come over here and really excel.
"For us, hopefully we can get a deal done with Tottenham. Again, I don't know what we're thinking over there, but I have a good relationship, and in the end, I hope we can get it done.”