BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Four days on from the disappointment of missing out on the signing of Jermaine Jones, the Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop insisted the club will continue with its efforts to bring in a marquee name.
Jones’ move to the New England Revolution was confirmed on Sunday after a blind draw placed the US midfielder with Jay Heaps’ team and meant Yallop missed out on his key summer target.
However, Yallop refused to let the obvious disappointment of the club’s failure to land Jones dull his optimism about the future of the club and claimed their interest in bringing a top player “doesn’t stop now.”
“We have some money to spend, and we’re going to try to do it right. Whether it’s right now, it’s a tough one, but again moving forward the club wants to compete and get going and add some real top players,” Yallop said as he addressed the media at Toyota Park for the first time since the protracted Jones transfer fiasco reached a fruitless conclusion. “I’m excited about the next little while that we can really look at some top-notch players to bring in and obviously help us not just for this season.”
That determination to add quality to the squad began with the additions of Romanian international midfielder Razvan Cocis and Welsh striker Robert Earnshaw, a goal scorer on his debut at Toronto FC on Saturday. Former Liverpool, Recreativo and Atletico Madrid striker Florent Sinama Pongolle has also been training with the club for the past week, although it is believed that he is being looked at with a view to next season’s roster.
With 10 games remaining of the regular season, the Fire (4-6-14, 26 points) are somehow just five points outside the final playoff position despite a league-equaling low of just four wins heading into a home matchup Saturday against FC Dallas (8:30 pm ET; MLS Live).
As such, it is a guess at how much of an impact any new addition might bring to the group, but Yallop and technical director Brian Bliss are continuing their efforts to add to the squad.
“Myself and Brian made calls right after we didn’t get Jermaine,” Yallop said. “We’re asking every team for what they have and what we have to move and try and maneuver. At this point it’s not an easy time to trade. Of course the deadline makes it a little bit easier because teams sort of make their mind up at that point, but we’ve heard some interest here and there from different stuff so hopefully something comes through.”
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Yallop, who traded center back Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to Chivas USA for allocation money last week, reiterated that he’s not giving up.
“But it’s not easy moving guys in and out,” he said. “For us it’s making sure we get the best of what we have at the moment and look to really get some guys in that are going to help us, not just next year, but for years to come.”
The Fire also confirmed Thursday the signing of promising local midfielder Collin Fernandez, 17, to a Homegrown contract, although he will not be added to the Fire’s first-team roster until 2015.