Photo by ISIphotos.com
By JEFFREY KRAUSE
Chicago Fire playmaker Sebastian Grazzini is currently in ongoing contract negotiations with the club, and the 31-year-old Argentine is getting a bit anxious to see the next step of his career resolved. Grazzini's contract status must be decided by July 1, a date that is rapidly approaching.
"If economically, financially there's a good contract, good offer, I'm willing to stay," Grazzini said through a translator. "But as everyone has seen they've taken a long time to decide.
"If I hadn't played well it would be understandable. I don't want to have problems here or leave on a bad note, but the truth is that the situation puts me in a tough spot because I have a family and the contract came up 20 days ago and there still hasn't been any movement."
Grazzini, who signed a one-year deal with Chicago from Club Atletico All Boys in his native Argentina, also indicated that he has had offers from clubs in his home country of Argentina, but that he would like to stay in Chicago under the right circumstances. He has two goals and three assists in 12 games this season after accounting for five goals and four assists in 11 games last season.
Here are a few more notes from Chicago:
FRIEDRICH RETURNS FROM INJURY
German centerback Arne Friedrich returned to full training this week after suffering an injury to his right hamstring against Sporting Kansas City on May 12. Friedrich indicated that the hamstring has fully healed, and that he's ready to return to action Sunday against New York, but the oft-injured player may opt to be cautious and wait one more week to return to the starting lineup.
"The most important thing is the hamstring is better," Friedrich said. "We have to do what is best for my body, but we have a few more days to train, and at the end of the week we'll discuss what will happen on the weekend."
ALEX JOINS CLUB
After a few days off during the international break, the Chicago Fire went back to work Tuesday as they prepare to face New York Red Bulls on Sunday. The day marked the first time new Brazilian midfielder Alex Monteiro De Lima, who goes by just "Alex," joined the club for full training.
Alex, formerly of FC Wohlen, joined the Fire during preseason training in Ave Marie, Fla. for a brief stint before returning to finish the season with his Swiss club. He signed with Chicago in April, but is unavailable to play until the transfer window opens June 27. He will be available for selection when Chicago takes on Sporting Kansas City June 29.
“Finally I’m here in Chicago,” Alex said before his first training session. “It’s brilliant to join the club now that I’ve finished the contract with Wohlen in Switzerland. Now that I’m here, I’m excited to help the team get in the best places. I’m happy to be here to start this new experience.”
KLOPAS OUT SCOUTING
Head coach Frank Klopas was absent from training Tuesday, and he was not in Utah as the Fire took on Real Salt Lake in reserve league action. A team spokesperson indicated that Klopas was on a "scouting trip" but would not elaborate further.