The Chicago Fire have composed a solid offseason so far as they seek to escape the gutter of the Eastern conference, but an unfortunate injury has thrown a wrench into their plans.
Fire defender Matt Polster could reportedly miss up to seven weeks after suffering a knee sprain in preseason training last week. The injury timeline would leave him missing the beginning of the season without a doubt, and potentially all of March. Polster appeared in 27 matches, starting 24, for the Fire last year while socring two goals and notching two assists, and has been a regular fixture of the back line since joining the team in 2015.
The former 7th overall MLS Draft pick was a finalist for the 2015 MLS Rookie of the Year award, and will unfortunately have to overcome this bad news to continue his development after a breakout 2016.
NO PUBLIC FUNDING FOR POTENTIAL CINCY STADIUM, SAYS MAYOR
FC Cincinnati included a shock stadium proposal in their MLS expansion bid last week, which detailed two potential stadium sites in the city’s center, but may have to make do without public funding.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley stated that he was not aware of any plan for public funding and did not anticipate the issue arising in relation to FC Cincy’s bid, raising questions about funding for any potential soccer specific stadium endeavors, reports The Enquirer. While the exact details of Cincy’s plan remains unknown to the general public, the team felt confident enough to press ahead with their expansion bid last week, and Mayor Cranley has previously given his staunch support to the team.
“No one has talked to us about taxpayer money for a stadium in any manner whatsoever.” said Cranley. “I don’t envision that.”
DETROIT OWNER GILBERT OFFERS WAYNE COUNTY JAIL SITE EXCHANGE
Detroit’s MLS bid has already hit their stadium roadblock, as their proposed development plan for a stalled jail site stadium complex was passed over by the city, but the ownership group’s plans for the area aren’t dead yet.
Investor and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has reportedly offered Wayne County an exchange deal for the much-desired jail site, reports the Detroit Free Press. The plan calls for Gilbert to build the County a new criminal justice center, including adult and juvenile jails, as well as a courthouse, in an undisclosed location, in exchange for the current jail site and rights to build an entertainment district including the soccer stadium. The group has stated they want an answer by February 20th, but the County offered only limited comments.
“Today, the County received a proposal from Rock Ventures as an alternative to completing the jail at Gratiot.” stated Jim Martinez, spokesman for Wayne County executive Warren Evans. “We will withhold further comment on the offer until we’ve had the opportunity to review it.”
REPORT: CREW TO SIGN ARTUR ON LOAN
The Columbus Crew had a down 2016 after their MLS Cup Final appearance in 2015, but they’re looking to bounce back and are targeting a Brazilian midfielder to try and make that happen.
The Crew are reportedly set to sign Brazilian midfielder Artur on loan from Sao Paulo FC. The 20-year old midfielder has played only limited time for Sao Paulo since joining the team on a senior contract in 2016, making just four appearances, though he did win the Brazil U-20 Cup with the club’s youth team, as well as the U-20 Copa Libertadores in 2016.
REPORT: RED BULLS SET TO SIGN MURILLO
The Red Bulls, after their 2015 Conference Final loss to the Crew, had a much better 2016, but again failed to reach the MLS Cup Final. They look to repeat their successes in 2016 and take the next step forward with a new Panamanian signing.
The team has reportedly signed Panamanian defender Amir Murillo on a one-year loan deal from his former club San Francisco FC of the Panamanian top flight. The 20 year old right back has played for San Francisco FC since 2014 after graduating from the team’s youth academy, and has made 51 appearances, scoring three goals. He has also featured for Panama’s national team, earning nine caps and scoring once.