Paraguayan midfielder Lider Marmol has left the New York Red Bulls and is heading to Chicago to train with the Chicago Fire. Marmol has yet to sign a contract with MLS or the Fire, but he will train with the Fire and make a decision on whether he wants to stay and sign with Chicago.
Marmol’s extended training stint with the Red Bulls came to an end on Friday after the Red Bulls determined they could no longer wait for something to change in the current deadlock involving them and the Chicago Fire, who hold the first right to sign Marmol within MLS. After being told his time with the Red Bulls was over, Marmol and his representantive arranged for Marmol to head to Chicago to train with the Fire, which had been in constant contact with Marmol’s agent during the past week.
"It’s a big step that he’s coming here and it’s a different thing talking on the phone and meeting face to face," Fire technical director Frank Klopas said. "He’s a good young player who we think can make us better so we’re happy."
Klopas acknowledged that Marmol will need some time to settle in with Chicago, but he believes the Fire will make the 23-year-old midfielder feel comfortable and want to sign with Chicago.
"I can respect that he wanted to play for a certain coach but this is professional sports and sometimes you don’t end up in situations that you want," Klopas said. "We have a first-class environment here with a coach who likes him and wants him here. (Marmol) is a young player and this is a learning process for him).
"We’re confident that he is going to feel comfortable here," Klopas said. "We’ll give him some time to meet the players and train and get settled in and take it from there."
If the Fire convinces Marmol to sign, it will add a versatile and skillful player who could step in and start either in central defense or defensive midfield. He is a sharp passer, very strong on the ball and has a powerful shot.
Do I think he will sign? As dejected and unhappy as Marmol was with being unable to play for the Red Bulls, I think Chicago will make him feel comfortable and he will wind up agreeing to a deal. Between the veterans on the Fire, and Denis Hamlett and Frank Klopas, I’m pretty sure they will give Marmol the hard sell and make him feel wanted and welcome. It might take a little time for Marmol to make a final decision, but I see him being a Fire player and starter by May (potentially in time for the first meeting between the Fire and Red Bulls on May 25).
The development makes an already disappointing year on the player acquisition front even more frustrating for Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who had coveted Marmol as the answer to the team’s need for another defensive midfielder to pair with Seth Stammler.
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