Fire's locker room enforcer has a softer side
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Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares, right, is a hard-nosed player on the field, but very soft-spoken off the field.
As locker room enforcers go, Gonzalo Segares doesn't sound very tough.
Above Segares' locker at Toyota Park hangs a list of fines for his teammates for various offenses such as showing up late for practice or games or not dressing appropriately for road trips. The sign asks his Chicago Fire teammates to leave their money in his locker. It's not really much of a kangaroo court.
"It's up to me this year. I'm the enforcer," Segares said, laughing at the idea.
"It's nice to have some responsibility to get the guys to pay, be responsible, but I think we have a good enough group that we don't have that much money yet," added Segares, known for his hard-nosed play on the field but soft-spoken off the field. "Last year by this time we had a pretty good piggy bank, but right now it's kind of empty."
That's the kind of roster coach Frank Klopas, president of soccer operations Javier Leon and vice president of soccer operations Guillermo Petrei have put together: good guys who get along and represent their club and city well.
"Hopefully, at the end of the year we'll have a little bit of money to get the guys together," Segares said. "Before it was more difficult when we had more Latinos."
Segares, a Costa Rican, laughs again.
"We're always looking to see who's wearing the wrong T-shirt or stuff like that," the Fire's veteran left back added, noting the help he gets from captain Logan Pause and new midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, who wore the captain's armband when Pause was injured the first four games of the season.
The players' rules match their enforcer's easygoing attitude.
"We don't like to be that strict," he said.
Whatever money is raised will go to a team party at midseason or after the season. Last year Pause hosted a barbecue midway through the season, Segares said. Maybe they'll go to a restaurant, get some food, play some pool.
If they get enough guys to break some team rules.
Follow Orrin's soccer reports on Twitter @orrin_schwarz
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