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updated: 5/6/2013 7:27 PM

Fire's lack of news troubling

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  • New England Revolution's Shalrie Joseph, left, tries to clear the ball past Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers during the first half of an MLS soccer game Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio.

      New England Revolution's Shalrie Joseph, left, tries to clear the ball past Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers during the first half of an MLS soccer game Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio.
    Associated Press

 
 

No news is not always good news.

When it comes to Monday's closing of the MLS transfer window, the Fire's lack of news is a problem.

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The eighth-place Fire (2-5-1, 7 points) has a long-standing need for a big-time scorer, a playmaking midfielder would be nice, and a little depth on the back line wouldn't be bad either.

President of soccer operations Javier Leon and vice president of soccer operations Guillermo Petrei were not available for comment, but team officials did not expect any news to break Monday.

The Fire roster lists 26 players, four below the league maximum. It includes just one Designated Player, forward Sherjill MacDonald, though the league allows three DPs per team.

"In the first eight games obviously, in the final third our production's got to get better," Fire coach Frank Klopas said. "To bring in the one player that can change everything, it's not as easy as sometimes people think, but we've got to be out there looking, continue to look."

But the biggest news around Toyota Park involves a player who says he'd rather stay retired than play in Chicago.

The Fire owns the MLS rights to Robbie Rogers but granted him permission to train with the L.A. Galaxy while the 25-year-old Californian decides if he wants to come out of retirement. He retired this winter after announcing he is gay.

"We stayed in touch," Klopas said. "I mean, this is normal. The guy went from someone not wanting to play soccer, he's back home with his family, I totally understand his point of view. He wants to stay with his family. He feels a lot of support. He's been away for many years playing. That's an understandable reaction."

Klopas said he the Fire will wait for teams to approach it. Leon and Fire owner Andrew Hauptman are based in Los Angeles and might try to meet with Rogers and his agent to change his mind about Chicago.

There's also speculation MLS, a single-entity league, might force the Fire to accept less than fair value for Rogers in order to get a trade done.

"He's a high-quality player. If anyone wants to talk, they'll have to approach the team in that situation," Klopas said. "We have to look at what's in the best interest of the Fire."

Money matters:

The MLS Players Union released players salaries Monday. Here are the five highest-paid Fire players by 2013 guaranteed compensation:

1. Sherjill MacDonald $527,125

2. Arne Friedrich $367,500

3. Alvaro Fernandez $366,666.67

4. Dilly Duka $273,000

5. Patrick Nyarko $249,500

MacDonald, a forward, has yet to score this season. Friedrich has been injured and hasn't played. Fernandez is on loan to a team in Qatar, Al Rayyan. Chris Rolfe, Jeff Larentowicz and Joel Lindpere also make more than $200,000, according to the MLSPU.

Team and league officials always remind us these figures are not 100 percent accurate but don't provide numbers they believe to be more accurate.

The injury list:

Add reserve forward Maicon Santos to the names of the Fire's walking wounded. He sat out training with a knee injury and is day-to-day, Klopas said.

Follow Orrin on Twitter @orrin_schwarz

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