Just because Major League Soccer has been on a World Cup break doesn't mean the Chicago Fire front office is going to be caught napping.
Coach/director of soccer Frank Yallop and technical director Brian Bliss kept busy this week by sending homegrown player Victor Pineda on loan to second-division side Indy Eleven and extending the loan from Tottenham of 19-year-old midfielder Grant Ward to keep him here through the end of the MLS season.
"I think we'll see Grant do well for the rest of the season now," Yallop said after training at UIC on Saturday. "I'm excited to have him. He's a good, young player."
Yallop likes Pineda also but wants to see a little more improvement. That requires playing time, something he wasn't getting much of in Chicago, other than reserve matches.
"Victor's had a few little sniffs (of playing time) with me," Yallop said, "but he's not quite the finished article with his full play, so we're going to try to get him time to go play and try to get a full 90 minutes out of him and just let him learn a little bit."
Pineda, a 21-year-old Bolingbrook native, was the Fire's first homegrown player, signing in 2010. He hadn't played in MLS until this season, when he has played 40 minutes over four matches.
The Fire continued to use the World Cup break to get healthy. Forward Mike Magee (right calf) trained with his teammates Saturday and should be available for Wednesday's match.
"It's great," Magee said of the right calf that kept him out the last couple of games. "Unfortunately it took so long to get great, but my timing is pretty good because I have a couple of weeks now to get fit again."
Gonzalo Segares and Patrick Nyarko watched training from the sideline following minor surgical procedures. Segares, sporting a nasty-looking scar on his right ankle, said he hoped to be training next week with the goal of being available for the Fire's game July 2 vs. Toronto FC. He had fluid drained from the ankle, but no bone spurs were found.
Nyarko is probably two weeks from training again as he recovers from a procedure to remove bone spurs from his ankle as well as a knee strain.
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