Maybe the Chicago Fire is just getting to the point where Plan B is the new Plan A.
Instead of getting international superstar Didier Drogba, the Fire acquired MLS reject Gilberto, a Brazilian forward, for its last-place team. Drogba will play in Montreal for Fire legend Frank Klopas.
Klopas was dumped as Fire coach after the 2013 season but has the Impact in playoff position, 5 points ahead of the Fire with two games in hand. He also enjoyed a thrilling run to the CONCACAF Champions League final this spring.
A center back also is expected to sign with Chicago before the summer transfer window closes Aug. 6. The Fire has a minus-8 goal differential, better only than Philadelphia's minus-9.
Like Robbie Rogers and Jermaine Jones in previous seasons, Drogba made it clear -- about a week ago, according to a team source -- he didn't want to come to Chicago.
For Rogers the Fire obtained Mike Magee. For Jones the club got the shaft. For Drogba's MLS rights the Fire picked up a wad of MLS funny money, more than $250,000, according to ESPNFC. The Fire paid down the contract of designated player Kennedy Igboananike with targeted allocation money so it could take on Gilberto's DP deal.
The hope is that Gilberto will do better for the Fire than he did for Toronto FC, an underwhelming 7 goals and 5 assists in 28 MLS matches, and what Igboananike has failed to do for the Fire. Igboananike, one of three DPs Yallop brought here during the last off-season, has 2 goals and 1 assist in 19 matches for the second-worst offense in the league.
Ordinarily Gilberto still would be cause for a little bit of excitement. But after six years of failed DPs, Fire fans have learned to be more cautious.
Until Gilberto and the Fire prove they're for real, the club should expect as many rave reviews for this move as for the average Adam Sandler movie.
Drogba, 37, might have aged out of the beauty pageant that is international soccer, but he can still turn heads just by showing up, a quality the Fire desperately lacks.
Gilberto, 26, isn't on the same stage and never will be.