Yallop still sees opportunities to improve Fire roster
Frank Yallop hasn't given up on the MLS SuperDraft, Shaun Maloney or signing a third designated player this winter. The Chicago Fire coach and director of soccer has given up on Chicharito, however.
Yallop said he still has hopes the Fire can sign Maloney, a Wigan forward/midfielder, despite reports out of England linking him to Leicester City.
"We'd love to have him in Chicago, but it's basically up to Wigan right now," Yallop said. "... It's kind of a tricky situation right now. We're just kind of waiting to see what Wigan want to do and what the player wants to do. But I felt pretty good. The talks went well."
Yallop said the Fire still hopes to add depth on its back line and in the midfield, and he believes some of that depth could come from Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, in which the Fire picks seventh and 28th overall. The league's homegrown program and some college players' desire to play overseas has weakened the draft, and it showed when few players picked a year ago contributed to their teams.
"Seven is a decent number, so we're hoping that someone that we're targeting is going to be there at 7," Yallop said. "... I think we're going to get a decent player, and hopefully he sticks. But you never know."
Last year's Fire first-round pick, right back Marco Franco, never made the game-day 18 and no longer is with the team.
Yallop confirmed reports the Fire inquired about Mexican forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, but the club found his asking price "pretty astronomical" and discussions did not go far.
"We wanted to feel out what was going on," Yallop said of the 26-year-old Chicharito, now on loan to Real Madrid from Manchester United.
Even if Chicharito isn't coming and possibly not Maloney also, the Fire wants to fill its third and final DP spot before the season starts instead of waiting for the summer transfer window.
"We want to use it now," Yallop said. "In talks with (owner Andrew Hauptman), we want to use it right now and get this team moving and going in the right direction early."