Fire's Maloney to exit after all
Shaun Maloney's time with the Chicago Fire is over after just eight months and 14 matches.
The 32-year-old Scottish midfielder/forward will be transferred to Hull City in England soon, Fire coach Frank Yallop said after training Thursday.
"It's not official yet, but basically Shaun, for family reasons, has asked to have a chance to go back," Yallop said. "We're working on it right now."
The soft-spoken Maloney did not train with the Fire on Thursday and was not available for comment.
Maloney is the Fire's highest-paid player at $1.586 million for the season, according to the MLS Players Union. He was the focal point of the Fire's off-season plans, but he had just 3 goals and 2 assists in 1,228 minutes as the club sank to last place in the Eastern Conference. He missed nine games due to injury or international duty. His departure has been rumored for weeks.
"Obviously, you've got to feel for the individual," added Yallop, who said Tuesday he expected Maloney to be with the Fire through the end of the MLS season. "He loves the team. He loves Chicago. But there are things he has to sort out and be there for people.
"We did fine on the deal, because in the end we sort of had to make it happen for Shaun, for him and his family."
Hull City manager Steve Bruce has told the English media he wanted to sign Maloney.
Yallop wouldn't say how much money the Fire will get from Hull City in the transfer but said "we didn't lose out on the deal. We did OK."
Yallop also said he wanted Maloney to play the rest of his career here.
"I didn't want Shaun to leave, but it is what it is, and at some point there's a human part of this."
Teammate Patrick Nyarko said he was sorry to see Maloney go.
"Shaun's been a great guy, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet," Nyarko said. "I watched him a lot before he moved here and I feel privileged to play alongside him. ... I think I've learned a lot from him and he's been a real good influence so far."
The Colorado Rapids come to Toyota Park on Saturday night (7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet) in last place in the Western Conference and riding a three-game losing streak. The Rapids (5-9-9, 24 points) have scored a league-low 20 goals this season.
"Every team in this league, even Philadelphia, they're down there with us; Colorado is at the bottom of the West, but they've got talented players who can play well," Yallop said. "I bet they've got their stories about why they didn't pick up as many points as they should like every team down there seems to have."
Brazilian defender Adailton did not practice Thursday because of an adductor injury, but forward Gilberto and midfielder David Accam did train and should be available for Saturday's match.
Yallop said Gilberto, the club's new designated player, probably won't start against the Rapids as he tries to regain fitness following a thigh contusion suffered last week at Philadelphia.
Newly signed defender Daneil Cyrus is still in Trinidad awaiting his visa.
"And then when we do get him he's going to national team duty, so it's a tough one," Yallop said. "But that's international signings."
The kid from Downers Grove:
Yallop said 18-year-old Collin Fernandez isn't likely to go back on loan to Louisville City.
"I'm very happy with Collin," Yallop said. "That's good for him. I had a good chat with him this morning. I said, you keep going. He's a young kid that's shown promise going there and learning a bit of hardship, if you like, has made him a better player. I've enjoyed having him in training and the minutes he has played."
Fernandez, a homegrown player signed out of the Fire Academy, saw six minutes with the Fire recently at Columbus and traveled with the club last week to Philadelphia.
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