Photo courtesy of Chicago Fire
By ANTHONY ZILIS
New Chicago Fire midfielder Sebastian Grazzini arrived in Chicago on Friday morning. The Argentine playmaker will be available for selection for Saturday's game against Portland, though head coach Frank Klopas doubts he'll play that soon.
"I'm not counting it out, but it would be really difficult," Klopas said.
Grazzini should play in Tuesday's reserve game against Kansas City then Saturday against Manchester United. The Fire then have a nine-day break that includes the All-Star Game before they play Philadelphia.
"It’s good because we do have a break a little bit," Klopas said. "We do have some games we can get him into right away and that gives him some time to learn the players a little bit and to give the players a chance to know him. So the timing is perfect."
Grazzini last played for Club Atletico All Boys in Argentina after making stops in Belgium, Italy, and Spain. Chicago will be Grazzini's 10th team. His most prolific stint was with Serie D Italian side Sestrese, where he scored 22 goals in 45 games.
The Fire have been looking for a consistent playmaking midfielder to play underneath the forwards since the departure of Cuauhtémoc Blanco after the 2009 season.
Nery Castillo, a Designated Player signing last year, proved to be a bust, but Klopas thinks Grazzini can fill that void.
"He's a player that's technically very gifted," Klopas said. "He can make that final pass, he can create opportunities off the dribble for himself. He's got a great shot from the outside and he’s very accurate on dead ball situations. He's just a quality player."
Though he didn't give a definitive answer either way, Klopas didn't miake it sound like the Fire will make any additions for the rest of the season.
"I don't think this is a time, for me at least, when you make too many changes," Klopas said. "There's got to be consistency with the players you have. If you keep changing all the time, that's not going to happen."