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Fire coach Frank Klopas plays up versatility

Frank Klopas Chicago Fire headshot MediDay January 18 2012 ToyotPark Bridgeview Illinois. | Phoby Brian Kersey

Frank Klopas of the Chicago Fire, headshot on Media Day, January 18, 2012 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. | Photo by Brian Kersey

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Updated: February 25, 2013 12:57PM

Coach Frank Klopas touts versatility as the most important characteristic for any of his players.

It’s almost a requirement for any player the Fire signs or drafts.

So when the team began its six-week training camp this week, Klopas was focused on fitness and versatility.

“[The coaching staff can] keep that in mind throughout the season in case there are injuries or because of the amount of games you play during the week,” Klopas said. “You should have players that can play a couple of different spots to be able to rotate guys if you do have the depth.”

Last season, a number of Fire starters were forced to play different positions. Captain Logan Pause played as an outside midfielder, defensive midfielder and left back. Jalil Anibaba played center back and right back, and Patrick Nyarko played striker and outside midfielder.

The opportunity to play different positions this early in camp gives players the chance for more playing time.

It also promotes more intrasquad competition on a Fire team that is one of the most talented in MLS.

“You can always take the six weeks to not only see players in different spots, but also to experiment and see how certain players play together,” Klopas said.


Nyarko has been held out of most of training camp with a “knee issue,” but Klopas underscored that he isn’t concerned. Nyarko is expected to begin running Thursday.

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