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Fire searches for more help at striker

New EnglRevolutidefender KevAlstleft heads ball away from Chicago Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko (14) during their first half their MLS soccer

New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston, left, heads the ball away from Chicago Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko (14) during their first half of their MLS soccer match in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, June 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

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Updated: March 6, 2013 6:29AM



With the Fire’s front office having accomplished its primary preseason goal of strengthening its midfield, the team will turn its focus toward acquiring a proven, goal-scoring striker.

The Fire announced Monday it had traded striker Dominic Oduro to the Columbus Crew for midfielder Dilly Duka and the MLS rights to striker Robbie Rogers. The Sun-Times reported Saturday that the deal had been completed.

Fire coach Frank Klopas praised the deal but underscored the
necessity to find another striker, be it on the roster or abroad.

“We are looking very hard,” Klopas said. “We have some very good options. Sometimes options we have within Europe, [those] players are not free at this time. Our secondary [transfer] window is their primary [transfer] window.”

Should the Fire need to wait until the summer, when the MLS secondary transfer window opens, it has other viable interim options.

Klopas said the Fire is looking to have a discussion with Rogers, who is in Europe, about his interest in returning to MLS.

But there also has been talk
internally about moving Brazilian import Alex to striker on a more permanent basis. After joining the Fire in the summer of last season, Alex primarily came off the bench as a midfielder.

Known as an offensive player, Alex has the ability to play as a striker and in combination with Sherjill MacDonald, who plays mostly forward in the Fire’s tactical formation.

“Alex has proven in the time that he played that he’s a capable guy that can score goals and be dangerous in the final third,” Klopas said.

“Being here with us from the beginning now, he’s going to bring even more on the field and have a bigger presence.”



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