Nyarko hopes to refuel Fire
BY LEN ZIEHM Special to Sun-Times Media June 8, 2011 8:56PM
Updated: August 3, 2011 5:42PM
The Fire’s franchise-record winless streak has hit 10 games, but at least Patrick Nyarko is available again as the team faces three games in a 10-day stretch beginning with tonight’s road game against Sporting Kansas City (1-6-3).
Nyarko missed a month of games with his third concussion, and his absence was certainly a factor in the Fire going 0-4-6 after a 1-0-1 start. It’s not that the shifty winger from Ghana is the answer to all of the problems, but the Fire definitely missed him.
Now in his fourth season, Nyarko led the Fire in games (27) last season and tied for fifth in Major League Soccer with 10 assists. His 2010 season also was disrupted by a concussion that caused him to miss considerable playing time. He also had knee problems that required offseason surgery.
‘‘I thought the knee injury was the worst, but this concussion was worse than that,’’ Nyarko said. ‘‘You can’t do any activity until the symptoms go away, and I lost a lot of my fitness.’’
Nyarko came on as a substitute in the 54th minute of Saturday’s scoreless draw with the Seattle Sounders at Toyota Park.
‘‘I got in the last game, and you’ve got to start somewhere,’’ Nyarko said. ‘‘I’m not quite there yet, but I trained hard the last couple of days, and I’m cleared to do about everything.’’
The Fire’s lone win came against Sporting Kansas City, a 3-2 result in the home opener March 26.