Patrick Nyarko could go back to being the man in the middle
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media April 20, 2012 9:12PM
VANCOUVER, CANADA - AUGUST 7: Patrick Nyarko #14 of the Chicago Fire chases down a loose ball during MLS action against the Vancouver Whitecaps on August 07, 2011 at Empire Field in Vancouver, BC, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Updated: May 22, 2012 8:09AM
Reacquiring striker Chris Rolfe was a no-brainer for a Fire team that has struggled to score through four games this season.
But whether to insert Rolfe into the starting lineup will be a difficult decision for coach Frank Klopas. He’ll have the luxury of waiting at least another week, as Rolfe will sit out the game Saturday against Toronto FC at BMO Field after spraining his left ankle in training Thursday.
Rolfe, the second-leading scorer in club history, is likely to replace Patrick Nyarko up top. That would allow Nyarko to switch back to his more natural position as an outside midfielder, but that would mean one of the other midfielders, Marco Pappa or Logan Pause, will have to sit.
“The coaches haven’t told me anything yet, but I anticipate eventually moving back into midfield,” Nyarko said.
“He [Rolfe] watches our games a lot, and he understands how we play now. My first couple of years, I played a different role when he was back here. He’s watched me since he left, and he knows what I can bring in the midfield.”
Nyarko, who spent all of training camp in the midfield, is known for his ability to create chances, so the Fire wants him on the field.
The prospect of Pause captaining the team from the bench was discussed during training camp. But when the team started the season, the club was better served with Nyarko up top, which made Pause and Pappa easy choices as outside midfielders.
“I want to be on a team that wins,” Pause said. “I’m here to help however I can, and if that means Patrick shifts around or something else shifts around, so be it. It’s just a part of building a successful team.”