The Chicago Fire exercised contract options on six of their players today, which means they also declined to exercise the options on eleven of their players today. As reported by our friends at Hot Time in Old Town earlier this month, there are quite a few recognizable names on the list. Would the Union be able to benefit from this roster purge? Hot Time in Old Town looked at the players whose options were declined, :
Bakary Soumare: Baky had a "baffling" stint with the Philadelphia Union. The club acquired Vancouver Whitecaps slot in the allocation order (and their second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft) to get him, giving Vancouver their first round pick in the 2013 SuperDraft and allocation money. The Union then played him in just four games in a full year before trading him to Chicago for the Fire’s second round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money. Since returning to Chicago, Soumare has played in 48 matches for the Fire and looked rather solid. But would he come back? He famously tweeted about the Union's lack of training facilities, however that's being addressed. More importantly, would we want him back? His contract was just under Designated Player levels, which would put him at the "prohibitively expensive" category. He is a friend of Jim Curtin though, so maybe he'd take a pay cut to come back?
Gonzalo Segares: Also a friend of Curtin, at 32 Segares might have a few years left in him. He has experience both with MLS and abroad, and Curtin would know exactly what to expect from the Costa Rican center back as they were teammates with the Fire. That being said, he is a step slower and his last contract was prohibitive. The Union are also expected to be flush with center backs in 2015 (Carlos Valdes, Maurice Edu, Ethan White, Austin Berry, and Richie Marquez round out the depth chart), so the Union probably don't need his services.
Alex: The Brazilian midfielder is only 25, so perhaps he has some upside. That being said, he hasn't shown much while with the Fire and I can't imagine he'd add anything to a crowded midfield.
Sanna Nyassi: Another speedy winger for the Union roster? No thanks.
Robert Earnshaw: I think I like the idea of Robert Earnshaw much more than I'd like to actually have Robert Earnshaw, since we already have an aging striker gobbling up a ton of money.
Florent Sinama-Pongolle: We already had the American Freddy Adu - why would we ever want the French Freddy Adu?
Hunter Jumper: While he may have had the coolest name in MLS, it looks like the car wreck he was involved in back in 2013 has effectively ended his career.
Steven Kinney, Marco Franco, Matt Fondy, Victor Pineda: No, no, no, and no. The Union doesn't need more guys who should be in USL PRO or NASL from Chicago (cough Corben Bone cough),
Benji Joya, Grant Ward: Both are on expiring loan deals, so the chances of coming here are between slim and none.
But let's hear who - if anyone - you want to see in a Union kit next season? Take the poll and weigh in in the comments section below!