Patrick Nyarko returns, while Fire decline options on 11

SHARE Patrick Nyarko returns, while Fire decline options on 11
SHARE Patrick Nyarko returns, while Fire decline options on 11

Winger Patrick Nyarko’s 2014 season ended Oct. 18 when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament and sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. His Fire career, however, will continue.

That might not be the case for 11 teammates.

The Fire announced Tuesday that they have re-signed Nyarko, whose contract expired at the end of the season. After the injury, there was some doubt about his future in Chicago, but coach Frank Yallop hinted strongly that Nyarko would be back.

“He’s been a good servant to this club, so we won’t chuck him on the scrap heap, that’s for sure,” Yallop said Oct. 22, four days after Nyarko suffered the injury against D.C. United. “We’ll figure out what’s going to go on at the end of the year.”

The end of the year also is bringing a significant amount of change for the Fire, who were 6-10-18 and missed the postseason for the fourth time in five seasons.

The Fire declined options on 11 players, including notables such as defenders Bakary Soumare and Gonzalo Segares, midfielders Alex Monteiro de Lima and Sanna Nyassi and forwards Robert Earnshaw and Florent Sinama-Pongolle. They also declined the option on defenders Marco Franco, Patrick Ianni, Hunter Jumper and Steven Kinney and forward Matt Fondy.

Loans for midfielders Grant Ward and Benji Joya have expired, and former homegrown player Victor Pineda is out of contract.

During the last weeks of the 2014 season, as questions turned toward rebuilding the team for 2015, Yallop promised changes were coming.

The Fire also exercised the options on goalkeepers Alec Kann and Kyle Reynish, defender Greg Cochrane, midfielders Chris Ritter and Matthew Watson and forward Quincy Amarikwa.

Yallop said the team is working to bring back some of the players whose options were declined.

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