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Fire midfielder Alvaro Medran says ‘many things need to be changed’

Intentionally or not, Medran delivered a damning indictment of the team and how it was built.

Alvaro Medran
AP Photos

Midfielder Alvaro Medran didn’t simply point out what the Fire need for next year. Intentionally or not, he also delivered an indictment of the team and how it was built.

“There are many things that need to be changed,” Medran said. “We need ambition to try to win games. We need to demand more from ourselves, commitment, quality. A lot of things inside a locker room need to change that maybe aren’t there right now. There are things that need to change from top to bottom, but I’m confident, and hopefully, in the offseason, things can change so that this club can continue to move forward.”

It has been well-documented that sporting director Georg Heitz and former coach Raphael Wicky believed continuity from 2020 would produce better results in 2021. But the Fire regressed, leading to Wicky’s dismissal and questions about Heitz’s ability to build a winner in Major League Soccer.

One byproduct of bringing back mostly the same roster is the perpetuation of a mindset for a team that went winless in its last six games in 2020 when a playoff spot was there for the taking.

Clearly, the Fire got continuity, but not the kind they wanted.

“So that makes it difficult for things to change from one season to another because it’s the same players, and we have the same mentality,” Medran said. “In order to improve, you really need a winning mentality, and hopefully we can all look at ourselves and reflect on ourselves and see what we did and how we can improve, so that we can keep going forward and the club can keep moving forward.

“Because if you’re going to win, if you want to be a winning team, you have to have a winning mentality. You have to have a commitment to winning, and you need to work accordingly, so that you can improve. And you also need good quality.”

Whether Medran is back next season remains to be seen.

Signed by former coach Veljko Paunovic and executive Nelson Rodriguez soon after the 2019 season ended, Medran arguably has been the Fire’s best performer, playing for a front office and coach who didn’t sign him. The Fire hold a club option for 2022, but Medran was linked with a move back to Spain earlier this year and was coy when first asked about his future plans.

When the topic was brought up again last week, Medran’s vibe was the same.

“That’s a question for Georg,” Medran said. “He knows what I want, and I do want to reiterate that I never said I wanted to go back to Spain. But that’s something between Georg and me. He’s the one who makes the choices, and he’s the one who will say in the end.”

Medran, however, already has said a lot. Based on the Fire’s record, they were words that needed to be heard.