Polish defender Krzysztof Krol will return to the starting 11 for the Fire’s road match against Toronto FC on Saturday. Krol, who sat out last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chivas USA with a red card suspension, will replace Deris Umanzor at Toronto.
Like Umanzor now, Krol had a slow start in his first season with the Fire. “But I can see his development each week,” coach Carlos de los Cobos said after Tuesday’s practice. “Umanzor is working, but we want to play the players who serve us much better, and right now Krol is better.”
De los Cobos feels that Umanzor and Salvadoran midfielder Julio Martinez are still adapting to Major League Soccer. “MLS players are stronger, faster, heavier,” said de los Cobos. “For them to adapt to this situation isn’t easy, but I believe they can make it.”
De los Cobos was without both of his strikers during Tuesday’s full-squad workout. Collins John is recovering from a leg injury that kept him out of the Chivas match and Brian McBride had a sponsorship commitment. McBride is expected back at practice on Wednesday and de los Cobos believes John is close to returning after watching him run prior to the team’s Tuesday workout.
Midfielder Logan Pause, out with a knee injury since April 3, will be on the travel roster for Toronto. It’ll be the first time he’s been listed as eligible for action since his injury. Dasan Robinson, who has also had leg problems, returned to the full workout and English midfielder Danny Spiller began his second week of training as a tryout player.
Justin Mapp, who started as an outside midfielder against Chivas before a hamstring injury led to his going off in the 22nd minute, could only watch Tuesday’s drills.