While Patrick Nyarko does not have the finishing touch to ever suggest he'll match his goal scoring rate at Virginia Tech (31 goals in three seasons), it has been a lot of fun to watch him grow as a playmaker with the Fire. He has speed for sure but his best attribute is dribbling the ball past defenders and getting them to anticipate his next move j..u..s..t enough that hequicklycounters and leaves them behind. He leads the team in assists (7) and when he is not on the field the team definitely misses his creative spark. For these reasons, we should all be concerned about Patrick missing last Sunday's game against the New York Red Bulls.
Nyarko missed the July 17th and July 20th SuperLiga games with concussion symptoms. He was able to play in the LA Galaxy game on August 1st and even set up Collins John's goal in the 5th minute (brilliant one touch on a pass from Baggio Husidic). I was very excited about seeing Nyarko, Pappa, Ljungberg, John and Castillo team up against New York with McBride providing veteran savvy as a 60 minute sub or so. Nyarko never even got to start as he was sidelined again with the same concussion symptoms. For as much as I highlighted the absence of Collins John in the lineup yesterday, the Fire and Freddie Ljungberg suffered even more by not having the Ghanaian on the wing. I took it as a cautionary note at the time but cue Bratislav Ristic.
Some of you have no clue what I'm talking about but Bratislav Ristic was on trial earlier this year and the Fire even added him to the team's roster for the SuperLiga. There is nothing official about that at all - I mean we could have put down Pele, Bobby Charlton, Lionel Messi and Jozy Altidore if we wanted - but it shows the team was contemplating adding him into the mix of players available to call on. Now Bratislav Ristic's website has him listed as a current member of the Chicago Fire, something it never did before even after SuperLiga. Ristic was gone for a couple of weeks but has recently returned to practicing with the team.
Any contract signing of Ristic should set off alarm bells for Nyarko's health. If you watch the highlight videos of Ristic he appears to be a speedy winger who has trouble getting the ball on net. He even refuses to take shots in the box preferring to pass the ball to a teammate. His game is like a carbon copy of Nyarko's without the top dribbling skill. The only reason to get Ristic is if we need some depth on the wings and right now we have Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko as starters with Deris Umanzor and Mike Banner as backups. If we can't even get Corben Bone into a couple of MLS games, I see no reason to sign Bratislav Ristic. No offense Mr. Ristic but even if you play well your presence on this team should be viewed with a hint of doom for the future. In the meantime, legit or illlegit signing, can you at least get the team name right? We aren't even FC but S.C.