Grazzini out again for Chicago Fire

Chicago to be without Argentine midfielder for second straight match

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – When the Chicago Fire announced last week they had picked up Sebastián Grazzini’s contract option for the rest of the season, it appeared the playmaker would continue to be a mainstay in the Fire lineup.

Not so fast.                                              

After missing Friday’s game against Sporting Kansas City, the Fire’s No. 10 will sit out for the second straight game on Tuesday when the Fire head to Houston.

“He still has some personal issues that he’s got to deal with, so he’s not traveling,” Klopas said Monday.

Before Friday’s 1-0 win, Klopas said the Argentine wasn’t playing because he had missed practice, even though Grazzini took part in full training for two days leading up to the game. The Argentine trained again on Monday.

Chris Rolfe should once again slide in to Grazzini’s spot, even after he played the entire game on Friday in his first start of the season and went down with an ankle injury late in the game. Although his ankle is still sore, Rolfe said he should be ready to play.

“My body feels good, I think I recovered pretty well,” Rolfe told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. “I feel good today, so I should feel good tomorrow.”

Newly acquired midfielder Alex will also likely receive some time up top after coming on in the 65th minute on Saturday.

“I thought he came in and he had some good moments [Friday],” Klopas said of the Brazilian. “He came in with no fear, with belief in his abilities and playing within the frame of the team.”

Pappa still with the Fire

Reports have linked midfielder Marco Pappa to several clubs, most recently to Dutch side Herenveen, and the Guatemalan has stated that he wants to move abroad at some point. But nothing is imminent, Pappa said this week.

“I’m under contract with the Fire,” he said. “I’m trying to find some better opportunities to improve in my career, but for now it’s only a rumor. For now, I’m working hard for the team.”

Injury report

Arne Friedrich made his first start on Friday after straining his hamstring on May 12th in a 2-1 win over Kansas City. The German center back will travel to Houston, but Klopas isn’t sure whether he’ll start.

“Arne is another guy we have to keep an eye on,” Klopas said. “He’s about 60 or 70 percent. With three games in one week, we have to make a decision. … We don’t want to have a setback, have him pull something and he’s out for two months.”

Rafael Robayo won’t make the trip to Houston after picking up a shoulder injury on Friday. The Colombian may be available on Sunday when the Fire take on the LA Galaxy.