Rumors are in. Is Gilberto leaving the Chicago Fire?
Gilberto, who was claimed off waivers from Toronto FC on July 27, 2015, has not scored any goals for the Fire in the first 12 matches of the 2016 season. As one of three designated players on the Fire’s roster, the lack of goal-scoring is a serious problem. Several sources report that Gilberto asked to take a personal leave before the Chicago Fire’s last home game against the Portland Timbers.
Here’s what the media is saying:
Chicago Fire Confidential: The Fire are pressing the fast-forward button on Gilberto’s eventual departure since it seemed very unlikely that he would be back in 2017. Getting that done now, however, doesn’t give them room to pursue a player of comparable stature or salary this season.
Daily Herald: Gilberto is the highest-paid player on the Fire roster at $1.145 million for the 2016 season, according to MLS Players Union figures. His contract expires at the end of this season, though the Fire holds an option to extend it.
Major League Soccer: Gilberto was not on the gameday roster for Chicago’s 1-1 draw with Portland last Saturday. Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic told reporters following the match that Gilberto had asked for and been granted personal time off two days prior to the game, but that he expected the 26-year-old forward to be back with the club when the Fire returned to training following their break.
MLS Brasil: No último final de semana, Gilberto não foi sequer relacionado para o jogo contra o Portland Timbers e, segundo Paunovic, pediu alguns dias de dispensa para resolver problemas pessoais. Seu retorno está marcado para segunda, junto com o restante do elenco, mas pode acabar nem acontecendo.
(This roughly translates to the fact that Gilberto plays a more direct style of soccer, and Veljko Paunovic prefers a more dynamic style of player, which is why the team has recently signed Michael de Leeuw.)
On less serious note:
The Nutmeg News: Reportedly, the Fire have spent over 1 million dollars on Dumpster Fire just this season and have rarely seen the Dumpster Fire contribute anything to the lineup that reflects the amount of money it has been given over the last six years.
A few questions for you:
- Do you think Gilberto will be leaving the Fire?
- If so, how soon do you predict his departure to be?
- What are your predictions on where he’ll end up?