After the Chicago Fire’s 1-0 win versus the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday night, I was able to catch up with the Fire’s Patrick Nyarko.
During my conversation with the fourth-year forward from Ghana, we touched on a couple of topics. We discussed the team’s ongoing Twitter campaign, #pickpat, to have him placed on the MLS All-Star team and how his selection would help the team and his confidence. Also, I asked him about the Fire’s upcoming match with the New York Red Bulls this week.
(Upon the release of this interview, Nyarko was not selected to the MLS All-Star team.)
B/R: What are your feelings regarding the team’s twitter campaign #pickpat?
Patrick Nyarko: It came as a surprise really. Generally, I think those that pick the team, they do that on merit. They take guys that they think merits the all-star team. My team thinks that I should be there. I believe in my abilities, I think that I can fit in those kind of games, play in those kind of big games. It’s all up to them, I’ll be perfectly fine if get picked. I’ll be perfectly fine if I don’t get picked. My main goal is to help this get team back to the playoffs and make a run for the championship.
B/R: How would an all-star selection impact his confidence and profile and how would it affect the profile of the team.
PN: It’s great any time you get a player that reps on the all-star team, the all-star game. It shows how well the team is doing and how personal the guy helping the team where they are at. It would be huge for my career. It’s a glamorous occasion. You play the best team in the world and, in this case Chelsea believe it or not. They were the champ’s league in Europe. We have a chance to play the best team in the world. It would be the perfect occasion to showcase abilities and get game loads of experience to come back and help your team get into the playoffs.
B/R: On the next game against the Red Bulls. How would a win help the team’s confidence in their uphill climb in the eastern conference standings?
PN: It’s definitely a tough game, especially away at Red Bull Stadium. They have such a good team now that they feel like they can win every game. We are playing so far, we think that we can sneak points away from them. So it’s going to make for an intriguing game. We beat them here it’s going to be in the back of their minds to get revenge. We just need to go up there and play a smart game and sneak up there. It would be huge if we get the win to move up in the standings.
B/R: On losing Arne Friedrich for the next game versus the Red Bulls, how is the adjustment of Alex has affected the team?
PN: (On Alex) I think that it’s coming, it’s still early. It’s a couple of games that we have played with him in there.
(On Arne Friedrich) It’s tough losing Arne. He’s one of the leaders of this team. It’s tough leaving him out of the team but, I think guys all season have stepped up when we needed. Arne was hurt and we still got a couple of guys to step in and give us good results. It’s gonna be tough. It’s an away game, we’ve played tougher away games and we feel like the coaches have a great setup for us and scouting report for us. We just need to go there and play smart and sneak one out.
To sum things up, a bright future is ahead for Nyarko as well as the Fire as a team. With everything from consideration for a MLS All-Star selection to an opportunity to climb up the Eastern Conference standings in the grasps, the sky is the limit.
That is good news for Fire fans.
Ernest Shepard is an analyst for the Bleacher Report. All quotes and observations were obtained firsthand.