Ahead of the Fire’s matchup with Sporting Kansas City Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. CT, midfielder Federico Navarro and head coach Raphael Wicky spoke with the media on Thursday.
This was Navarro’s first time participating in media availability and it was fun to watch him engage with the local and national reporters.
He spoke highly of the level of play so far, something he expected when he made the move but one he hadn’t yet experienced in his young career. He seems to be a young man who knows his role on the field as a ball-winner and is consumed by the game of football.
When asked by Hot Time in Old Town’s Pat McCraney about his interests off the field and who he is as a person, Fede - with a smile - spoke about how he is such a fan of the game in addition to being a player. He would not be bothered watching football 24 hours a day and wouldn’t know what to do without it.
Wicky described his new Argentine midfielder as a “water-carrier,” which is the type of role Rapha mostly played throughout a lot of his career.
“He’s a different profile from the rest of our midfielders,” Wicky said. “He’s a ball-winner and covers a lot of ground. He does the dirty work, but he can also play football.”
Wicky stated that if everything goes according to plan, Navarro will travel with the team to Kansas City.
The Swiss manager also spoke about Francisco Calvo and the right thigh injury he picked up in the 88th minute of Costa Rica’s World Cup qualifier against Jamaica on Wednesday night. He labeled him as questionable for Saturday night’s game. Wicky also confirmed Ignacio Aliseda is in the same boat, as he has been nursing a shin injury for the past few weeks.
When asked about the upcoming game and the Fire’s on-going six-game road trip, Wicky expressed confidence in the group.
“We know we can get points away from home, and we will go to Kansas City with the same spirit that we had in New Jersey.”