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Fire go Polish up top
by Ridge Mahoney, February 22nd, 2008 6:31AM

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[MLS] It only took a few preseason games for Polish striker Tomasz Frankowski to land an MLS contract, giving the Fire what it lacked last season: a box striker capable of consistently putting away chances. That's the theory, anyway.

Frankowski, 33, is only 5-foot-7, 145 pounds, so he's basically a foreign version of Chris Rolfe. He led the Polish league in scoring three times, and netted 10 goals in 22 appearances for his national team, but stints with clubs in France, Japan, Spain and England never matched his success with Wizla Krakow, for which he scored 115 goals in 173 league appearances.

"Tomasz is a very experienced forward and we are excited to have him on the roster," said Fire coach Denis Hamlett in a press release announcing the transaction. "We saw a lot of positive play from Tomasz in Bradenton, he is clinical around the box and we feel he will fit in well with our system."

Frankowski scored two goals and Rolfe notched one in a 3-2 win against Columbus during the Fire's stay in Florida. Rookie midfielder Stephen King netted an equalizer in the 90th minute last weekend in a 1-1 tie with Kansas City, and Calen Carr scored Wednesday in a 1-1 tie against Toronto that concluded the team's stay in Florida.

Chicago heads to Mexico for three games on Monday having bolstered its forward corps with Andy Herron, whose rights the Fire reacquired in a trade with Columbus, joining returnees Chad Barrett, Floyd Franks, and Carr, and rookie Patrick Nyarko.

Frankowski has yet to receive his P-1 visa but when that formality is taken care off, one of the forwards may have to be excised from the 18-man senior roster, even though Nyarko is protected as a Generation Adidas player.

MLS teams must be roster and salary-cap compliant by March 3; the Fire plays the second game of their tour against Necaxa the following day.

 



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