Bears

Fire sign midfielder De Lima

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Fire sign midfielder De Lima

Fire coach Frank Klopas liked what he saw of Alex Monteiro De Lima on a scouting trip to Europe last summer, and he also liked what he saw of De Lima in his clubs preseason training in Florida.

It took until Thursday, however, before the Fire could land the Brazilians services on loan from FC Wohlen, a second division club in Switzerland.

"We tried to get him (in January), so hed be with us from the beginning, said Klopas, "but he was an important part of his (Swiss) team and that club didnt want to lose a key player at a critical point in its season.

The Fire will get De Lima on June 27, when the international transfer window opens. Hell stay in Switzerland until Wohlens season is over, then can train with the Fire until hes eligible to play. His eligibility begins a month before Argentine midfielder Sebastian Grazzinis contract expires. He was signed to a one-contract in July, at the opening of the 2011 transfer window.

While theres no guarantee that Grazzini, 31, will move on, at least De Lima will be available as a fill-in. Like many Brazilian players, De Lima prefers to go by just his first name, "Alex" for soccer purposes.

"Its all about depth. Hes just a good, young striker or attacking mid(fielder), said Klopas, following Thursdays training session in Bridgeview. "Hell be a good addition. He has a lot of good qualities.

Unlike Grazzini last season, De Lima wont be a total newcomer to the Fire roster. Though he wasnt released from his Swiss contract, Wohlen did allow De Lima to train for two weeks with the Fire and he played in two preseason games.

"I had been in Europe to look at a couple players, and he was one of them," said Klopas. "He had a good chance to be in our environment, with our players in training."

The Fire hasnt had much luck with the few Brazilian players that have been good enough to make the roster. Rodrigo Faria was highly touted at the start of the 2003 season, but left after five games to tend to family matters and never returned. Thiago (full name Thiago De Rosa Correa) had nine goals and 10 assists spread over 67 matches and four playoff games from 2005-07. William Oliveira got into eight matches, four as a starter, in 2007 and scored a goal.

De Lima, 23, hopes to do more. He began his professional career with FC Gossau in the Swiss Challenge League, scoring two goals in 18 matches from 2009-10. The 5-8, 155-pound DeLima was then transferred to Wohlen, where he has seven goals in 44 appearances over the last two seasons.

"Im looking forward to joining the Chicago Fire," said De Lima, speaking through a translator in a statement released by the Fire. "I hope my skill and experience will help as the Fire pushes for a playoff spot...I am excited to rejoin Frank and the team in June.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: How many games should Myles Garrett miss?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: How many games should Myles Garrett miss?

Sam Panayotovich, Seth Gruen and Cam Ellis join Laurence Holmes on the panel.

0:00- Myles Garrett gets an indefinite suspension following Thursday night's ugly, helmet-swinging brawl between the Browns and Steelers. How many games should he miss including games in 2020?

7:50- The list of team that will attend Colin Kaepernick's workout has increased. The Bears have not confirmed whether or not they will be there. Why wouldn't they go?

12:30- Yu Darvish talks about sign stealing and also said he noticed something unusual at Miller Park. Christian Yelich fired back. The panel discusses the latest flashpoint in the Cubs-Brewers rivalry.

16:00- Harlem Globetrotters star "Big Easy" drops by the studio. He talks about what it's like to be a Globetrotter and entertaining thousands of people each night.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Matt Forte open to Bears return?: 'My knees feel pretty good on this plant based diet'

Matt Forte open to Bears return?: 'My knees feel pretty good on this plant based diet'

The Bears running game woes are well-documented at this point in the season and now it is looking like rookie running back David Montgomery could be out on Sunday as he is officially a gametime decision for the matchup against the Rams, further complicating the issues plaguing the Bears. 

Bears fans have been routinely thinking about the glory days of the franchise to distract themselves from what has been an up-and-down 2019 season. When one Bears fan took to Twitter to share a quick Matt Forte appreciation post, he got the attention of Forte himself. 

In 2014 and 2015, Forte's last two years with the Bears, he amassed 3,133 yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns. After this Forte finished out his last two seasons with the New York Jets. Though Forte's last time on the field was the 2017 season, don't think that the veteran running back couldn't make a return if he absolutely set his mind to it.

A fan posited the question of:  Would Forte return to the Bears if offered a one-year deal? And Forte responded rather quickly that he would definitely be interested if such an offer was on the table.

Chicago sports fans all over the Twittersphere started to rejoice at the thought of Forte again donning a Bears jersey but when some asked Forte to not get them "worked up" about such an exciting idea, he hilariously replied that his plant-based diet has done wonders for his knees.

Obviously the lighthearted nature of Forte's response suggests that while he probably could still return to the NFL and play at a good level, he more just wanted to show his continued support for the franchise that brought him into the NFL in 2008. 

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