Fire's Krol pushes into midfield role

When the Chicago Fire signed Poland native Krzysztof Krol in late January, the immediate thought was that he was the left defensive back replacement to Gonzalo Segares.

That still could hold true, especially with preseason less than two weeks old and new head coach Carlos de los Cobos trying to get a sense of his roster's strengths. But don't be surprised if the Fire decide Krol is valuable as a midfielder, too.

"I can go forward, I can dribble and I can score goals," Krol said in a phone interview Wednesday from the team's preseason camp in Phoenix. "I've been playing as a left midfielder [in training], and I like this position. I like to push up."

The 23-year-old Krol has been utilized as a left back with Jagiellonia Bialystok, but there was a time before then when Krol was in a midfield role.

"I was angry because I was going to a new position, but I was very good [at making the switch]," Krol said. "But I always wanted to play midfielder."

Krol had another interesting tidbit to share Wednesday, stating that the team has been playing with a three-man defensive formation during training. The Fire relied heavily on a four-man back line last season.

As the preseason friendlies get underway starting next Monday with a match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, it will be intriguing to see if this defensive set will be implemented by De los Cobos' crew. Clearly a three-man backfield would represent an early sign of this team's desire to pick things up a notch on the attacking side.

Busch to be honored: The 22nd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards will be held Thursday night, with CSN broadcasting the event live starting at 7:30 p.m. Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch will be honored for his contributions within the Chicago community. Over the years, the CSN Sports Awards event has raised almost $7 million for the March of Dimes.