Chicago Off-Season on Fire

August 27 2016: Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic before a MLS soccer match at RFK Stadium, in Washington D.C. D.C United defeated the Chicago Fire 6-2. (Photo by Tony Quinn/IconSportswire)

The Chicago Fire continue to execute impressive business in the 2017 offseason by announcing the signing of american midfielder Dax McCarty. The 29-year-old was the captain of the New York Red Bulls and is a proven MLS winner. The 2015 MLS All-Star is a massive upgrade in the Fire midfield. The management team at the Fire have now strung together a series of shrewd moves to vastly improve their squad. The Men In Red can now add McCarty to the list of new arrivals that already included an MLS Cup winning veteran midfielder, a top European striker and three promising draftees.

Chicago Off-Season On Fire

Chicago Sign Dax McCarty

The big news appeared Monday night with details stating that the Chicago Fire Soccer Club acquired midfielder Dax McCarty from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for $400,000 in General Allocation Money. The Red Bulls crosstown rivals NYCFC may well have been key to the move as the Fire sold their number three MLS Superdraft pick to NYCFC for a reported $250,000 on Friday. Directly related or not, the Dax McCarty signing is a major boon for a Chicago club that finished dead last in the previous two MLS campaigns.

Chicago Fire Head Coach Veljko Paunovic spoke to Anthony Totera on NSS moments after the transfer was announced Monday, saying: ‘Today is a great day for us. We believe we got the right guy for us and our locker room. We are overall in a good spot, we also now have to build some and add depth some and retouch on a couple positions and we will be ready to compete and work. The draft was very important, we had our plan and executed. This was the second draft we executed with a master brain, [General Manager Nelson Rodriguez] did all that and it was important to create assets to build a situation to bring in [an asset], Dax in this case’.

The Fire’s second-year head coach went on to add in the interview that ‘not everything can be done in one year, every successful soccer project needs time.’ 

Fire Executing Their Plan

In the Fire’s official announcement, general manager Nelson Rodriguez spoke about how much they valued the player from Winter Park, Florida.

“Since the middle of 2016, we made acquiring Dax our No. 1 priority,” Rodriguez said. “In order to do so, we had to exchange worthy and appropriate compensation. We believe adding his character and leadership in the locker room, as well as his exceptional soccer abilities on the field, dramatically improves our team.”

In McCarty, the Fire get a league veteran who is in the prime years of his playing career. Additionally, the Men In Red are getting a man who is in a prime time of his personal life as well. The midfielder was just married on Saturday the 14th and is now participating in the USMNT January camp in California. His new MLS contract is guaranteed through the 2017 season and the Fire hold options for 2018 and 2019. At first glance, the transfer appears to be another piece of tidy business and perhaps a true turning of the tide for the Chicago Fire.

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