CHICAGO – Once they took over the clubs towards the end of the 2019 season, sporting director Georg Heitz and head coach Raphael Wicky would have the task on filling a number of holes on the Chicago Fire FC roster.
A number of key players from last season’s club, most notably Bastain Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Nikolic, forced the pair to start looking for a number of players to fill out the roster for the 2020 season.
So far this offseason, Heintz and Wicky have looked overseas to fill those spots often, in hopes of getting the team to be competitive as their Major League Soccer season gets underway this Sunday in Seattle. International acquisitions, whether through transfer or the designated player, have been one of the highlights of the offseason.
𝐀 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 🤝
Chicago, meet Robert Berić. pic.twitter.com/ffrmStbmAe
— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) January 18, 2020
Robert Berić, a striker for the Slovenia national team and AS Saint-Étienne of France’s Ligue 1, was acquired by the team in January as a designated player, signing a deal for the 2020 and 2021 season with an option for 2022. He also was part of a fun Twitter video in which the new striker took a shot of Malort to celebrate his arrival in Chicago. Slovakia National Team defender
Another Slovakian national team member, defender Boris Sekulić, was also added through a transfer from Górnik Zabrze in the Ekstraklasa league.
Since then, a few others have joined, including wing Ignacio Aliseda via transfer from Superliga Argentina side Defensa y Justicia as a young designated player along with Serbian midfielder Luka Stojanović via transfer from Serbian Superliga club FK Čukarički.
The team also got Venezuelan defender Miguel Ángel Navarro via transfer from Deportivo La Guaira as well, and just this past weekend added Argentine midfielder Gaston Gimenez as a designated player.
The @ChicagoFire FC have made another international move as the acquire midfielder Gaston Gimenez from Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield of Superliga Argentina, as he becomes another designated player for the franchise. @WGNNews pic.twitter.com/D6jfil5CMt
— Larry Hawley (@HawleySports) February 24, 2020
These acquisitions are all part of a new-look Chicago Fire FC team in a new era of the franchise, and one that will begin with plenty of international players on the roster.