Sebastian Grazzini signs with the Chicago Fire

Hello Chicago

Sebastian Grazzini will join the Fire on July 15th when the transfer window opens. He joins the club from Argentinian Primera side All Boys whom he played with in 2010 Apertura and the Clausura of 2011.

The Fire had this to say about him:

"We are excited to bring Sebastián to the Fire," said Technical Director and Interim Head Coach Frank Klopas. "Sebastián is a talented player, with good vision, the ability to create in the middle of the park and a strong left foot. Sebastián's addition provides us with additional talent and helps us as we push for a playoff spot in the second half of the season."

A product of the Central Cordoba youth setup, Grazzini brings a great deal of foreign club experience to the Fire, having played for Sevilla (Spain; 2003), Virton (Belgium 2003-04), Deportivo Italchaco (2006) and Sestrese (Italy; 2007-08). After short stints at the former two clubs, it was with the Venezuelan and Italian sides that the attacking midfielder made his mark, scoring six goals in 15 matches with Italchaco and 22 in 45 appearances with Sestrese.

As far as I'm concerned we can ignore everything that came before his All Boys tenure. Don't get me wrong I'm happy he tore up Serie D for two years but he isn't coming to Serie D. So Lets take a look at the Argentine Primera Clausura 2011 and check his playing time.

He started the first 5 games of the season but was subbed out in each of those games in the second half. His longest outing was against Boca Juniors on 2/26 where he was subbed out in the 80th minute. As of March 19th Grazzini was essentially a second half sub only starting a single match for the rest of the season (4/23 against Independiente subbed out in the 59th minute). He scored 2 goals and had 0 assists during the Clausura. He was not used as a sub on only three occasions. He made the bench for every game he did not start. Clearly Grazzini was a valued member of the 18 for All Boys during the Clausura 2011.

If we go back to the Apertura of 2010 we can see he got a bit more playing time. He started 7 games and was on the subs bench for 6 other games. Again he was not used in only 3 games. Reassuringly he went the full 90 twice during the season and they were consecutive games (9/25 and 10/2). The rest of his starts he was subbed off between the 70th and 80th minute. Grazzini notched 3 goals and 0 assists during the Apertura.  A solid start for a newly promoted side.

The Fire look to be getting a player that has been competing regularly in a league that, generally speaking, is a good comparison to MLS. As an attacking player he was part of the normal rotation for a team that ended up finishing mid table (12th but on goal differential only, points wise were tied with Tigre and Arsenal). A solid finish for All Boys who were promoted back to the Primera for the 2010 Apertura. Grazzini looks to fit in with the type of players the Fire have been acquiring. Hard work ethic, high effort players. I wouldn't expect magic from Grazzini but he fills a position of need on the field for the Fire. Considering his last competitive game was 6/11 I would expect him to be in excellent shape. Thus one would hope he could integrate into the squad quickly and have an immediate impact.

One other thing to note is that Grazzini's presence adds another international to the mix for USOC play. In USOC play you are only allowed to have 5 internationals in the 18. For yesterday's game all 5 slots were used. While not of immediate concern it does add another wrinkle to how strong a lineup the Fire can field in their continued quest for their fifth US Open Cup.

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