Juan David Duque: Chicago Fire Rumor Mill

You might have caught wind of reports that the Portland Timbers were getting ready to sign 20 year-old left back Juan David Duque out of Colombia. Stumptown Footy had solid looking reports up on January 25 and February 1. Here we are on February 8 though and still no Juan David Duque inking a deal.

If the deal fell through, it wouldn't even be the first time something like that happened in MLS even this year. The New England Revolution thought they had signed Jose 'Pepe' Moreno only to see him back out. I included a blurb in Monday's Real Espana recap that Diario Pro was in on news that 23 year-old Panamanian center back Eduardo Dassent was going to sign with the Chicago Fire. Today there was a story that the Fire had pulled out of the deal with Dassent at the last second.

There might be more to the Dassent story though and it might all circle back to Juan David Duque after the break.

Timbers fans had Juan David Duque tifo ideas plotted out when they saw he retweeted a Portland preseason update yesterday. Even more exciting, Duque sent out his own tweet today in English after previously only using Spanish:

Preparing bags! goals and challenges in my new future!

Done deal? Well here's three things to consider.

  1. Duque follows the Portland Timbers but of the 43 other accounts he is following, the only other MLS team is the Chicago Fire. He did that just recently.
  2. One of Duque's very first accounts he followed is @Nat_Duke, Natalia Duque Santos. Sister? Mother? Cousin? Wife? Don't know but they share the Duque name and around 2:00 PM today she randomly tweeted 'Chicago Fire!!!'
  3. The timing of the Dassent story. The center back looked good to sign on Monday but it all fell apart before the end of Wednesday. At the same time, the news of Duque finally going to the United States broke.

That's all a little too coincidental to me. If Duque can play left back, he would be a great fit for the Fire. If he could play in the left midfield or at center back too, he would be an even better fit. Portland is filled to the gills on International players at the moment. It's not out of the question they got cold feet on bringing Duque in. Duque's paperwork might have been almost there on getting a visa. He could have even signed preliminary agreements with Major League Soccer that would lead him to tell reporters he was signing with the Portland Timbers. Foreign players are not always on top of the fact that when they are signing a contract to play in MLS, they are signing a contract with MLS itself and then playing for a MLS team after the fact. If the Fire were suddenly interested, it would take a couple of keystrokes in the MLS database to change Duque from Portland to Chicago.

Or maybe I just wasted 500 words on absolutely nothing. It does raise the question of where Rafael Robayo's visa is in all of this. Other Colombian players are coming to the country left and right. Also, does Fire head coach Frank Klopas plan on signing another center back if not Dassent? Luckily the weekly preseason conference call with Klopas is tomorrow. What questions do you have for him?

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