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Chicago Fire Sign Defender Josip Mikulic; Make Daniel Paladini Signing Official

The Chicago Fire have just sent out a press release confirming the signing of Daniel Paladini but also announcing the signing of Croatian Defender Josip Mikulic.  We'll have much more on Paladini today and will keep you posted on Mikulic.  The press release:

Chicago Fire Sign Midfielder Daniel Paladini and Defender Josip Mikulic


Fire Ink Croatian Defender and USSF D-2 Best XI Midfielder

CHICAGO, IL (Jan. 11, 2011) The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that the club has signed midfielder Daniel Paladini and defender Josip Mikulic. Paladini, a 26-year-old midfielder joins the Fire from the Carolina RailHawks of the USSF D-2 Pro League, where he was twice named to the league’s Best XI. Mikulic, a 24-year-old central defender, joins the club from Croatian side NK Zagreb and will be added to the Fire’s roster upon the receipt of his visa and International Transfer Certificate. Per team and league policy, details of the contracts were not released.

"We are excited about the additions of Daniel Paladini and Josip Mikulic to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club," said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. "Both players possess a passion to win on and off the field, a trait required of any player who wears the Fire badge. Paladini is a smart, technical midfielder who has excelled with the Carolina RailHawks and will help improve our core of midfielders. Mikulic is an athletic player with good feet, a focus on defending and strong presence in the back. He comes to the Fire from a professional environment and has a number of years experience in the Croatian First Division. He is focused on defending and committed to winning."

More of the press release after the break

During five seasons with NK Zagreb, Mikulic has accumulated 3,348 minutes in 48 appearances in defense for the Pjesnici (the Poets). The 6-1 defender began his professional career at the age of 18 with second division side NK Croatia Sesvete.

Paladini, a Northridge, CA product tallied seven goals and added five assists in 34 matches for the RailHawks in 2010. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy with the 24th overall selection in the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft, Paladini played for cross-town rival Chivas USA in 2008, before joining the RailHawks in 2009.

Paladini made an immediate impact in his first season with the RailHawks, earning team MVP honors. Prior to his consecutive Best XI selections for the RailHawks, Paladini played with Chivas USA appearing in eight matches, playing 458 minutes and opening his MLS account with a goal in a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC Sept. 6, 2008.

The Fire will host Opening Day at TOYOTA PARK against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 26 at 3:00 PM CT. Chicago Fire Season Tickets and 2011 Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Day and the Fire’s second home match in 2011, are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at The Men in Red will begin their 14th MLS season during "First Kick" week when they travel to Dallas to challenge Brimstone Cup rivals and MLS Cup runners up FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 PM CT.


Player:          Daniel Paladini

Position:        Midfielder

Height:          5’9"

Weight:         165 lbs.

Born:            November 11, 1984

Place of Birth:Northridge, CA

Hometown:    Northridge, CA

Citizenship:    United States

College:         Cal State Northridge

Last Club:      Carolina RailHawks (USSF Div2)

How Acquired:          Signed as a free agent Jan. 11, 2011


Player:          Josip Mikulic

Position:        Defender

Height:          6’1"

Weight:         185 lbs.

Born:            April 12, 1986

Place of Birth:Ljubuški, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Citizenship:    Croatian

College:         n/a

Last Club:      NK Zagreb (Prva HNL)

How Acquired:          Signed as a free agent Jan. 11, 2011