After seemingly weeks of rumors that the Chicago Fire are signing a 'Fredy Montero' type player, it was officially announced today that 25 year-old Uruguayan striker Gaston Puerari will be wearing Fire red in 2011. The Fredy Montero comparison is meant to establish that Puerari has the potential to grow into designated player like talent but right now is simply an average to above average talent. The problem with this comparison is Montero is a full year and half younger than Puerari and Montero has been with the Seattle Sounders for two years already. Puerari may blossom in Major League Soccer but given the three and a half year difference in age for Puerari's arrival time versus when Fredy Montero arrived, I don't get how you can compare the two. The other interesting development is the Chicago Fire only announced one player today despite the report yesterday that the Fire had signed two international strikers. Is snowmageddon to blame for the delay in the second player's paperwork?
Gaston Puerari comes to Chicago having previously played for the Montevideo Wanderers for two seasons. Puerari scored eight goals in 35 appearances. His main role is that of center forward according to Transfer Markt which also places Puerari's value around $700,000. That number doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot but it provides a decent idea of the talent the Uruguayan brings to the table. Based on everything I'm seeing, I predict that Puerari will play role of another Freddie - Freddie Ljungberg. Both Ljungberg and Puerari are listed as forwards but have relatively low goal rates. Puerari is listed as being a little shorter than Ljungberg but both are under 5'10 so you could hardly expect Puerari to play in the box. The Fire saw some success last year at the end of the season when they rolled out a 4-1-3-2 or a modified 4-1-4-1 where Ljungberg played the deep forward position and ran the offense. The Fire are calling Puerari a striker but if that is his role, either Carlos de los Cobos is moving away from the 4-1-4-1, this second rumored player is going to play the central role, or someone like Corben Bone or Daniel Paladini is going to be taking the reigns in the central midfield. I might be wrong about the Ljungberg comparison but after reading this, do you really want me to be?