The Chicago Fire announced today that they have signed forward Orr Barouch and midfielder Mike Videira. The two had been on trial with the team for the past couple of weeks. Descriptions of Barouch and Videira along with the most interesting twists of this announcement are after the break.
A 19-year-old forward born in Haifa, Israel and raised in Woodland Hills, California, Barouch began his professional career at the age of 17 with the Tigres UANL youth system. After graduating from El Camino Real High School and entertaining options with Belgian side Club Brugge, the former Chivas USA youth product joined the Mexican club’s reserves in September of 2009. While with the Monterey, Mexico based club, Barouch appeared in 24 matches, scoring one goal, primarily as a left winger, while helping Tigres to a first place finish in the Mexican U20 Apertura tournament. Barouch joined the Fire on trial during the club’s Florida phase of preseason camp.
Videira, a 25-year-old midfielder, joins the Men in Red after spending 2009 and 2010 with the New England Revolution. The Milford, Massachusetts product made his MLS debut in April 2009. A three-time Hermann Trophy semifinalist while at Duke University, Videira was drafted by the Revolution in the second round (18th overall) of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. Instead, Videira chose to sign with Scottish Premier League club Hamilton Academical. Following his return stateside, the defensive midfielder appeared in 12 matches for the Revolution before joining USSF Division 2 Pro side AC St. Louis for eight matches at the conclusion of the 2010 season.
It is important to note that Barouch has a U.S. green card so he does not take up one of the valuable international roster spots despite the fact that he was born in Israel. With last week's signing of Marko Maric, the Fire only have 2 international spots remaining. Both Videira and Barouch have seen limited time in pre-season games and figure to play with the reserve team to start the season. Barouch did score four goals in one of the pre-season games against the New York Red Bulls but Gaston Puerari, Diego Chaves, and Calen Carr have to be on the depth chart above him.
What I find to be most curious about this announcement is the lack of signing Davis Paul or Gabriel Ferrari. Davis Paul has received a good amount of playing time at RM in the pre-season games. Gabriel Ferrari has received positive reviews in his playing time and he has the soccer pedigree to boot. Frank Klopas and Carlos de los Cobos are still weighing their options but time is getting short. The team does not have to start with the season with 30 players so don't think Paul and Ferrari will be signed just to fill in roster spots. We'll keep you posted on the other trialists and signings as they come in.