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MLS Transfers: Fire Sign Shipp; Lose In Span Lottery

Today was a busy day over on Harlem Avenue

The Chicago Fire news world blew up this morning. For sake of convenience on our end, the three notable news stories are compiled in one post. Let's get to it, shall we?

Chicago Fire Sign Harrison Shipp

It's finally official. The Chicago Fire announced today that they have signed Harrison Shipp to a Homegrown Player contract. Shipp is comming off a championship season with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish where he has been named a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, ACC Offensive Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the NCAA College Cup.

The Chicago Fire website has and an article up with some great quotes up from Shipp.

"It’s a dream come true to sign with the Fire," Shipp told "I think living in Chicago my whole life and playing with the club, it’s setting up to be a perfect situation on and off the field."

Reading through a lot of the articles out on Shipp, it almost sounds like he could be ready for significant playing time right out of the gate.

In that same article, Frank Yallop had this to say about Shipp:

"He’s had a wonderful season with Notre Dame," said Fire head coach Frank Yallop. "He’s got the ability to play between the lines, he’s crafty on the ball and very smooth with it. Harry’s just one of those players you like watching. We have to get him up to speed on the pro game but hopefully there’s a bright future for him."

Just reading that makes me excited to see what Shipp will be able to do at the professional level.

Brian "Cobi" Span Joins FC Dallas

Early this morning, FC Dallas acquired forward Brian "Cobi" Span through a weighted lottery. The Fire had tossed their hat into the ring and had a 27% chance of getting Cobi,  but Cobi instead ended up going to FC Dallas and their 41.1% chance.

Acquiring Cobi would have been a nice get for the Fire. In the up coming SuperDraft, the Fire have four picks, three of which are in the fourth round. Good players can be found late in the SuperDraft, but the odds of finding quality talent so late are low. If the Fire could have acquired Cobi, the Fire would have essentially added first round grade talent and potential without using a draft pick.

Even with out Cobi, signing Harrison Shipp alone is a big deal. Add in the potential Homegrown signing of Chris Ritter along with the 8th overall pick in the SuperDraft, the Fire could be bringing in one of the most promising crop of young players we have seen in a long time. If all goes as planned, the Fire could be playing with house money by the time they get to their picks in the fourth round.

Aron Hyde Will Return To The Fire

Former Fire goalkeeper coach (if you can really call him that) Aron Hyde will be coming back to the team. Hyde was casualty of the front office clean out back in November. This move makes a lot of sense. Hyde has been with the club for five seasons and has played a part in Sean Johnson growth as a goalkeeper.

Frank Yallop went on record to say this about the hiring:

"A big thing was to clear my mind, making sure I came in with an open mind on everything," Yallop explained to "Through the process, I spoke to several candidates with Aron being one of them. As we went through it, I came to the conclusion that Aron still fit in very well with what we’re doing and so the decision was clear."

Sometimes change can be a good thing, but if the Fire are working with Sean Johnson for a move to Europe in the next year, it might be best for Johnson to to keep working with some one he is familiar with.

On a side note, Jeff Crandall tweeted an interesting fact about Hyde.

Welcome back, Mr. Hyde.