To this point, the Fire's offseason makeover is a simple twist braid - two strands wound around one another. The first strand, which we could call 'Scandinavia,' is the one getting all the attention; it's the second, which we might call 'Chicagoans,' which concerns us today.
For the third time in two weeks, the Men in Red announced the signing of a player from Chicagoland (Naperville, in point of fact) - this time, the local product is Indiana University captain Patrick Doody. The 22-year-old left back, who began with the Fire Academy at age 15, signed a Homegrown Player contract today with the club. As usual in the black-box world of MLS roster composition, terms of the deal were not released.
While at Indiana, Doody made 83 appearances, scoring six goals and registering 12 assists. The biggest goal, doubtless, was this game-winner in 2012 that gave IU an NCAA title:
Hot (Time) take
In case anyone out there is new to the Homegrown Player deal, this is a no-lose signing for the Fire. If Doody cannot claim a spot in the lineup, his salary won't count against the cap. If he starts every game this year, he's still free, for salary-cap purposes. So this is, literally, a can't-miss signing in MLS cap terms.
In absolute terms, of course Doody might not become an MLS regular. His first battle will be this preseason, where he'll have to fight Greg Cochrane and Joevin Jones for playing time on the left. But finding guys who can play, and who have some feeling for the badge, is the essence of roster-building the world over. Again, Yallop and Bliss show they have a plan for 2015 that makes sense.