The Chicago Fire have announced that they have secured a loan deal for 19 year-old midfielder Grant Ward from Tottenham Hotspur F.C. The Tottenham Youth product trained with the Fire during the preseason, scoring two goals in preseason games.
Ward had an impressive preseason with the Fire, but he suffered a fracture in his foot near the end of his training stint, which lead some to wonder whether or not it would close the door on a potential deal. Fortunately, the broken foot did not deter the Fire from signing Ward, who some have referred to as the next Simon Dawkins.
Per the article, here is what Frank Yallop had to say about Ward:
"Grant is a young, technically-gifted player," said Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop. "I watched him play in England, and throughout our preseason training camp, Grant consistently proved that he has what it takes to do well in MLS. We look forward to him joining our squad once he has recovered from his injury."
According to the article, Ward underwent surgery on his foot on March 11. According to my family doctor (a.k.a. the internet), a fractured metatarsal typically takes about six to eight weeks to heal. Put those two together and add conditioning and training into the equation, we can probably expect to see Ward hitting the field in early June if not sooner.
Per league policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed. I have heard that MLS does not sign players on loan with out an option to buy written in to the contract. If that is true, and Ward lives up to expectations, it it possible he can be with the Fire long term.