It’s been a tough year for the Fire and their fans, but there have been brief moments of celebration along the way.
One fairly consistent bright spot has been the play of the new, young faces on the team. Whether it has been Jonathan Campbell and Johan Kappelhof forming a solid center back duo or a player like Rodrigo Ramos breaking out as a full back to watch in MLS, the Fire have had their share of youthful success.
That trend kept going Monday when it was announced that Landon Donovan, coach of the MLS Homegrown team for the upcoming All-Star festivities, selected Fire forward Joey Calistri to be on his team.
Only 20 homegrown players (who must be under the age of 24) were selected for the team. Calistri joins a crop of forwards that also includes Jordan Morris of Seattle, Jordan Hamilton of Toronto and Jack McBean of the Galaxy. So needless to say, he might have a difficult time actually seeing the field against Mexico’s U-20 National Team.
Whether he plays or not, Calistri is certainly deserving of the honor and looks to have a bright future in the league. One valued asset, especially in MLS, that Calistri holds over those other forwards is his versatility to play multiple positions. When you can play both striker and right back, MLS teams are always going to be interested.
He is already made an impact this season, notching a very professional goal against Colorado and contributing an assist in only two starts and 10 overall appearances.
Here is what Calistri had to say about the opportunity, per the official Chicago Fire press release:
“To be out there with other young homegrown players is going to be a great experience and I can’t wait to go out to San Jose and represent the Fire. Landon Donovan is someone I grew up watching all through my childhood, he’s a player who has shaped me and a player I try to model my play after, so it’s going to be cool to learn some lessons from him and get some insight.”
Man, Donovan is old.
So be sure to tune in to Univision Deportes on July 27 at 8 p.m. to watch the Homegrown team in action against some of Mexico’s rising stars. That way you can be sure to say you saw Calistri in action before he became a league-wide star with the New York Red Bulls in 2018!
You know, because trading our young players with potential is what we do.
Here is the full MLS Homegrown team:
Goalkeepers: Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Maxime Crépeau (Montreal Impact)
Defenders: Danilo Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Aaron Guillen (FC Dallas), Phanuel Kavita (Real Salt Lake), Jalen Robinson (D.C. United), Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC)
Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake), Jay Chapman (Toronto FC), Coy Craft (FC Dallas), Harrison Heath (Orlando City SC), Aaron Kovar (Seattle Sounders FC), Raul Mendiola (LA Galaxy), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)
Forwards: Joey Calistri (Chicago Fire), Jordan Hamilton (Toronto FC), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)