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Fire Sign Jorge Rodrigo Bava

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Uruguayan international ‘keeper seems to be the Fire’s SeanJohn replacement

Rodrigo Palacio (L) of Argentinian Boca
Bava slides out to win the ball in a Copa Libertadores match against Boca Juniors while playing for Atlas of Liga MX.
Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images

The Fire announced today that they have signed Uruguayan international goalkeeper Jorge Rodrigo Bava from Colombian side Atletico Bucaramanga. The move was a free transfer on a discovery signing. Bava’s deal with the Fire is a one year contract with club options existing for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Bava joins the Fire having most recently appeared 21 times for the Colombian side in 2016. A journeyman player, Bava has played for a multitude of clubs in Central and South America, but his biggest successes came in his three separate stints with Club Nacional in his native Uruguay, for whom he made 103 appearances across nine years, and in a year-long loan at Club Atlas in Mexico, when he made 33 appearances in 2008, partaking in that season’s Copa Libertadores.

Hot (Time) Take

Paunovic has his technical goalkeeper. The video embedded in the Fire’s press release shows a keeper comfortable coming off of his line to sweep up through balls, which is something SeanJohn was not always comfortable doing. If he can do that, he might be able to cut down on the shots that he has to face in goal. At this time, though, I just can’t get a reading on how good of a shot stopper this guy is. There isn’t enough video, and I can’t find any shot stopping metrics on him. It’s also hard to get a reading on how good he is with the ball at his feet when the defense is playing the ball out of our defensive third, which is the key thing that both Nelson Rodriguez and Paunovic have heralded as what they were looking for in their next goalkeeper. I would be willing to bet, however, that both Nelson and Pauno have done their due diligence on all possible goalkeeping options, and that if they have been harping on these qualities all winter, they would not have brought Bava in if he wasn’t good at moving the ball in deep possession, and quick coming off of his line to attack opposition through balls. It remains to be seen, however, if Bava is a good shot stopper. If he is able to bring the qualities that Pauno and Nelson had been looking for, along with at least a league average level of shot stopping, then this will be a good signing for a couple of seasons. If he’s a below average shot stopper, however, then the Fire will have to rely on his contributions in both deep possession and helping a high defensive line to make up for a lack of awareness inside the box. I will be reserving full judgement on this signing until we have seen him play.

What’s your rapid reaction, Fire fans? Talk in the comments below!