At yesterday’s media availability, Chicago Fire club president Nelson Rodriguez said that the club were still pursuing roster additions, both from within MLS and abroad. But Rodriguez said that nothing was imminent, and he couldn’t offer any possible names.
As it happens, something was imminent. And now we have a name.
Earlier this afternoon, the Fire announced that they had signed Tony Tchani from the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 28-year-old central midfielder is en route to Chicago in exchange for $150,000 in TAM.
NEWS | #cf97 acquires midfielder @TonyTchani23 from @WhitecapsFC. Welcome, Tony!— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) February 28, 2018
More: https://t.co/C34flgJCCG pic.twitter.com/ynrxUutBP3
Tchani made 27 regular season appearances for Vancouver last year, scoring four goals and tallying an assist. He also played in two games in the MLS Cup Playoffs and made an appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League. Prior to last year, Tchani spent five seasons with That Yellow F’ing Team. He had a career year in 2015, notching eight goals and six assists en route to Columbus’ climb to the MLS Cup Final that year.
Rodriguez said Tchani represented a clear value add for the squad.
“Tony is a proven player and winner within MLS,” Rodriguez said. “His skill set will be complementary to our current squad and we are pleased to add his talents.”
While not a particularly sexy signing, Tchani plugs a hole that could’ve potentially sunk the boat. With Juninho leaving in the offseason and several midfield options on long-term injury layoffs, the Fire were missing a third piece to complete the CM trio with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty. Tchani should be able to slot into that setup and help lock down the center of the park. This move also means that Matt Polster won’t have to be brought back into central midfield, which (for now at least) keeps the fullback tandem of Polster and Brandon Vincent intact.
The Fire still have some outstanding needs to fill, particularly up top and between the sticks. But signing Tony Tchani is a smart move, and means the Men In Red have one less thing to worry about.