The Chicago Fire have signed Academy midfielder Allan Rodriguez to a Homegrown deal, making the 15-year-old the 20th Homegrown signing in club history.
A couple weeks ago, the team had big plans to announce five Homegrown signings in five days. The first three were announced—Alex Monis, Javier Casas, and Brian Gutierrez—before the coronavirus hiatus began. Rodriguez and Chris Brady were supposed to cap off the week, but the club had to delay their announcements to this week.
“The signing of Allan proves the success of the Academy program under the leadership of Cedric Cattenoy and Brian Roberts,” Head Coach Raphael Wicky said in a statement. “The Academy recognized the talent that Allan possesses and have been able to develop him to this point as he earns a Homegrown contract. We’re excited to welcome Allan to the first team.”
Rodriguez is under contract through 2023, with a club option for 2024.
Rodriguez is from Indiana, and he joined the Indiana Fire Academy in the fall of 2017. He transferred to the Chicago Fire Academy in January 2019. He’s scored one goal and recorded one assist in 21 appearances for the Academy. Internationally, Rodriguez captained the U.S. U-15s to a first place finish in group B of the Concacaf U-15 Championship.
Fire assistant coach Frank Klopas said with the five latest signings, Wicky’s vision for the Academy is coming to fruition.
“This, for me, speaks volumes for Rapha,” Klopas said. “He’s really a big believer in the younger players, in the Academy. He stressed early on to bring as many Academy players with us, we did that in preseason, and it’s great because the future for our club is through the academy.”
it means the Fire now have 11 Homegrowns on the roster: Rodriguez, Brady, Monis, Gutiérrez, Casas, Djordje Mihailović, Nicholas Slonina, Gabriel Slonina, Andre Reynolds II, Jeremiah Gutjahr, and Mauricio Pineda.