When Chicago Fire FC designated player Ignacio Aliseda walked into the training dome with his new team for the first time this morning, he had a big smile on his face.
“It’s great, so far,” Aliseda told Hot Time in Old Town via a translator. “The city is beautiful. The facilities are great. We didn’t have this [in Argentina]. Everyone gave me a great welcome. I felt really good.”
Fire head coach Raphael Wicky wouldn’t say yet whether Aliseda will be on the 18-man roster for this Saturday’s match in New England—“I will see about that tomorrow,” Wicky said—but he did say he was excited to finally have his 19-year-old star attacker with the club.
“He’s young,” Wicky said. “He’s a guy who obviously brings a lot of quality, but he’s a guy we can still develop over the next years. We all believe that he’s gonna be a really good player for us.”
Wicky said his “match day minus two” training sessions are usually on the mellow side, which helped Aliseda get to know his new teammates.
“Training was great,” Aliseda said. “Everyone welcomed me, and the coaching staff was really great. They were very chill. They let me make my way in with the team and just be another one of the players.”
Aliseda doesn’t yet speak a lot of English, although he did muster a “very good” when we asked him about the upcoming season. Wicky has stressed that Fire fans need patience with the young attacker, but Aliseda said he’s ready to help the Fire now.
“If the team helps, we can do great things,” he said. “I would characterize myself as quick, fast and above all, a teammate.”
Other Chicago Fire news and notes:
- Defensive midfielder Gastón Giménez is close to joining the team. A photo obtained by Hot Time in Old Town shows Giménez giving a thumbs-up at O’Hare after landing in Chicago.
- UPDATE: New attacking midfielder Luka Stojanović appeared to be in Chicago based on a circulating Instagram post, but a Fire spokesperson tells me the post was incorrect, and he isn’t in Chicago just yet.
- The Fire are still waiting on the arrival of right back Boris Sekulić, although it’s likely he’ll be ready to go before the home opener at Soldier Field on March 21, if not earlier.
- CJ Sapong trained individually today, and he will not play against the New England Revolution, according to Wicky. “We don’t want to take a risk. We want to have him back hopefully next week,” Wicky said.
- The Fire announced today that Forward Madison FC is the club’s new USL League One affiliate.