The Chicago Fire didn’t have a first-rounder in today’s MLS SuperDraft—the club dealt away the number six overall pick to Colorado weeks ago for $125,000 in General Allocation Money—but the team still grabbed three players in the later rounds.
The Fire picked defender Jackson Ragen (33rd overall) and forward Christian Pinzon (47th overall) in the second round, and chose midfielder Mitch Guitar (60th overall) in the third round.
Chicago didn’t end up signing any of the players it chose in last year’s SuperDraft, but with a full year in place and a bit more time to scout, perhaps Georg Heitz and Co. were able to find players they think can help this time around.
Jackson Ragen (33rd overall)
Defender Jackson Ragen has played three years at the University of Michigan, where he’s expected to return for his senior season this spring. For that reason, Hot Time is told the 6’ 6” All-Big Ten selection probably won’t join the Fire for preseason training camp (unless, of course, it gets delayed). In his three years in Ann Arbor, Ragen has racked up 58 appearances, including 52 starts. He started all 21 matches in 2019, tallying two goals and four assists. Ragen also made three appearances for Seattle Sounders 2 in 2017. We’re told the club considers him a “long-term project.”
Christian Pinzon (47th overall)
Pinzon is a forward from California State University, Fullerton, where he’s spent the last three seasons. He totaled 54 appearances, including 32 starts, while earning a spot on the Big West First Team All-Conference in 2019. Pinzon, 22, started all 20 matches for the Titans in 2019. Like Ragen, Pinzon is also expected to return for his senior season this spring. He’s originally from Bellflower, Calif.
Our second pick is in...— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) January 21, 2021
Welcome, Christian Pinzon pic.twitter.com/10RPpVl5YA
Mitch Guitar (60th overall)
The guy with perhaps the best name in the 2021 draft (and the rockstar hair to boot), midfielder Mitch Guitar, scored two goals and tallied five assists during his three season career at the University of Wisconsin. He earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors in 2018, his final year in Madison. Last year, Guitar signed a deal with USL side Indy Eleven, where he’s expected to stay in 2021. The Fire now hold Guitar’s MLS rights, meaning if he puts in some solid performances in Indy, the Fire can negotiate a deal to bring him to Chicago.
The Fire have a roster packed with youth internationals and Homegrown Players, meaning it will be tough for any of these three guys to earn a spot. Stranger things have happened, though. The Fire took Brandt Bronico with the 47th overall pick in 2017, and Elliot Collier with the 49th overall selection in 2018, meaning every once in a while, a late rounder breaks through. With two of these guys returning to school and one playing in USL, Heitz has three low-risk, high reward players in the hopper.