The Chicago Fire today officially announced the signing of 18-year-old Academy star Missael Rodriguez to a Homegrown Player contract.
“Missael is a promising young player who has demonstrated strong finishing qualities,” Chicago Fire FC Technical Director Sebastian Pelzer said in a news release. “We are excited to continue helping him develop and to see his qualities improve within the first-team environment.”
Rodríguez is the seventh Homegrown Player to sign with the first team since Jan. 2020. He’s joined by Alex Monis, Chris Brady, Allan Rodriguez, Javier Casas, Jr., Brian Gutierrez and Mauricio Pineda. The Fire currently have nine homegrowns under contract through next season.
“It’s a dream come true to sign for my hometown club,” Rodríguez said in the release. “Thank you to my coaches, family and friends for helping me achieve this goal.”
A Chicago native, Rodríguez joined the Fire Academy at the end of the 2017-18 season, scoring 10 goals and registering three assists in 19 games at the U-15 level. Most recently, Rodriguez scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute to propel the Fire U-19 team to a 1-0 victory over Solar SC, capturing the inaugural 2021 MLS NEXT U-19 Championship on July 3.
“Since joining the Academy, Missael has improved each year and has confirmed his qualities as a goal-scorer,” Chicago Fire Academy Technical Director Cedric Cattenoy said in a statement. “Signing with the Fire is a testament to his qualities and to the hard work and commitment from him and the Academy staff.”
The Fire will honor Rodriguez at halftime of the regular season home finale against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Oct. 23.