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Chicago Fire ship Ignacio Aliseda to FC Lugano

The transfer opens up a designated player spot for Chicago

Aliseda celebrates after scoring against Atlanta United

Ignacio Aliseda was always a bit of a project. Now, he will be another club’s project.

The Chicago Fire announced today Aliseda has been transferred to FC Lugano in the Swiss Super League. Aliseda will join Lugano once the European transfer window opens on January 1. Both the Fire and FC Lugano are owned by Joe Mansueto.

Aliseda’s contract with Lugano will run through June 2025, but additional terms were not disclosed.

“After many discussions with Ignacio, we were all in agreement that this was the right time for a new challenge,” Sporting Director Georg Heitz said in a statement. “This move allows Ignacio to continue his development in a competitive European league, while providing us with more roster flexibility going into the 2022 MLS season. On behalf of the Fire, I’d like to thank Ignacio for his contributions over the last two seasons. We wish him all the best as he begins this exciting new chapter with our partner Club, FC Lugano.”

Aliseda joined Chicago from Argentina’s Defensa y Justica in Feb. 2020. He made 43 appearances, including 32 starts, in the two seasons since. He showed flashes of talent during that stretch—including winning MLS Player of the Week honors after a two goal, one assist performance against Atlanta United on July 3—but largely, Aliseda failed to live up to his potential while in Chicago. A combination of injuries and being away from home for the first time caused struggles for the young Argentine.

A source indicated that Aliseda was interested in the opportunity to move to Europe, and the Fire still believe enough in his potential that keeping him in the Fire-Lugano system protects their investment. Lugano currently sits in third place in the Swiss Super League, behind FC Zurich and FC Basel.

The move opens a valuable Designated Player spot for Chicago. With the departure of Robert Beric, the club now has two open DP slots for 2022 (an announcement is expected very soon on the club’s third DP—Gaston Gimenez). Heitz and his staff will have to do a much better job filling those slots with productive players if the Fire are finally going to have a winning season in 2022.