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Chicago Fire’s Jhon Espinoza receives U.S. Green Card

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The Fire continue to push for Green Cards, in order to free up international roster slots

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Chicago Fire Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Ecuadorian defender Jhon Espinoza is the latest Chicago Fire player to receive a U.S. Green Card, meaning he’ll no longer occupy an international slot on the 2022 roster.

Plus, another player is close to receiving their Green Card status, a source tells Hot Time. Over the last two years, the Fire have made a major push to get Green Cards for as many foreign players as possible.

Right now, the club has six players holding down international slots: Gastón Giménez, Federico Navarro, Chinonso Offor, Boris Sekulić, Carlos Terán, and newcomer Jhon Durán. That leaves two open slots to be used on future offseason signings.

The Fire will need to be roster compliant before the season starts, meaning the club can’t have more foreign players than international slots. If they do, there are work arounds to solve the problem—Chicago can trade for an extra slot, part ways with a foreign player, or even temporarily send a foreign player on loan.

Chicago’s Green Card push has been smart business. The price of acquiring international slots via trade has continued to tick up dramatically. Just last week, FC Dallas sent $250,000 in General Allocation Money to Nashville SC in exchange for one international slot.