Indiana University star forward Victor Bezerra is joining the Chicago Fire on a Homegrown Player contract, the club announced today. Bezerra is under contract with the Fire through the 2024 season with a club option for 2025.
“We are very happy that Victor has decided to return to Chicago to begin his professional career with his hometown club,” Fire Technical Director Sebastian Pelzer said in a statement. “Victor has not only proven himself as a goal-scorer and chance-creator at every level in which he has played, but he has also been disciplined in his pursuit of becoming a professional soccer player. After laying a solid foundation in our Academy, the coaches at Indiana University have been instrumental in helping him continue to develop as a person and as a player, and we look forward to working with him to help him reach his potential.”
Bezerra, who is 21, becomes the 23rd Homegrown Player to sign with the Fire’s first team, and the ninth to sign with the Fire since January 2020, after Georg Heitz took over as sporting director. With Bezerra’s signing, the Fire currently have 11 homegrown players under contract through the 2022 season. It’s a homecoming for Bezerra, who is from Chicago, and was a star at the Fire Academy before heading to IU.
Bezerra faces competition from fellow homegrown Missael Rodriguez for minutes at forward, as well as Chinonso Offor and Jhon Durán. With the departure of Robert Beric, the Fire will need to bring in a veteran striker, meaning the battle for minutes will be fierce, and at least some of those players will see minutes with the Fire’s new MLS Next Pro team.
“I want to thank all my friends, family and coaches, but especially the Chicago Fire,” said Bezerra. “Every day that I wear this crest, I’ll be working my hardest to make sure that all of the trust that the coaches put in me is rewarded. Growing up here and representing this Club means the world to me and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
At Indiana, Bezerra scored 28 goals across all competitions. As a sophomore, Bezerra was a MAC Hermann Trophy runner-up, after winning both the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. During his junior year, Bezerra led the Hoosiers to a record-17th College Cup, where the Hoosiers made it through to the Round of 16 before falling in overtime to Washington.