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Chicago Fire sign Academy star Missael Rodriguez to a four-year contract

The 18-year-old striker was massive in the Fire’s run to a U19 MLS NEXT championship

The Chicago Fire signed Academy star striker Missael Rodriguez to a homegrown contract, multiple sources tell Hot Time in Old Town. The deal will be officially announced in the coming weeks.

It’s a four-year contract that begins January 1, 2022, and runs through the end of the 2025 season.

Rodriguez was massive in the U19 Fire Academy team’s run to an MLS NEXT championship earlier this year. He won the tournament’s Golden Boot with eight goals in five games, making him the top scorer of any age group. His 83rd minute goal over Dallas-based Solar SC in the final gave the Fire Academy a 1-0 win, lifting them to the championship.

He’s from the Chicago Lawn neighborhood on the South Side.

Rodriguez joins a Fire team in great need of more goal scorers. Right now it’s unclear whether Robert Berić, who has just three goals this season, will be back with the Fire next season. Chinonso Offor is under contract for 2022. Depending on what business the club does in the off season, Rodriguez might get the chance to step in right away. Or, it could be a longer play, like fellow Academy forward Alex Monis, who has played on loan for Forward Madison, but has yet to appear for the Fire. Either way, it’s a good bit of business to lock up one of the Fire Academy’s brightest stars.