The Chicago Fire continue to dominate Major League Soccer in one particular area: getting U.S. Green Cards for the club’s internationals. Defender Carlos Terán is the last to get his, meaning he won’t take up an international slot on the 2022 roster.
The Fire now have six players holding down international slots: Gastón Giménez, Federico Navarro, Chinonso Offor, Boris Sekulić, and newcomers Jhon Durán and Rafael Czichos. That leaves, at the moment, two open slots to be used on future signings. The Fire have at least one more guy on that list who is close to a Green Card, meaning another slot could be freed up soon.
The 2022 preseason schedule should officially come out this week, but here’s what we know right now: The Fire leave Monday for Orlando, where they’ll spend nearly three weeks. After that, it’s back to Chicago for three days, then on to Austin for the remainder of the preseason. We know the Fire will play FC Dallas on Feb. 16, and there will be several other matches in both Florida and Texas. The Fire plan to stream as many of those matches as they can on the club’s website. Because of MLS’s blackout rules, those matches will be available for fans watching within 75 miles of Soldier Field. Play-by-play man Tyler Terens is no doubt excited to call matches from picnic tables again this preseason.
Signings on the Horizon?
Many fans are concerned at the Fire’s lack of preseason signings this off-season. Right now, it looks like the team will leave for preseason with many roster holes, including two open designated player slots. A source tells Hot Time while signings likely won’t be announced this week, the club is close on several players, including at least one DP.
If they end up signing great players, and start the season strong, no one will care that the deals took a long time. But given the club’s track record, fans have every right to be concerned. It’s on the Fire to earn the benefit of the doubt.
We’re told Sporting Director Georg Heitz will discuss upcoming signings with Terens and Arlo White on the next episode of the club’s Intercontinental Football Show podcast, which is due out Wednesday. UPDATE: It’s out.