Star Mexican winger Jairo Torres will join the Chicago Fire on a Young Designated Player contract, the club announced this morning.
Torres, 21, joins from Liga MX side Atlas FC, and is under contract through 2025. As part of the deal, Torres will remain at Atlas through April 30, and will join the Fire on May 1. A source indicated to Hot Time that date is set in stone—Torres will join the Fire on May 1 even if Atlas advances to the Clausura playoffs, or even if the regular season is extended for some reason.
“Jairo checks all the boxes that we were looking for in a Young Designated Player, and we’re very pleased to acquire his services ahead of the Club’s 25th season in MLS,” Fire Sporting Director Georg Heitz said in a statement. “Jairo has been one of the most productive young players in Liga MX and was an integral part of Atlas’ championship-winning team in 2021. We expect him to be a very important and exciting player for the Club and look forward to welcoming him to Chicago on May 1. I’d also like to say a special thank you to our Technical Director, Sebastian Pelzer, as this move would not have been possible without all his hard work over the last several months.”
Despite his young age, the Guadalajara native brings a ton of pro experience to the Fire. He made his pro debut for Atlas in 2016, at just 16 years old. Since then, he’s played in 108 matches, making 80 starts, across all competitions. He started all six games for Atlas in the club’s recent historic run to win its first Liga MX championship in 70 years.
He’s one of Mexico’s brightest young stars. Among players under the age of 23 in Liga MX, he ranks first in key passes, second in precise crosses, third in expected goals and assists and third in attacking one-on-one situations, while also ranking fourth in overall goals and assists.
Enjoy some Jairo Torres highlights, won't you? #cf97 pic.twitter.com/39oHG9hKFm— Patrick McCraney (@patrickmccraney) February 19, 2022
Internationally, he’s represented Mexico at the U-17, U-22 and senior team levels. The winger started all six matches for the Mexico U-17 Men’s National Team at the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship, scoring the lone goal in their 1-0 win against Panama and playing 90 minutes in the 5-4 penalty shootout victory against the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team in the final. Torres was named the tournament’s Golden Ball winner and was also named to the tournament Best XI.
Torres will occupy an international slot on the Fire’s 2022 roster. He also becomes the third Designated Player on the roster, alongside midfielders Xherdan Shaqiri and Gastón Giménez. Because he’s considered a Young DP, his signing opens up a new U-22 initiative slot for Chicago, allowing the Fire to sign another young star.