Mexican international Ían Jairo Torres was finally unveiled as a Fire player after a months-long wait since he signed his contract back in pre-season. The 21-year-old, who joins the Fire from reigning Liga MX champion Atlas, should inject some youthful energy into the Chicago attack, which has been lacking productivity all season.
“It’s really exciting to be able to come here,” said Torres. “With the growth of the league, a lot of the players who have come here have also moved on to play in Europe, and at the end of the day, that’s everyone’s dream. The project that they showed to me was also something that I really enjoyed, that I really liked.”
Once capped by the senior team for El Tri, he is viewed as one of the top young talents in his homeland and is seen as someone who could make the jump to Europe in the future. After an eleven-year stay at Atlas, this will be Torres’ first move away from Los Rojinegros, where he was a big part in helping them win their first Liga MX championship in seventy years.
Torres is the next in a line of Mexican internationals to represent the Chicago Fire. He will be following in the footsteps of Mexican legends such as Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Pável Pardo, and Jorge Campos. Torres revealed that he had spoken to the latter two ahead of his arrival in Chicago:
“[Jorge Campos and Pavel Pardo] made a video for me. They explained to me the importance of this club, and what a great club and city it is, so I’m really grateful to them for having done that.”
It’s no secret that the Fire have been after a Mexican star for quite some time. Since the Joe Mansueto era began in late 2019, there's been interest in a long list of names from the Mexican national team, but none of those deals ever came to fruition. Now, the technical staff finally have their man in Jairo Torres.
“Jairo is a player we scouted for months,” said the Fire’s technical director, Sebastian Pelzer. “We believe that he will be a good addition to our team and a great addition to the greater Chicago community.” On the subject of finally bringing another Mexican star to Chicago, Pelzer added that “we have a massive Mexican community here. We’d like to serve this community as well, and it was hard work to bring Jairo here to Chicago, but finally, we made it.”
Torres will be available for selection right away. The Fire will travel to Georgia to face Atlanta United on Saturday, and he is expected to be in the squad. Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson stated this Torres is “here to play,” suggesting that he will come straight into the lineup next week. Torres can play both out wide and centrally as a #10, and he views his versatility as a useful tool in his game; with Xherdan Shaqiri being deployed in the middle so far this season, though, it's hard to see Torres playing anyway other than on the wing. After finding the back of the net in his final game in Liga MX, a 1-1 draw with Tigres, the attacker is certainly in good form and should add a spark to a Fire team which hasn’t scored an open play goal since March 19th.
With the MLS Primary Transfer Window closing tomorrow, May 4th, there is not a lot of time left to get any other deals over the line. With that being said, there were reports this week that the club are working to bring in former Orlando City, Sockers FC, and FC United winger Chris Mueller from Hibernian in Scotland. Should the deal for Mueller get over the line, the Fire may be able to rely on an exciting front four of Shaqiri, Torres, Mueller, and Przybyłko; a group with a ton of experience in MLS, overseas, and at the international level. For Torres, joining that group which has already built a solid foundation will allow him to play a role in getting the Fire back to competing among the best in Major League Soccer.
“In Atlas, we went through some very bad times, but right now we’re going through a very good time. I put it upon myself as one of my goals, to come here and do good things here. I want to do the things here that I did over there.”