Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

Chicago Fire Achieves Roster Compliance Ahead of Deadline

The Chicago Fire has made some strategic roster moves to ensure that they are compliant with the league’s regulations. These changes, confirmed by sources at MIR97 Media, will see goalkeeper Spencer Richey move to the Supplemental Roster, while midfielder Gastón Giménez will be given a Designated Player (DP) tag.

Giménez’s Special Designation

Giménez, who was originally signed as a DP in 2020, will not receive a new contract but will instead be granted a special designation to open up roster flexibility. This move allows the Fire to free up around a million dollars of allocation money and some salary cap space. It also gives them the option to buy Giménez back down using General Allocation Money (GAM) at any time, thus freeing up the DP slot once again. The roster change is intended to be temporary.

Richey’s Move to the Supplemental Roster

Backup goalkeeper Spencer Richey has also been bought down from the Senior Roster to the Supplemental Roster using GAM. This move ensures that the first team squad is not too large to be registered. Previously, the Senior Roster consisted of 23 players, but with the departures of Jairo Torres and Kapcer Przybyłko, as well as the buy-down of Richey, the roster now comprises 20 players. Earlier in the offseason, defender Jonathan Dean was also moved to the Supplemental Roster.

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Spencer Richey
Spencer Richey will be bought down to the Supplemental Roster, a move enabled by his low salary. (via Chicago Fire FC)

Wootton’s First Team Deal and Loan Move

Laurence Wootton, an Englishman out of Ohio State, is set to finalize a first-team deal in the coming weeks. However, as an international player, there is currently no room for him in the MLS roster. Wootton will fill “slot 31” on the Supplemental Roster, making him ineligible to play in MLS but allowing him to go on loan to the USL. Omari Glasgow, a young talent who impressed during preseason, will remain with the second team but can be called up for a short-term loan if needed in MLS.

Green Card Updates

Recent changes to the rules regarding international slots bring potential flexibility for the Fire. Defender Rafa Czichos and midfielder Fede Navarro, who have already spent multiple seasons with the Fire, are in the process of acquiring Green Cards. If successful, they will no longer take up international roster slots, similar to Arnaud Souquet’s recent acquisition, which classifies him as a domestic player. The Fire has been efficient in securing player Green Cards, which provides more options in their roster building.

The Current Roster

The Chicago Fire currently boasts three Designated Players: Xherdan Shaqiri, Hugo Cuypers, and Gastón Giménez. Additionally, they have five players on TAM-level salaries and three U-22 initiative slots filled. Allan Arigoni is the only player currently on loan with the club.

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Efficiently navigating the MLS roster rules has given the Fire an advantage. With a well-rounded roster and room for flexibility, the team can continue to be aggressive in their domestic and international transfer strategies.

Chicago Fire Roster
The state of the Chicago Fire roster at the start of the 2024 season. (graphic by Alex Calabrese)

FAQs

Q: Will there be any further changes to the roster before opening day?
A: While the domestic trade window remains open until mid-April, it is unlikely that any significant moves will occur until the summer.

Q: Can the Fire sign a new Young Designated Player?
A: Yes, if they choose to do so, they can open up a DP slot by buying down Giménez again and restoring his TAM status.

Conclusion

With less than 48 hours until kickoff in Philadelphia, the Chicago Fire is confident in their roster for the 2024 season. By strategically managing their roster and effectively utilizing roster rules, they have created a well-balanced team with ample room for future growth. The Fire’s commitment to excellence on and off the field sets them up for a successful campaign in the MLS.

Note: For more information and updates on the Chicago Fire, visit Pesstatsdatabase.