Klopas says International Experience, Speed What Stood Out in Atouba Selection

Manager sees opportunity for depth with SuperDraft pick

INDIANAPOLIS -- With the acquisition of veteran midfielder Jeff Larentowicz Wednesday night, the Chicago Fire didn’t wait until Thursday’s SuperDraft to make a splash but they did add another name to their training camp roster with the 30th overall selection of Cameroonian midfielder Yazid Atouba.

“I’m extremely delighted to be drafted by the Fire,” Atouba said via translator. “I feel it’s a golden opportunity for me to play under better conditions and show what I can do in MLS.”

At 5-6, the diminutive Atouba comes to the Fire from Cameroonian side Rainbow FC Bameda. The 20-year-old midfielder appeared in all four matches for his country at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Peru.

“He’s a young player but we’d seen some international games of his and just based on the one day he came into the combine,” head coach Frank Klopas told Chicago-Fire.com. “He’s a young player but at that point we looked at the board, felt he had some international experience, can play out wide or underneath to give us some depth there.

“Sometimes at that point it’s about taking some smart risks so we’ll see how it goes.”

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