Segares happy to return to Chicago

Defender kept in touch with Fire during his stint in Cyprus

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Six-and-a-half months after he left the Fire to join Cypriot club Apollon Limasoll, Gonzalo Segares is back.

The Costa Rican left back signed with Chicago on Friday, returning to the place where his professional career began in 2005.

“His contract was for six months and he wanted to be in a position where other teams could be looking at him in Europe” Fire technical director Frank Klopas told MLSsoccer.com Friday afternoon. “But overall, the league is not as strong as he would have wanted it to be.

“I got on the phone with Gonzalo and I just tried to push the issue as much as I could. [I didn’t tell him anything] new. This guy knows what this organization is about and I think it speaks volumes for someone like that who’s been a part of this organization for years, that’s in his prime of his career, to come back.”

Klopas spoke with Segares regularly while the 27-year-old was in Cyprus.

“I’ve stayed in touch with him since … he left,” Klopas said. “I knew that maybe at some point there would be an opportunity to bring him back and I’m just glad it worked out because he’s a very good player.”

It remains to be seen where the Fire will play Segares, who was a mainstay at left back during his first stint with the club. If he starts at his old position, he’ll have to beat out incumbent first-teamer Krzysztof Krol, who has performed reasonably well in his 13 appearances at left back this season.

Klopas said that Segares could play in the middle of the back four.

“He can play in the middle. He’s played with Costa Rica at center back, and he can play left back,” Klopas said. “He’s a very good player that can play different spots on the field and I think that gives us more flexibility.”

When reached via e-mail, Segares said, “Everything went real fast, but I’m happy that I found a club and that it is one that I know well.”

Klopas said that Segares’ contract runs through 2011 and that there are “options for a couple more [years] past that.”

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at sam.h.stejskal@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.