Fire Select Jalil Anibaba

Central defender from UNC is ninth overall pick

With the ninth selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft the Chicago Fire selected Jalil Anibaba from the University of North Carolina. In his senior season, Anibaba, a 6-0, 170 pound central defender, was named a NSCAA Second Team All-American, NSCAA First Team All-Region, First Team All-ACC, in addition to being awarded the 2011 Tom Fitzgerald MVP at the 2011 MLS adidas Combine. Anibaba signed a deal with MLS prior to today’s MLS SuperDraft, per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Jalil is a stout defender who will be a great addition to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club,” said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. “His ability to play defensive soccer, distribute the ball from the back and control the back line will help us as we head into the 2011 MLS season.”

Anibaba, a product of Davis, CA, joins the Fire after four seasons of college soccer at Santa Clara University and the University of North Carolina. The 22-year-old defender appeared in 85 matches, starting 84, in his college career, tallying three goals and five assists. As a senior, Anibaba was key in leading a Tar Heel defense that allowed an average of 0.71 goals against average and an appearance in the 2010 College Cup Semifinal match.

In 2009, while at Santa Clara, Anibaba anchored a defense that posted five shutouts and helped the Broncos go 3-0-2 to finish the season and tie for fourth in the West Coast Conference for wins.