Fire Sign Rafael Robayo

Colombian midfielder joins Fire ahead of 2012 season

CHICAGO, IL (Jan. 9, 2012) The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Monday the signing of Colombian midfielder Rafael Robayo from Club Deportivo Los Millonarios. The 27-year-old midfielder joins the Men in Red from Colombian Liga Postobón and will be added to the club’s roster as an international upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P1 Visa. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Rafael Robayo has an excellent work rate, good defensive energy and will provide support on both sides of the ball,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “Rafael is a sizable player who can get in and create around the box. He will join our core group in preseason camp as we continue to build toward the 2012 campaign.”

A mainstay in the Millonarios lineup, Robayo tallied 187 appearances and 20 goals in league play since joining the Bogota-based side in 2005.  The two-way midfielder made 11 appearances and scored two goals, including one in the championship series during los Embajadores run to the 2011 Copa Colombia title, the club’s first hardware since 1988. Additionally, Robayo helped the side to the semifinals of the 2007 Copa Sudamericana, the best finish in club history. Since early 2010, Robayo served as club captain.

Robayo began his career at the age of 16, attending the Escuela de Futbol Vida in Bogota from 2000-02. From there, he signed his first professional contract with Medellin based Club Atletico Nacional where he made one appearance in 2003 before spending the 2004 season with Once Caldas.

Robayo has earned one cap for the Colombian Men’s National Team, coming on as a substitute during a 2-0 victory at Venezuela on September 3, 2010.

Name:                    Rafael Fernando Robayo Marroquin

Position:                  Midfielder

Height:                   6’0” (1.84m)

Weight:                   171 lbs. (78kg)

Date of Birth:          April 24, 1984

Place of Birth:          Bogota, Colombia 

Hometown:              Bogota, Colombia

Citizenship:              Colombia

Last Club:                Millonarios F.C. (COL)

Acquired:                Signed on January 9, 2012

Twitter:                  @R8ROBAYO