Javier Leon says new forward signing is close as Fire look for MacDonald loan deal
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- While the Chicago Fire’s 4-1 victory over D.C. United Saturday was a welcome one, the news given at halftime seemed to signal the club’s intent in bolstering its roster during the summer transfer window.
Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon addressed the media on a potential signing, saying the club is very close to making a deal official with a 24-year-old Ecuadorian forward who has been in his country’s national team pool.
That player is reportedly Juan Luis Anangonó.
Anangonó most recently played for Argentine Primera side Argentinos Juniors but has seen the greatest success in his young career come during his time with Ecuadorian club Nacional where he scored 30 goals in 73 matches from 2011-2012.
Leon said that the transfer fee paid for the player combined with his salary would make him a Designated Player under MLS roster rules.
MacDonald Going on Loan?
With a signing announcement expected this week, the question was raised about the status of current Fire DP Sherjill MacDonald, to which Leon confirmed that the team is working to secure a loan deal.
After joining the Fire last July and helping push the team to its first playoff appearance since 2009, MacDonald has not had a strong follow up season, going goal-less and earning just one assist in 13 matches this year.
MacDonald was an unused substitute for the second straight match on Saturday and confirmed Leon’s comments.
“My agent spoke to Javier and Guillermo [Petrei],” he told Chicago-Fire.com. “We keep in good contact and we’re working to get a solution for the situation to get me some more playing time.
“I haven’t had the best season so I understand the Fire’s side that they want to change the situation and bring someone else in and I think from both sides it’s understandable. As long as I’m here, I’m still happy to be here. I love my teammates, and right now I’m still a Chicago Fire player.”
MacDonald said his preference would be to return to his home to the Netherlands or to Belgium where he’s played extensively throughout his career for Andelecht, Roselare and Germinal Beerschot.
Rolfe Welcomes Competition
With his two-goal performance in Saturday’s win, Chris Rolfe was voted Man of the Match by the Fire faithful and with an incoming striker, his outburst Saturday was timely to say the least.
Rolfe has struggled at times to hit the back of the net this season but still has tallied seven goals and one assist across all competitions.
With frontline partner Mike Magee moving back into a tie for the MLS goal scoring lead Saturday night, Rolfe was asked if he felt threatened by the seemingly imminent arrival of a new forward.
“If anything its exciting,” he said. “Hopefully we do bring in another guy that’s going to help the team. I feel like it’s important for any organization to bring talent to compete.”