MLS confirms Notre Dame attacker Harry Shipp as Chicago Fire Homegrown prospect

Despite challenge, MLS confirms Harry Shipp meets Fire Homegrown requirements

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Homegrown rights to Notre Dame midfielder Harry Shipp should no longer be in dispute as Major League Soccer confirmed this week the Lake Forest, Ill., product’s Homegrown status.

Despite playing a year in the Fire Academy (2009-10) and having spent parts of each of the last four summers with the club’s PDL and Super-20 sides (2010-13), Shipp’s Homegrown status was brought into question with MLS by an unidentified party.

However, the club confirmed with MLS this week that Shipp does indeed meet the requirements for the Fire to claim him as a Homegrown player. Under the MLS Homegrown Initiative, this would allow Shipp to bypass next month’s SuperDraft and sign with the Fire directly, should an offer be made to the player.

Shipp’s stock for the SuperDraft has continued to rise this season as he was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year last month, racking up 12 goals and eight assists in 21 games for the Irish in 2013. Earlier this week, he was also named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, college soccer's equivalent to the Heisman.

Suffice to say, with the issue cleared, it seems likely the club will exercise its right of first refusal on one of the nation’s top collegiate prospects.

In the meantime, Shipp and the Fighting Irish will host Michigan State in a NCAA College Cup Elite Eight matchup Saturday night in South Bend, Ind.

Catch the game LIVE (right after MLS Cup) at 6pm CT on WatchND.com.