The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that it has signed midfielder Victor Pineda to a professional contract as the club’s first ever home grown player. Pineda will be available for selection by Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos for the Wednesday, Aug. 18 match against New England Revolution at TOYOTA PARK at 7:30 PM CT (My50). Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pineda becomes the first home grown player to sign with the Fire since the inception of the Major League Soccer Home Grown Player initiative in 2007. The Home Grown player initiative was established as part of Major League Soccer’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of play. Pineda will not count against the 24-man roster and will fill one of the two additional roster spots added by the league for home grown players identified and developed by the local club.
“We are very excited to have Victor join the Chicago Fire,” said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. “Victor is a talented, technical midfielder who has a bright future with the Fire. His addition to the first team is representative of the Fire’s commitment to the future and to our player development system. I want to thank our owner, Andrew Hauptman, for the significant commitment he’s made to our player development system and to building our club. Our ability to elevate a player like Victor to the first team starts at the top and with Andrew’s support we’ll continue to add new home grown players to our roster.”
Pineda joins the first team after emerging from the Fire’s Player Development system. The Chicago, Illinois product spent two seasons with the Chicago Fire Juniors and three seasons with the Chicago Fire Academy. While with the CFA, he tallied eight goals and two assists in 28 games played, helping the club to become the first MLS academy club to win the 2010 U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s U16 National Championship.
“Seeing a player with Victor’s potential progress through our Juniors and Academy system to the first team is a credit to his devoted work ethic and tremendous talent,” said Academy Director Larry Sunderland. “The Chicago Fire Soccer Club player development pyramid is one of the pillars of the Fire organization and, as a club, we are dedicated to developing players from our Juniors program to the professional level.”
Recently, Pineda was called up to the Under-18 United States Men’s national team for a trip to Argentina. Pineda spent 2008 and 2009 at U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 residency program in Bradenton, FL. The 17-year-old midfielder was nominated as an All-American while attending Plainfield East high school in Plainfield, IL.
Player: Victor Pineda
Height: 5’11” (1.80 m)
Weight: 140 lbs. (64 kg)
Born: March 15, 1993
Hometown: Bolingbrook, IL
Citizenship: United States