The Fire welcomed home a player they have some familiarity with on Thursday when the club announced the signing of PDL, Super-20 alum and Naperville product Brendan King.
“Coming home to the Fire is part of the dream,” the midfielder told Chicago-Fire.com. “You train at the stadium, you go to games and watch the first team play. It’s a really special thing for me to come home and play for the Fire.”
A highly touted player out of Notre Dame, King was part of the club’s Super-20 team that won the USL North American championship in 2008 and the PDL team that finished as USL runners-up the following season.
Selected 27th overall by Portland in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, King went on to sign with Irish Airtricity League side Bray Wanderers before playing seven matches with Norwegian first division side Alta IF.
Following Alta’s relegation in November, the Fire reached out to the 22-year-old midfielder to see if there was interest in a return to the club, filling out a spot on the team’s apprentice roster.
“The Fire had called and asked if I wanted to come in for preseason but I was still under contract here and I said I’d be interested in coming back. Then they finally decided to offer me a contract. It was a no-brainer, I had to take it. The club here was really great about letting me go and let out of the contract pretty easily.
“Once I heard the Fire were going to offer me a contract I was really excited about returning.”
Extremely happy to be coming back home to Chicago to play for @chicagofire. Can't wait to get home and get going!!— Brendan King (@BrendanKing1717) January 31, 2013
Typically a left-sided player, King says he feels comfortable at any position throughout midfield. As he welcomes the new opportunity with the Fire, he recognizes the potential to continue to grow as a player.
“I just want to get in and learn as much as I can from the guys, Frank and the rest of the coaching staff. I want to work hard to improve every day because I’m still young and I think have some years left in my career.
“I want to do whatever it is the coaching staff asks of me. I want to put in 100 percent every time I step on the pitch.”
King is set to travel from Norway and arrive in Chicago Friday night before boarding the team’s flight to Los Angeles for Phase Two of preseason camp in Ventura, Calif.