As Frank Yallop readies to take his first SuperDraft dip with the Chicago Fire, it may be worth it for him to look back on how many of his current crop have come to the club through the annual selection process. No less than 9 players on the current Fire roster, plus Logan Pause, who is reported to be returning to the Men in Red, have joined through the SuperDraft.
Some of their career highlights below...
College: North Carolina
Pick: 24th overall (third round)
Second on the club's all-time appearances list behind only C.J. Brown with 274 games played since 2003. If he re-signs with the Fire, he'll return for his 12th season for the Men in Red which would stand as the longest consecutive tenure at one club among active MLS players
2005 MLS SuperDraft
Pick: 29th overall (third round)
A diamond in the rough, Rolfe was well known to the Fire from three seasons spent with the club's PDL team. Knowing that San Jose was looking to draft Rolfe with the 30th overall pick, the club traded Henry Ring to FC Dallas in order to gain the 29th pick and keep Rolfe in Chicago. With 48 goals to his name, the Dayton alum stands as the club's second all-time leading scorer behind only Ante Razov.
#13 - Gonzalo Segares
College: Virginia Commonwealth
Pick: 35th overall (2nd round)
Another player that was a great grab late, Segares has been the club's mainstay left back for close to a decade. With 210 games played, the Costa Rican international recently moved into the top five on the club's all-time appearance list and should surpass Zach Thornton and Chris Armas to move into the top three a month or so into the 2014 campaign.
2007 College Draft
College: Virginia Pick: 2nd overall (first round) Chosen second overall, Soumare was an immediate presence on the backline during his rookie campaign in 2007 and went on to become an MLS All-Star in 2009 before heading to French side U.S. Boulogne. Soumare returned to the club midway through the 2013 season after a trade with Philadelphia.
2008 MLS SuperDraft
College: Virginia Tech Pick: 7th overall (first round) Perhaps one of the most underrated players in Major League Soccer, Nyarko didn't play a huge part in his rookie campaign as he joined the team late after finishing his degree at Virginia Tech. Ever since he's made a habit of giving MLS defenders fits. Currently fifth on the club's all-time assists list, a big 2014 season could see the Ghanaian winger move as high as second on the list.
2010 MLS SuperDraft
College: Elon Pick: 45th overall (3rd round)
Kinney was one of the few bright spots in a drab Fire campaign in 2010 but a freak achilles injury in the final game of the season that year kept the Elon alum out of action for two complete seasons. He returned for the first two games of 2013 only to have injury flare ups hold his activity to only reserve games. Kinney will hope to regain full health heading into his fifth season in Chicago.
2010 MLS SuperDraft
College: Central Florida Pick: 51st overall (4th round)
Perhaps one of the greatest late SuperDraft picks of all-time, Johnson has appeared in exactly 100 MLS games in four seasons with the Men in Red. Often called upon for multiple big saves at the back, Johnson has parlayed his play with the Fire into numerous U.S. Men's National Team call-ups and is pushing to be the third 'keeper on Jurgen Klinsmann's final World Cup roster this summer in Brazil.
2012 MLS SuperDraft
Pick: 9th overall (first round)
Berry wasn't an immediate starter during his rookie season, toiling behind Cory Gibbs, Arne Friedrich and Anibaba the first month and a half of the campaign. When Gibbs was injured and Anibaba suspended following a post-game frackas vs. Seattle in late April, Berry stepped in and scored his first career goal in his first appearance in a 2-1 away win at Chivas USA. That was the start of his run towards the league's 2012 Rookie of the Year award and the Cincinnati, Ohio native has yet to miss an MLS game since, playing 62 consecutive matches.
#3 - Hunter Jumper
Pick: 28th overall (2nd round)
Jumper was a good find in the middle of the second round and even appeared in the team's season opener in 2012, coming on to replace the injured Gonzalo Segares late in a 1-1 draw at Montreal. Jumper has played sparingly over his first two seasons, but did bag a memorable goal and assist during two starts last season.
2013 MLS SuperDraft
Club: Rainbow FC Bameda (Cameroon)
Pick: 30th overall (2nd round)
Re-signed by the Fire on Tuesday, Atouba will hope to build off his three season substitute appearances that came early in the 2013 season.
Rostered players that were selected by other clubs in the MLS SuperDraft:
|Mike Magee||2003||MetroStars||4th overall (Rd. 1)|
|Quincy Amarikwa||2009||San Jose||32nd overall (Rd. 3)|
|Dilly Duka||2010||Columbus||8th overall (Rd. 1)|
|Brendan King||2012||Portland||27th overall (Rd. 2)|