BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Down to just one out-and-out forward ahead of Sunday’s match vs. Sporting KC, the Chicago Fire bolstered their numbers with the signing of former Chivas USA forward Matthew Fondy Saturday morning.
“Matt is a physical presence and will provide needed depth and cover, especially as we enter the busiest month of our schedule,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop said in a press release.
The Fire no doubt need some depth up top heading into Sunday’s match.
Starting forward Quincy Amarikwa is suspended for the game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Toronto FC while Juan Luis Anangono was loaned out Thursday to LDU Quito in a move that had been long in the works.
Earlier this week the Fire also cut ties with rookie forward Giuseppe Gentile, who had spent the majority of the season on loan with USL PRO’s Charlotte Eagles.
While the Anangono move was well explained this week, Yallop also commented on the Gentile move saying, “I felt he just wasn’t up to the speed of play of MLS at this point. If I don’t really see the players in the long-term future the big thing for me is why keep them around? We can keep bodies around but I think I’m trying to get to a point where we’re keeping players that are going to be here for the future."
Along with Mike Magee, Fondy becomes the second out-and-out forward available for selection by Yallop for Sunday’s match at Sporting KC.
Fondy, who played eight MLS matches with Chivas USA the past two seasons also has USL PRO experience with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2011) and LA Blues where he scored 14 goals in 29 matches between 2012-13.
Yallop is familiar with Fondy from his time spent in preseason with the San Jose Earthquakes at the beginning of last season, prior to his time with the LA Blues. Short on practice with the side, while he could be thrown in right away this weekend, the Fire manager was adamant that the newcomer isn’t expected to be an everyday starter.
“We’re light up front at the moment,” Yallop admitted. “Matt’s a good young player, he trained a lot with me in San Jose and got his chance with Chivas last season. He gives a good work rate -- he’s in to replace Gentile and will help out in the short term.
"Hopefully he works out long term for us but he’s a young player starting out. Hopefully he gives us some good energy off the bench.”
With the clearing of roster and salary space the past few weeks, it seems the Fondy signing is the first of a few moves yet to come this summer, with Yallop admitting as much earlier this week.
The opening of the MLS transfer window comes this Tuesday, July 8.