The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that the Fire have signed Kellen Gulley as the club’s second home grown player. Gulley, 17, joins the Men in Red from Chicago Fire Juniors – Mississippi and becomes the first player from the three Juniors programs based outside of Chicagoland to sign with the club’s first team. Gulley will not be added to the Fire’s first team roster until 2012. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Gulley will arrive in Chicago on Sunday and begin training with the first team on Monday.
“Kellen is a very talented player and we are thrilled to add him to our first team,” said Technical Director and interim head coach Frank Klopas. “Kellen is a tremendous individual and has proved to be a scoring force with the Chicago Fire Juniors and U17 U.S. Men’s National Team and will continue to grow as a player while with the Fire. Developing young professionals is the goal of our Juniors program and Kellen serves as a defining figure in our player development system.”
Gulley, a Clinton, Miss. product, earned eight caps with the U17 U.S. Men’s National Team, tallying four goals during international competition in 2009 and 2010. The 6-foot striker notched goals against Brazil (12/5/2009), Argentina (6/23/2010) and a brace against Mexico (2/24/2010) leading the U17s to a 2-1-0 record in games in which the formidable forward found the back of the net.
In January 2010, Gulley was named to U.S. Soccer’s U17 Residency program, however, the youthful forward has spent part of every summer locally in Chicago dating back to 2006. In that time, the 17-year-old striker has been involved in various Fire Juniors player pool and identification events, played in three consecutive SUM/Generation adidas Cups (2009-11) and trained with the club’s first team, PDL and Super-20 sides during the 2010 season.
With the acquisition, Gulley becomes the second Home Grown player to sign with the first team after midfielder Victor Pineda put pen to paper last August.
Name: Kellen Gulley
Height: 6’0” (1.82m)
Weight: 185 lbs. (84kg)
Date of Birth: April 6, 1994
Place of Birth: Clinton, MS
Hometown: Clinton, MS
Last Club: Chicago Fire Juniors-Mississippi
Acquired: Signed by the Chicago Fire on August 11, 2011