CHICAGO (Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Tuesday that the Club has signed French striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle. Per Club and MLS policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sinama-Pongolle will occupy an international roster spot and be added to the Fire roster upon receipt of his P1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
“Florent is a quality player with experience playing in some of the top leagues in Europe,” said Fire head coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop. “Since he’s been training with us for the past few weeks, we’ve been able to see first-hand the attributes he has. I’m pleased that we were able to add him to the squad as we enter the final stretch of the regular season.”
Sinama-Pongolle most recently represented Russian Premier League side FC Rostov, where he scored two goals in 18 matches from 2012-14.
At the age of 16, Sinama-Pongolle was signed by English Premier League side Liverpool from French club Le Havre AC in 2001, and was loaned back to Le Havre, where he scored seven goals in 42 appearances.
In 2003, Sinama-Pongolle returned to Liverpool, scoring four goals in 38 matches. On Dec. 8, 2004, Sinama-Pongolle scored the first goal in a 3-1 victory over Olympiacos in the group stages of the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League. The Reds advanced to the final match and were crowned European champions after defeating AC Milan 3-2 in penalty kicks on May 25, 2005.
Sinama-Pongolle also found goal in a 5-3 victory against Luton Town in the 2005-06 FA Cup, and against Real Betis in a 2-1 victory in the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League group stage.
In January 2006, Sinama-Pongolle was loaned to the Blackburn Rovers, scoring once in ten appearances.
Sinama-Pongolle’s career then led him to Spain where he signed with Spanish La Liga side Recreativo de Huelva, scoring 22 goals in 68 appearances from 2006-08. In the summer of 2008, Sinama-Pongolle moved to Atlético Madrid, where he scored five goals in 40 matches for El Atleti.
Sinama-Pongolle’s career included stops with Sporting CP in Portugal, Spanish side Real Zaragoza and Saint-Étienne in France before heading to FC Rostov in Russia.
A French youth international, Sinama-Pongolle’s was named the Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner for the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago, scoring nine goals as France were named tournament champions.
The Saint-Pierre, Réunion native has been capped once for the senior French side, playing 22 minutes in an international friendly against Tunisia on Oct. 14, 2008.
Sinama-Pongolle has been training with the Fire since Aug. 21. Sinama-Pongolle played the full 90 minutes in the Fire’s 2-1 MLS Reserve League victory against FC Dallas on Aug. 31 and scored the game-winning goal in second half stoppage time when he converted a penalty kick.
Date of Birth:
Oct. 20, 1984
FC Rostov (RUS)
Signed Sept. 9, 2014