CHICAGO (February 4, 2015)—As part of National Signing Day festivities across the college soccer world, the Chicago Fire watched as products of the club’s Academy and Juniors programs signed National Letters of Intent to play collegiately at institutions across the country.
The Chicago Fire Academy is sending 10 NLI signees into the collegiate ranks, while a total of 72 members from the Fire Juniors network of squads also announced the next steps in their soccer and academic careers. The student-athletes will join their respective college programs when training camp opens in August.
The list of Fire Academy products who inked NLIs on Wednesday includes five headed to highly successful Big Ten programs and three on their way to schools that reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 NCAA Men’s College Cup.
This year’s class of Fire Academy NLI signees features: Rashad Boyd (Penn State), Oscar Gonzalez (UIC), Andrew Gutman (Indiana), Mike Jimenez (UIC), Jack Niestrom (Butler), Jacob Rooth (Creighton), Peter Schropp (Georgetown), Shannon Seymour (Northwestern), Ryan Sierakowski (Michigan State) and Robert White (Northwestern).
“It’s been a great privilege to coach these athletes and to see them develop into highly sought-after prospects at the Division I level,” said Larry Sunderland, Director of Player Development and Academy Director. “We at the Fire Academy commend each of them and their families for all that they’ve achieved and are excited to see them continue to grow as soccer players and young men at their respective institutions.”
Chicago Fire Juniors clubs, of which there are 10 nationwide, have produced a combined 72 student-athletes on the men's and women's sides from the Class of 2015 who plan to continue their soccer careers at the collegiate level. These athletes are destined for a wide range of Division I, II and III programs, including several Big Ten, Big XII and Mid-American Conference schools.
"I would like to congratulate all of the 72 players from our Fire Juniors network who have committed to continuing their soccer careers at the collegiate level,” said Director of Youth Development Paul Cadwell. “This is a representation of the many years of hard work that these players and their coaches have put in to develop them into high-level soccer players. We look forward to continuing to see this group of individuals represent the Fire Juniors both on the field and in the classroom.”