CHICAGO (Jan. 23, 2016) – The Chicago Fire announced Saturday that the club has re-signed midfielder Razvan Cocis and has signed defender/midfielder João Meira from Portuguese Primeira Liga side Os Belenenses. Meira will be added to the Fire roster upon receipt of his ITC and P1 Visa. Both Cocis and Meira have signed one-year deals with the club option through the second year.
“From our initial planning, we wanted to have Razvan back and are glad that we could finalize his return,” said Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez. “João is an excellent complement to our existing group with experience as both a center back and, if needed, as a central midfielder.”
Cocis initially joined the Fire on July 14, 2014 from Ukrainian side FC Hozerla Uzhhorod. In two seasons with the Men in Red, Cocis scored two goals and added three assists in 36 regular season appearances.
A veteran Romanian international who has earned 50 caps for his country, Cociș made his international debut on Aug. 17, 2005 in a 2-0 win over Andorra. With six assists to his credit, Cociș scored two goals for his country including the lone goal in Romania’s 1-0 win over the Faroe Islands in UEFA World Cup Qualifying on Sept. 10, 2008. Cocis' last appearance for his country was Romania’s UEFA World Cup Qualifying playoff match against Greece on Nov. 15, 2013.
A product of the FC Universitatea Cluj youth academy, Cocis made his senior debut in 2001 and scored 14 goals in 37 appearances before transferring to Moldovan side FC Sheriff Tiraspol in 2004. From 2004 through 2006, Cocis helped Sheriff to three Divizia Nationala honors, two Moldovan Super Cups and the Moldovan Cup, and started seven UEFA Champions League matches.
Following his time in Moldova, Cocis moved to Russia in 2007 and joined FC Lokomotiv Moscow, leading the side to the Russian Cup in his first season with the club. The Slatina, Romania native’s career included additional stops in Romania, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Russia before he joined Hoverla in 2013 where the central midfielder scored three goals in 19 appearances.
Cocis received his U.S. Green Card in July 2015, granting him permanent resident status in the United States. Cocis will not occupy an International Roster Spot on the Fire roster.
Meira joins the Fire from Portuguese Primeira Liga side C.F. Os Belenenses where he has been since the 2012-13 season. In his first year, he scored two goals in 34 matches, helping his side gain promotion to the Primeira Liga. Meira made an additional 27 appearance in the 2013-14 season and 18 in the 2014-15 seasons as O Belém remained in the top flight.
The Setúbal, Portugal native made his professional debut in 2008 with Clube Desportivo Mafra, playing 24 matches before joining Atlético Clube de Portugal in 2009. During the 2010-11 season, Meira made 33 appearances as he helped Atlético gain promotion to the Segunda Liga. Meira appeared in a total of 66 league matches, scoring two goals, over the course of four years.
Full Name: Razvan Cocis
Weight: 161 lbs.
Born: Feb. 19, 1983
Hometown: Slatina, Romania
Citizenship: Romania (U.S. Green Card Holder)
Acquired: Re-signed on Jan. 22, 2016
Full Name: João Diogo Serpa Meira
Weight: 170 lbs.
Born: April 30, 1987
Hometown: Setubal, Portugal
Last Club: Os Belenenses (POR)
Acquired: Signed on Jan. 22, 2016