CHICAGO (Feb. 2, 2016) – The Chicago Fire announced Tuesday that the club has signed defender Johan Kappelhof as a Discovery Signing using Targeted Allocation Money. A product of the Ajax youth academy, he signed a three-year deal with the Fire and joins the club on transfer from Dutch Eredivisie side FC Groningen. Kappelhof, 25, will be added to the Fire roster upon completion of an entry physical, receipt of his ITC and P1 Visa.
"We are delighted to add a defender of Johan's quality,” said Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez. “He craves and excels in one-on-one situations, matches well with both physical and fast opponents, and is refined on the ball."
Kappelhof joins the Fire from Dutch Eredivisie side FC Groningen, who he has represented for the past five seasons. From 2011-15, Kappelhof appeared in 123 games in the Dutch top flight, scoring three goals. Kappelhof also appeared in eight UEFA Europa League games during his FC Groningen career, including 90-minute shifts in each of their six group stage games during the 2015-16 competition. He was part of the Groningen squad which captured the KNVB Cup last year.
Kappelhof appeared in five matches for the Dutch Under-21 side from 2011-13. That five-game clip included four friendlies and a UEFA European U-21 Championship Qualifier. Kappelhof had the game-winning assist in his lone UEFA match, a 1-0 result against Austria in which he featured for 90 minutes.
Full Name: Johan Kappelhof
Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: Aug. 5, 1990
Hometown: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Last Club: FC Groningen
Acquired: Signed as a Discovery Signing using Targeted Allocation Money on Feb. 2, 2016