The Chicago Fire’s latest acquisition -- Toronto native Raheem Edwards -- has only been in the Windy City for a short few days, but the 23-year-old is enjoying his stay thus far and is ready to help the club make a push into the MLS Cup playoffs.
Edwards, who joined the club from the Montreal Impact on Tuesday, July 17, will be eligible to suit up for the Men In Red upon receipt of his ITC and P1 Visa.
Before Edwards officially steps onto the field for the club, Chicago-Fire.com caught up with the young Canadian to learn more about his transition to the city, the reception from his new teammates, and what strengths he is excited to bring to the team:
Chicago-Fire.com: How is everything going with your transition to the Fire?
Raheem Edwards: “It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been good. (I'm) just enjoying the city, walking around Chicago, seeing it a bit, checking out the facility. Meeting all the new guys and the coaching staff has been great. They welcomed me with open arms. It’s good, just enjoying my first few moments here.”
C-F.com: What was your impression of the city of Chicago before your move?
RE: “It’s unbelievable. I’m from Toronto so it’s similar, so I knew that I was going into a great city. A big, big sporting city. I remember asking a lot of guys from Montreal -- even Toronto -- what’s the biggest city for sports and stuff like that, and they said Chicago. So coming here, obviously it means a lot. I know there’s a lot of passionate fans here, so I’m looking to come in and do well and help put this team where they need to be going to.”
C-F.com: How was your reception by the team?
RE: “They welcomed me with open arms and reached out to me, all the players. They are really warm and welcoming, just saying 'if you need to talk to me or anything,' they’re here for me. It’s been good. All the players and staff, everyone here has been great. It’s been perfect.”
Watch the video below to catch Bastian Schweinsteiger's cheeky welcome for Edwards:
C-F.com: You have lined up against the Fire multiple times in your young career. What were your impressions of the guys you're now sharing a locker room with?
RE: “It’s a good team, and this is a team that’s position-orientated. They like to play football, so I’m coming into a good situation. I know right now it’s not the best situation where we are in the standings, but we have fourteen games left -- one more half of the season -- so anything can happen. I’m just looking to come in and learn from these guys, and try to help the team for sure.”
C-F.com: For Fire fans who may not know your game yet, what do you feel you can bring to the team? What are your strengths?
RE: “My strength is my athleticism. I’m a fast winger. I like to get up and down the line. I like to push the tempo, the 1v1s. Even defensively, I like to work hard for the team, so that’s what you can expect out of me -- a lot of athleticism, and willpower, and trying to push the game forward.”
C-F.com: What are you most excited about your opportunity here in Chicago?
RE: “Trying to get us into a playoffs spot obviously, and connecting with the guys. That’s what it’s all about. Me coming here, connecting with the guys, and trying to push us in the right direction.”
Edwards and the Fire resume MLS regular season play with a visit from reigning MLS Cup champions Toronto FC on Saturday night (6 p.m. CT, ESPN+).