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Chicago Fire Acquires Midfielder Micheal Azira, 2020 Second-Round SuperDraft Pick from the Montreal Impact

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Aug. 7, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that it has acquired midfielder Micheal Azira and a second-round draft pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft from the Montreal Impact. In exchange, the Fire traded defender Jorge Corrales to the Impact. Additionally, the Fire obtained the No. 6 spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking Order from Montreal in exchange for the No. 1 allocation spot. Should the Impact select a player with the No. 1 allocation spot, the Fire will receive an additional $75,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money (GAM) if that player is on an MLS roster for the 2020 season.

Azira is under contract with the Fire through the 2019 season with a Club option for the 2020 season.

“While it is difficult to part with Jorge, who has defended the Club’s honor with all his might, acquiring Micheal provides us with more balance and options as we make our push for the playoffs,” said Chicago Fire Soccer Club President and General Manager Nelson Rodrίguez.

Azira, an experienced defensive midfielder, has spent the past six seasons playing in MLS, compiling 120 league appearances (97 starts) with Seattle Sounders FC, Colorado Rapids and Montreal Impact. He has also made eight appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs, starting in three of those matches. At the international level, Azira has earned 10 caps (eight starts) for the Uganda National Team, including six appearances in the Africa Cup of Nations (2017, 2019).

Azira, 31, originally began his professional career in the USL Championship with the Charleston Battery in 2012, spending two seasons with the club, before signing with Seattle Sounders FC in 2013. In three seasons with Sounders FC, Azira made 25 first team appearances (14 starts), helping the club win its fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy in 2014.

Following a move to the Rapids ahead of the 2016 season, Azira made 61 appearances in his first two seasons with Colorado. In 2016, he made a career high 31 appearances (28 starts) and helped lead the club to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, marking Colorado’s best regular season finish since 2010. Joining the Impact midway through the 2018 season, Azira made 29 appearances (24 starts) across two seasons for the Canadian club.

Azira holds a U.S. Green Card and will not occupy an international spot on the Fire’s roster.

Transaction: The Chicago Fire acquires midfielder Micheal Azira and a second-round draft pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft from the Montreal Impact in exchange for defender Jorge Corrales. Additionally, the Fire obtains the No. 6 spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking Order from Montreal in exchange for the No. 1 spot. Should the Impact select a player with the No. 1 allocation spot, the Fire will receive an additional $75,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money (GAM) if that player is on an MLS roster for the 2020 season.

Name: Micheal Azira
Pronunciation: Ah-ZEER-ah
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 160 lbs.
Date of Birth: Aug. 22, 1987
Birthplace: Kampala, Uganda
Citizenship: Uganda
Last Club: Montreal Impact

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