Luis Solignac had a tough task in his Chicago Fire debut.
The 25-year-old forward played all 90 minutes in the 3-1 loss at Real Salt Lake last Saturday while only having one limited training session with his new teammates.
Solignac was officially traded from Colorado to the Fire on the evening of Aug. 3. With the game at RSL coming just three days later, Solignac flew straight to Salt Lake and waited for his new teammates to arrive.
He did train with his new teammates on the morning before the match, but that’s hardly enough time to settle in.
“Of course I didn’t know any of the guys,” Solignac said after training on Thursday. “It was hard at the beginning, but I feel I’m going to get on track pretty fast because the guys are welcoming me very good. I’m looking forward to playing again.
“This job is like this so you have to get used to it, but hopefully we can get on track quickly.”
The Rapids have the most points per match in MLS this season with 41 points in 22 matches, which can’t make leaving easy. However, Solignac had only played 32 minutes in four substitute appearances in the Rapids’ last six games before the trade. The Argentine thinks he has more of an opportunity with the Fire.
“I wasn’t playing that much in these late times so for me it was a great opportunity to get some minutes again,” Solignac said.
Solignac had already played with the Rapids in the U.S. Open Cup, which meant he wasn’t eligible to play in the Fire’s semifinal Tuesday in New England. Solignac took that time to head back to Colorado and pack his stuff to make the move to Chicago more permanent. He arrived in Chicago on Wednesday after what he admitted were “a tough three days.”
Now that Solignac has played with his teammates and is getting regular training sessions with the Fire, the next step is figuring out how he fits into the Fire’s attack. He played with David Accam, who Solignac knew of from when they both played in Sweden in 2013, and Michael de Leeuw in the first half at RSL. Both Accam and de Leeuw were then subbed off at halftime with the Fire trailing by two goals and the Open Cup game soon after.
Sunday’s game against Orlando could be the first extended look at how Solignac will play with the Fire’s first choice forwards. The Fire have scored 20 goals in 21 games, which is worst in the league so the Fire need help in the goal-scoring department.
“I think Luis obviously he is very good on the ball,” Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said when asked what Solignac brings to the team. “His pace is very important. He is fast. He moves. He is dynamic. It’s something that we need, that we lack of so far. With his addition so far I believe he is going to give us more presence in the opponent’s box and more goals for sure.”