Fire

Accam, Jones called up to Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago

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Accam, Jones called up to Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago

Before the Chicago Fire's heart-rending 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Orlando City SC Saturday night, the club announced that winger David Accam and defender Joevin Jones would be summoned by their national teams for a pair of matches set to take place next week.

Accam, who's scored two goals in his last two appearances with the Men in Red, was one of 23 players called in by Ghana head coach Avram Grant to face Mauritius in the team's upcoming 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

After making his debut for the Black Stars on Jan. 19, 2015 in the 2015 AFCON group stage fixture against Senegal - replacing Andrew Ayew in the 88th minute of his side's 2-1 loss - the Fire's Designated Player followed up with his second cap at the end of March in a friendly with Mali. Accam swapped with Anderlecht's Frank Acheampong to close out the final nine minutes of the match in the 1-1 draw, and will be seeking his third cap at Accra Sports Stadium on June 14.

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Jones, having started all 13 games for Frank Yallop's outfit this season, was also rewarded for his eye-catching performances with a nod from Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart. With 37 caps and appearances in major tournaments with the Soca Warriors, namely the 2011 Pan American Games and the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Jones could reach 38 should he feature in the international friendly against Jordan on June 16 at Al-Hassan Stadium.

Accam and Jones departed following Saturday's Eastern Conference bout. Alongside Shaun Maloney, currently on international duty with Scotland, both will miss the Fire's rescheduled game against the New England Revolution on June 13 at Gillette Stadium.         

      

Chicago Fire permanently sign midfielder Aleksandar Katai

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USA TODAY

Chicago Fire permanently sign midfielder Aleksandar Katai

The Fire have secured the transfer of midfielder Aleksandar Katai from Deportivo Alavés of the Spanish La Liga, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

This season’s breakout playmaker has been signed with Chicago through 2019, with a 2020 club option. Before the transfer, Katai was on loan from Alavés, which was set to expire after July.

The Serbian player has emerged as one of the most important pieces of the Fire’s offense this season. Since joining the club on Feb. 6, Katai has scored eight goals in 18 league matches, tying forward Nemanja Nikolić for the most on the team. Katai also has three assists in 2018.

The 27-year-old’s biggest game of the year came against New York City FC last month when he scored two goals to lead the Fire to 3-2 victory. His production this season in the MLS has been much more significant than it was in 23 matches with Alavés, where Katai only tallied three goals and four assists.

His transfer fee is unknown but, according to Sam Stejskal of MLSsoccer.com, he will be a “Targeted Allocation Money player” for the rest of this season and will not be a Designated Player until 2019. Whatever the official price was, acquiring Katai for a lengthier amount of time seemed like a must.

Throughout this season, the Fire were rumored to be in talks with legendary Spanish striker Fernando Torres. On Tuesday, he signed with Sagan Tosu, a Japanese club. The Fire signed Katai the next day, showing that the team was possibly waiting for Torres to leave the market.

Chicago will face the Philadelphia Union Wednesday night at Toyota Park, where Katai will look to continue his impressive season.

Chicago Fire defender Johan Kappelhof involved in car crash on Thursday morning

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USA TODAY

Chicago Fire defender Johan Kappelhof involved in car crash on Thursday morning

Chicago Fire defender Johan Kappelhof was involved in a car accident on his way to practice Thursday morning that sent him to the hospital with minor injuries.

According to authorities and the Secretary of State’s Office, a box truck crashed into the Dutch player’s 2013 Volkswagen and another vehicle in the 5900 block of South Harlem. Kappelhof’s vehicle rolled over and two people fled from the scene.

The driver ran on foot and the passenger moved into the driver’s seat before driving the truck onto the Stevenson Expressway after the crash, officials said. After the damaged vehicle broke down, police say the same passenger tried to jump into the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Both were taken into custody.

Team officials said Kappelhof was treated and released from the hospital without indicators of a concussion. The 27-year-old was reportedly seen at Toyota Park after the crash and did not have any serious injuries. The other driver who was hit by the box truck was also treated, police said.

This season in league play with the Fire, Kappelhof has three assists in 16 games. The international product was a 2017 MLS All-Star and the Defensive Player of the Year for the Fire last season. He was signed in 2016 and has made one MLS Cup Playoffs appearance.