The Fire have been desperate for some scoring help and added some on Tuesday, but it will have to wait until July.
The team announced the signing of Dutch forward Michael de Leeuw using Targeted Allocation Money, inking him to a three-year deal through 2018 with a club option for 2019.
de Leeuw's contract with Groningen does not expire until June 30 and he can't be officially transferred to the Fire until then. In the meantime he will train with the Fire.
He will not be available to play until MLS' secondary transfer window opens up on July 4. This means the first game he should be eligible to play will be on July 9 in Toronto, the Fire's 16th MLS game. The Fire play six more MLS games before de Leeuw will be eligible.
"Michael hungers to score goals and to win," Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez said in the announcement. "That mentality as well as his versatility to play several of the attacking roles will be valuable additions to our club."
Rodriguez teased two signings back in early April. The first one turned out to be Khaly Thiam, who debuted in Saturday's 2-0 loss in New England. de Leeuw is the other signing Rodriguez teased. Rodriguez, who will host a media roundtable on Friday to address the state of the club, also said he expects the Fire to be relatively quiet in the summer transfer window.
The 29-year-old de Leeuw spent the past four seasons with FC Groningen, appearing in 117 league matches and scoring 46 goals. Current Fire defender Johan Kappelhof joined the Fire from Groningen in February.
The Fire could certainly use the scoring boost, given they rank last in the league with eight goals in nine games.
"The conversations that I had with Nelson and (head coach Veljko Paunovic) were very good," de Leeuw said in the announcement. "What they told me about their desired style of play, what they expect from players and the way that they work all appealed to me. To be a team that adapts to other teams was good to hear. I spoke with Johan Kappelhof many times, and he had good things to say about the club and the city of Chicago, which all makes me excited to be joining the Fire."
The Fire had to ship $50,000 in General Allocation Money to the Philadelphia Union, who had de Leeuw's Discovery rights.