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Fire: David Accam named to Ghana roster for AFCON qualifier

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Fire: David Accam named to Ghana roster for AFCON qualifier

Chicago Fire Designated Player David Accam is making another return to the Ghanaian national team.

Accam, 24, has been named to Avram Grant's 24-man squad for the upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda. The Black Stars will face Congo in a friendly on Sept. 1 in Brazzaville, four days before they travel to Kigali for their second Group H qualifying match.
 
The Fire begin their three-match road stint at Orlando City SC on Saturday and will be without their speedy winger for the following match at the Montreal Impact on Sept. 5, which could be a significant fixture in shaping the playoff picture as the season winds down. 
 
Accam recently represented Ghana in the opening round of qualifying matches in June, netting his first international goal in the team's resounding 7-1 triumph over Mauritius. Earlier this year, he earned his first international cap against Senegal in the 2015 African Cup of Nations tournament, and featured in a friendly with Mali on March 31.
 
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The full Ghana roster:
 
Goalkeepers (3): Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain), Fatau Dauda (AshGold), Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)
 
Defenders (7): Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Jeffery Schlupp (Leicester City, England), Baba Rahman (Chelsea, England), Gyimah Edwin (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Daniel Amartey, (FC Copenhagen, Denmark)
 
Midfielders (9): Rabiu Mohammed (Krasnodar, Russia), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Solomon Asante (T.P. Mazembe, DR Congo), Christian Atsu (Bournemouth, England), Andre Ayew (Swansea City, England) Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Bernard Mensah (Getafe, Spain), Godfred Donsah (Bologna, Italy)
 
Forwards (5): Asamoah Gyan (SIPG Shanghai, China), Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion, Switzerland), David Accam (Chicago Fire, USA), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Atalanta, Italy)

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.