After trading the No. 3 pick in the draft for allocation money, the Fire selected Louisville midfielder Daniel Johnson with the No. 11 pick.
Johnson was one of the standout performers at the combine, according to multiple reports from Los Angeles. On the live draft stream MLSSoccer.com’s Matthew Doyle described Johnson as a “true winger.”
Wing depth was one of the Fire’s biggest needs entering the draft. David Accam is a stalwart at left wing, but the Fire don’t have any other speedy wide players and Johnson could fit that mold.
On the draft stage, Johnson thanked the Fire for giving him a chance and believing in him.
Johnson began his college career at Maryland, but struggled for playing time and transferred to Louisville after two years. As a junior in 2015, Johnson had five goals and was a Second-Team All-ACC pick. The Georgia native had two goals and five assists and was a Third-Team All-ACC pick as a senior. His draft stock appeared to rise after having two assists and drawing and converting a penalty kick in his first game at the combine.
The Fire don’t have any more picks in the first two rounds of the draft.
Portillo's has become a staple in the Chicagoland area due to its popular hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and now, its soccer jerseys.
OK, maybe one of these does not belong with the others. Regardless, Twitter user @JTHazzard created mock-up soccer jerseys mashing MLS teams and restaurants based in that team's city, and the Portillo's jersey is sweet.
From the Portillo's logo taking center-stage to the picnic blanket pattern to the discrete Chicago Fire logo, this jersey is absolutely brilliant. The only change this writer would make is including the logo below instead.
Valspar is the current sponsor featured on the Fire's uniforms. If the team ever needs a new sponsor, though, Portillo's would be an excellent replacement.
As far as notorious players in MLS with a history of scoring big goals, Alan Gordon is one of the first names on that list.
The Fire signed the 36-year-old forward on Friday, continuing to add depth to a roster that appeared paper thin throughout the preseason. Gordon, who had been on trial with the Fire for part of the preseason and even after the season opener, signed a one-year deal.
Gordon adds plenty of experience from being in the league since 2004 and having scored 55 goals with five different teams. For the past few years he has been used primarily as a substitute, but has still maintained his reputation for scoring goals late in games.
At 6-foot-3 he brings plenty of size and strength to the team and is one of the best players on headers in the league. Last season the Fire failed to score directly off a set piece, which was both due to consistently poor service from corner kicks and a lack of players adept at finishing them off. Gordon should give the Fire a late-game option in that area.
Elliot Collier had impressed the Fire enough to earn a contract as a third-round pick and an international player and even came off the bench in the opening loss to Sporting Kansas City, but it appears the team wanted more experience at forward with Gordon.