The Chicago Fire officially announced the loan deals of Drew Conner and Patrick Doody to USL affiliate Saint Louis FC on Friday.
Both Conner and Doody played in a preseason friendly with the Missouri club earlier in March so this doesn't come as a surprise. Neither player had made an appearance in the Fire's first three matches of the season.
Doody, 23, went on loan to Saint Louis FC last season. He made 21 appearances with the USL club and tied for the team lead with four assists. He earned some late season appearances with the Fire after his positive loan stint, but through three matches this season it appeared Doody was fourth in the Fire's fullback depth chart.
Brandon Vincent seems to have locked down Doody's left back position and Doody only made the substitute list when Michael Harrington was suspended for the March 19 match against Columbus. While returning to St. Louis might feel like stagnation to Doody, he was a popular player in his time with the team last year, even having a fan club named for him.
"It is great to have Patrick back," Saint Louis FC coach Dale Schilly said in the club's statement. "Fans grew accustomed to his ventures down the left flank and his ball services. He's a very good teammate and a nice fit in our locker room. I am eager to watch him compete for his time on the team."
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Conner, who like Doody is a Fire Homegrown player, didn't appear in the FIre's immediate plans to giving the rookie midfielder a chance to play first team matches somewhere will be a positive for him.
"Patrick and Drew need games to remain game fit and sharp,” Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez said in the club's release. “In addition, we know they will receive excellent training as well as a warm reception from the great fans of Saint Louis FC."
The Fire can recall Doody and Conner at any time during the MLS regular season.
Saint Louis FC opens its season on Saturday at the Real Monarchs.
— Patrick Doody (@PatrickDoody19) March 25, 2016