Luis Solignac had his option declined by the Chicago Fire in November, but will still be back with the team in 2017.
The Argentine forward signed a new deal with the Fire on Thursday. He stays with the Fire at a contract number lower than his option was for and gives the Fire some extra depth at forward. The contract is guaranteed through 2018 and has a club option for 2019.
With the acquisition of Nemanja Nikolic earlier this offseason, the Fire now have better depth, certainly in terms of sheer numbers if not also quality, than in 2016. With Solignac, Nikolic, Michael de Leeuw and David Arshakyan, along with winger David Accam, coach Veljko Paunovic will have more options at forward than he did at any point in 2016.
The Fire traded for Luis Solignac on Aug. 3, 2016, sending allocation money to Colorado. That was the same day the Fire signed Arshakyan. By that time both Gilberto and Kennedy Igboananike were gone.
Solignac joins Johan Kappelhof, de Leeuw and Nikolic as players with guaranteed contracts for the 2018 season.
In a similar move last offseason the Fire declined Razvan Cocis' option and then re-signed him for 2016.
Solignac scored a pair of goals in 13 appearances, 12 of which were starts, after the Fire acquired him. With Nikolic and de Leeuw in the fold this season Solignac figures to play more of a bench role in 2017.
The 25-year-old scored five goals in 31 combined games, 24 starts, with the Fire and Colorado last season.
Solignac re-signing means the Fire have seven international players currently on the roster. As it stands, the Fire have one more international slot open, which could affect future moves as the Fire near the start of preseason training on January 23.
The Fire currently have 19 players under contract with two first round picks in the upcoming draft, which will take place Jan. 13. The draft combine starts Sunday.