Report: Fire, Impact vie for Didier Drogba


Report: Fire, Impact vie for Didier Drogba

Just when it appeared as though the Chicago Fire were in pole position to sign Didier Drogba, interference from an Eastern Conference foe has given rise to a tug-of-war to acquire the services of the Chelsea legend.

Speaking to TSN Radio Montreal 690 on Monday, Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo confirmed that the club had, however, maintained regular communication with the Ivorian forward, who, per Saputo, "didn't hide the fact that Montreal would be a perfect fit for him."

Last week's reports from the Daily Mail and Daily Star indicated the Men in Red established themselves as the frontrunner, with ESPN FC confirming the MLS club had submitted an 18-month, $2.5 million offer to Drogba. According to another ESPN FC report released Tuesday, the Fire, who have Drogba on their Discovery List -- a rule granting them exclusive entitlement to his rights should he opt for a move to MLS -- have now increased that offer.

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Fire chief operating officer Atul Khosla took to Twitter Tuesday morning, confirming the club's ambition to sign Drogba, who'd also been in contact with the Men in Red for three weeks.

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"The Chicago Fire are interested in signing Didier Drogba and have been in direct contact with the player and his agent to negotiate a contract," added club vice president Doug Hicks in a statement. "We would love to have Mr. Drogba join our club and we are working within the rules set by Major League Soccer for the discovery process. In accordance with those rules, it is inappropriate for anyone outside our club to infringe upon this process."

Should Montreal sign Drogba and negotiations peter out with the Fire, the league's Roster Rules and Regulations affirm that Montreal would have to cough up $50,000 in Allocation Money in exchange for the right to sign him.

On the other hand, assuming Drogba seals a move to Chicago, the Fire would have to put the new Targeted Allocation Money mechanism into practice by buying down the salaries of one of their three Designated Players.

Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?


Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?

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.

Fire sign veteran MLS forward Alan Gordon


Fire sign veteran MLS forward Alan Gordon

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.