Chicago missed out on Jermaine Jones in the summer and vowed to bring in some firepower this offseason.
And now they have their first Designated Player slot filled with a man who can add goals to the Fire’s repertoire.
Kennedy Igboananike, 25, is coming to Major League Soccer from Allsvenskan powers AIK. The Nigerian-born Swedish player had an offseason last year, scoring just 6 goals in 31 appearances, but has numbers on his resume. He scored a goal every other game the previous year.
The question is whether the style of play will translate to MLS. After all, Allsvenskan is arguably a lesser league.
Nonetheless, from MLSSoccer.com:
“Kennedy is a dynamic goal scorer with a track record of producing,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop said in a club statement. “He’s young and exciting, a player with incredible pace, and we look forward to adding him to our roster to bolster our attack.”
A product of Dynamos Football Academy in Nigeria, Igboananike made his professional debut with Djurgårdens of the Swedish Allsvenskan on June 19, 2007. The next year proved to be Igboananike’s breakout season, when he transferred to lower-division club Vasalunds and scored a league-high 18 goals, garnering the Division 1 golden boot in 2008.
It’s a risk, to be sure. Put plainly: AIK teammate Celso Borges of the Costa Rican national team scored four times in 18 games last season. How big of a signing would he be considered if he came to MLS?
Only four teams scored fewer goals than the Fire last season, and they certainly need an injection in offense. But will Igboananike be an answer, or even part of the answer?