UPDATE: The Fire and Red Bulls have officially announced the trade. The deal will send $200,000 of allocation money to RBNY in 2017, and $200,000 again in 2018.
Don’t look now, but the Chicago Fire are building something noteworthy in Bridgeview.
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Three weeks after signing three-time MLS Cup-winning (LA Galaxy) midfielder Juninho to anchor the midfield in Veljko Paunovic’s second season in charge, the Fire sent a hefty chunk of general allocation money to the New York Red Bulls in exchange for do-everything stalwart Dax McCarty, who’ll partner the Brazilian in comprising one of MLS’s toughest midfield duos.
According to a report on FourFourTwo.com, the Fire will send $400,000 of general allocation money to the Red Bulls, which represents the largest sum of MLS dollars to change hands since the league began announcing figures during the 2017 SuperDraft on Friday (New York City FC traded $250,000 to the Fire in exchange for the no. 3 overall pick, which helped fund the acquisition of McCarty). In total, McCarty made 169 regular-season appearances for the Red Bulls, serving the last two seasons as club captain, and helping the red half of New York to the only two major trophies in club history, the 2013 and 2015 Supporters’ Shields. The 29-year-old (he’ll turn 30 in April) is currently participating in January camp with the U.S. national team.
The Fire also signed 28-year-old Hungarian striker Nemanja Nikolic to a Designated Player contract last month. Nikolic has nearly 200 goals to his name in 326 career games played.
With seven weeks still to go before First Kick 2017, the Fire’s opening-day starting lineup is shaping up to look something like this…
Accam — De Leeuw — ???
Juninho — McCarty
Vincent — Meira — Campbell — ???
The Fire might be good this year.