Kennedy Igboananike

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D.C. United acquires Igboananike from Fire in trade

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With the playoffs still very much in sight, D.C. United is making another attempt to boost its struggling attack.

[ MORE: NYCFC, Rapids meet in Bronx on Saturday ]

After recently trading for New York City FC forward Patrick Mullins and New York Red Bulls midfielder Lloyd Sam, D.C. has completed a trade for Chicago Fire attacker Kennedy Igboananike in exchange for target allocation money and a third-round draft selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

In over a season-and-a-half in MLS with the Fire, Igboananike notched 11 goals and four assists in 49 matches. The Nigerian forward is a Designated Player, and is due to make over $900,000, according to the MLS Players’ Union website.

[ MORE: Christian Vieri trying to make comeback in Chinese Super League ]

D.C United is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference standings, sitting on 20 points through 21 matches. The team is four points behind the New England Revolution for the final playoff position.

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MLS Snapshot: Chicago Fire 1-0 Philadelphia Union (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): The Chicago Fire win. The Chicago Fire win. The Chicago Fire win. After losing an astonishing 20 games in 2015, a year after drawing and even more astonishing 18 times, the Fire have their first win of the 2015-16 season. Kennedy Igboananike scored the game’s only goal, his second of the season, four minutes after the Union were reduced to 10 men. Complete list of teams currently (maybe for just a couple more hours) behind the Fire in the Eastern Conference: Toronto FC, New York Red Bulls, D.C. United and Columbus Crew SC — all of whom qualified for the playoffs in 2015.

[ MORE: Sacramento to MLS? | Preview the rest of Week 4 ]

Three moments that mattered

43′ — Ilsinho channels his inner-Ronaldinho — Michael Harrington had a family and people who loved him. How could you do that, Ilsinho?

47′ — Creavalle goes through the back of Cocis, sees red — Lunging through the back of a player? No chance of getting the ball? Taking out an opponent’s planted leg? Check, check and check. See ya, Warren Creavalle!

51′ — Igboananike slots past Blake for 1-0 — Harrington sent the low cross into the box, where Kennedy Igboananike was quick with the turn and strike toward the far post. Andre Blake was rooted to the ground and could do nothing but watch his side go down 1-0.

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Man of the match: Kennedy Igboananike

Goalscorers: Igboananike (51′)

MLS Team of the Week — Stars of Week 13

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Week 13 of the 2015 Major League Soccer season is in the books, and whether or not you can actually believe it, that means we’re approaching the halfway point of the season.

In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at the Best XI from the 2015 MLS season, doing so with a little help from the first 17 Teams of the Week. For now, though, we keep plugging away week by week by week until Week 17 is in the books.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Week 10 MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

30 goals in 10 games from Friday to Sunday (plus another three in three games on Wednesday) makes Week 13 one of the highest-scoring weeks of the season.

Without further comment, I present to you my Week 13 MLS Team of the Week.

Thoughts? Questions? Agreements? Disagreements? (Of course not.) Leave them in the comments section, as always. I’m not afraid to defend my picks.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS Team of the Week archive ]

MLS Team of the Week — Week 13

Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid (D.C. United)

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Defenders: Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Kevin Ellis (Sporting Kansas City), Eriq Zavaleta (Toronto FC), Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution)

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Midfielders: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Marco Pappa (Seattle Sounders), Gershon Koffie (Vancouver Whitecaps), Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew SC)

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Forwards: Krisztian Nemeth (Sporting Kansas City), Kennedy Igboananike (Chicago Fire)

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MLS Snapshot: San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Chicago Fire

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One game in 118 words: The first game in Avaya Stadium history might’ve been the most entertaining MLS match of the weekend… at least for a solid 45 minutes. Three goals in the match’s first half-hour set the tone, as the Quakes built a 2-1 lead. San Jose keeper David Bingham made some nice saves, including a 32nd minute stop on Eric Gehrig’s powerful header off a corner kick. David Accam came on to make his Fire debut at halftime, and fellow DP Kennedy Igboananike followed, but the second half was a stagnant display without much to offer the neutral fan until the very last gasps. The home fans got a victorious stadium debut, which was nice for them, and Chicago has its first 0-3 start in franchise history.

[ MORE: RBNY wins Atlantic Cup match ]

Goals

San Jose Earthquakes: Alashe (5′), Harden (21′)

Chicago Fire: Shipp (29′)

Three moments that mattered

5’ — Fatai at Avaya — First-round SuperDraft pick Fatai Alashe scored the first goal in Avaya Stadium history, and it came from less than a yard in front of the line. A San Jose corner was flicked around a few times before Alashe headed past mark Lovel Palmer.

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21′ — Can’t Harden Wait — Seven years after his MLS debut, Ty Harden poked in a rebound to give San Jose a two-goal lead with his first goal. It came off a free kick, and neither Sean Johnson nor his Fire defender teammates will not enjoy the replays.

29′ – Harry halves the hole – Joevin Jones slipped a neat through ball for Harrison Shipp, and the Homegrown Player from Notre Dame darted past Alashe to hit it home.

LINEUPS

San Jose: Bingham, Wynne, Goodson, Harden, Francis, Alashe, Koval, Perez Garcia (Jahn, 83′), Nyassi (Cato, 87′), Wondolowski, Emeghara (Salinas, 76′).

Chicago: Johnson; Gehrig, Larentowicz, Adailton, Palmer; Polster, Shipp, Stephens (Igboananike, 67′), Maloney, Jones (Accam, 46′); Amarikwa (Guly, 74′)

Chicago adds Designated Player striker from Swedish powers AIK

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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.

[ MLS: Highlights from Commish’s state of the league ]

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?