Chicago Makes a Splash By Signing Shipp

NCAA Champion Harrison Shipp joins the Chicago Fire
by Kiran Balan   |   Monday, January 13, 2014

Ladder 97 – column on Chicago Fire & the Chicagoland area soccer scene.

While Toronto FC were making splashes with the signing of international players Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley, the Chicago were making waves of their own by signing former Notre Dame forward Harrison Shipp as a Homegrown Player.

The HP rule allows MLS clubs to sign players that have come through their ranks of the youth development academies.

Players that have come through the Fire PDL program have gone on to have prominent careers with the Fire. Among them, Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry went through the PDL program and won Rookie of Year award in 2012. There is no reason to believe that Shipp will be any different, once he finds his feet in MLS.

Shipp joins the Fire with a large list of college soccer accolades, and will definitely be a player to look out for during the 2014 MLS season. Manager Frank Yallop was quick to praise the former Fighting Irish captain when he said, “Harry’s a local guy, one of the best college players in the country and we’re extremely excited to have him join the Fire.”

Signing Shipp could prove to be one of the best moves that the Fire make this offseason given his success in coming through the youth academy system with the Fire. Additionally, his experience playing with and against some of the best college players in the country proves he is ready to make the next jump into MLS.

While at Notre Dame, Harry developed a very strong soccer resume that would impress any MLS team. The captain provided the game winning assist in the NCAA College Cup Championship in a 2-1 win over Maryland, leading Notre Dame to their first men’s soccer title in the program’s history.

During his 4 years at the school he put up very strong numbers, scoring 23 goals and providing 24 assists in 83 games. These numbers show he is a consistent and important performer up top.  In 2013 he was named the 2013 ACC Offensive Player of the Year and All–ACC First Team Honors, in addition to a couple academic achievements.  His winning mentality will be a huge driving force for the Fire in the coming season.

The Fire boast a very skillful and potent strike force up top with the likes of Juan Anangonó, Chris Rolfe and Mike Magee. Shipp will have some great mentors as he develops his game.

Training camp and preseason matches will be key for Shipp to develop chemistry with his new team. Yallop is building for the future by signing Shipp and while it’s not the most high profile or glamorous of signings MLS has seen, the team has a strong history of developing their own talent pool. Fire fans, new and young talent is always worth a watch, and Shipp is surely to make a good first impression.

NEXT UP: March 9 – Chicago Fire vs. Chivas USA, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif. 3 p.m. EST, UniMas.


Illinois State University
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Chicago Fire
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Columnist for his hometown MLS team, Chicago Fire. When he’s not flying down the left wing for ISU FC or in a pick-up game, he can be seen watching the beautiful game. A die-hard Chelsea and USMNT fan, he is keen to growing his soccer knowledge.