Chicago's Much Needed Offseason Reshuffle Continues

Chicago adds speedy striker DP to the roster
by Kiran Balan   |   Wednesday, December 03, 2014

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

The 2014 offseason for the Chicago Fire has seen many names leave Toyota Park, but behind the scenes head coach Frank Yallop has been busy at work scouring various countries trying to find new and energetic talent to bring to the club.  On December 2nd, the club announced the signing of a new designated player, a Nigerian striker named Kennedy Igboananike from AIK in Sweden.

At first glance this probably is not the big name marquee signing that Fire fans were hoping for, but this signing is definitely a move in the right direction for the team. Kennedy Igboananike will give the Fire a big lift in the goal-scoring department and will add a new dimension to the Fire’s strike force.

The Fire have seen many strikers slapped with the DP tag fail to make the grade at the club, but with the Fire signing the pacey striker so early in the club’s off season means that he will be better acclimated to the city, the players, and the club culture even before the Fire’s 2015 season opener.  Igboananike also brings a lot of experience playing in Sweden’s top-flight league his whole career. He has played on some of the most storied and historic teams in Sweden, and that European experience can only help the Fire in the new season.

His blistering pace up front and strong work rate also attracted the attention of Barclays Premier League clubs QPR and Southampton among other suitors, but he has chosen to join the men in red and make Chicago his new home.

Coach Frank Yallop was full of praise for his new signing and gave majority of fans a renewed sense of optimism as the club continues to rebuild from a disappointing season. “Kennedy is a dynamic goal scorer with a track record of producing. “He’s young and exciting, a player with incredible pace, and we look forward to adding him to our roster to bolster our attack.”

Kennedy’s scored some clinical goals during his time in Sweden. His consistent ability to find the back of the net can only be an asset to the team.  With Harry Shipp continuing to develop his passing game in the midfield, having a player like Kennedy on the team can only help improve the squad.

His numbers in Sweden were definitely strong, with him consistently hitting double digits. He also played in the Europa league for AIK, when they played Linfield in qualifying.  During his time at AIK he tallied 19 goals in 55 matches. Fire fans will hope he can emulate that form, if not improve it when he joins the team.

With the Fire set to officially name their protected players list for the upcoming draft, the Fire scouting staff will have to continue to work hard to find talent that will make the Fire a contender in the Eastern Conference. 


Illinois State University
Club Domestic:
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.