Chicago Fire sign the "Colombian Eto'o"
The legion of Colombian players in MLS welcomed its newest member on Wednesday.
The Chicago Fire announced the acquisition of 20-year-old target forward Cristian Nazarit, increasing the number of Colombians in MLS to a staggering 17.
Nazarit, a former Colombian youth national team player, will arrive in Chicago on Wednesday and participate in his first training session on Thursday. He will be available for selection by Fire manager Carlos de los Cobos when Chicago host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday at Toyota Park (8 pm ET, MatchDay Live).
To make room for Nazarit on the roster, the Fire placed Croatian midfielder Marko Maric on the disabled list.
The native of Cali, Colombia, at one point was nicknamed the “Colombian Eto’o” when rumors of international interest surfaced from big clubs in Europe. He has played for Santa Fe in Colombia since 2008, scoring 16 goals in 42 appearances before his contract expired with the club in January of this year.
The player, who was connected with moves to Argentina and MLS during the offseason, was available to be acquired outside of the MLS international transfer window due to the fact that he was unattached.
“Cristian brings a wealth of talent and experience to the Chicago Fire,” Fire technical director Frank Klopas said in a club statement. “The Colombian target forward has pace, strikes the ball well and is able to play with his back to goal. His size and offensive abilities make him a positive addition to our team.”
Nazarit exploded onto the scene at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in South Korea, where he scored three goals to lead them to the Round of 16.
He joins the likes of FC Dallas attackers Fabián Castillo and the Portland Timbers duo of Jorge Perlaza and Diego Chará as the latest Colombian additions to the league. On the Fire he will rejoin his former teammate with the Colombian Under-20 national team, Yamith Cuesta.