CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire on Friday officially added forward Andy Herron to their senior roster after the Costa Rican international passed his team physical and received his Visa approval and international transfer certificate from his former team, Club Sport Herediano of Costa Rica. With the Fire's 18-man senior roster already filled, the Fire was forced to move defender Leonard Griffin to the club's developmental roster and waive midfielder Ian Pilarski to complete the transaction. Herron's addition to the roster means that he will be available for selection by Fire head coach Dave Sarachan for Saturday's important Eastern Conference match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. (6:30 p.m. CT, Comcast Cable)
The 26-year-old Herron, who comes to Chicago on loan from Club Sport Herediano, was signed on Aug. 31 after the Fire executed a trade with the Dallas Burn, acquiring a Discovery Option from Dallas in return for the Fire's 2005 natural third round selection. Herron, who will occupy the Fire's third and final Senior International spot, was a member of Club Sport Herediano from 2002-2004, helping the team to Costa Rica's Torneo Clausura title in 2004, while also leading the league in scoring with 12 goals and 13 assists. Midfielder Andy Williams (Jamaica) and forward Dipsy Selolwane (Botswana) occupy the Fire's other two senior international slots.
Herron has also impressed on the international level for Costa Rica, scoring four goals in his 13 appearances for the "Ticos," including a pair of tallies in three games (all starts) for Costa Rica during the semifinal round of CONCACAF region qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. As a member of Costa Rica's Under-23 national team from 1999 to 2000, Herron scored 11 goals in eight games with the squad during Olympic Qualifying in 2000 (Sydney).
Defender Leonard Griffin, the Fire's first selection in the second round (11th overall) in January's MLS SuperDraft, has made eight appearances (two starts) for the Fire during his rookie season. The UCLA product has totaled 274 minutes of playing time for the "Men in Red" without scoring a point. With today's roster shift, Griffin joins Denny Clanton, Matt Pickens and Project-40 members Craig Capano, D.J. Countess and Nate Jaqua on the Fire's six-man developmental roster.
After being selected by the Fire in the fifth round (49th overall selection) of last January's 2004 MLS SuperDraft, midfielder Ian Pilarski did not see any action for Chicago during the MLS regular season. Prior to the 2004 season, Chicago sent the 22-year-old midfielder from Pittsford, N.Y., on loan to his hometown club, the Rochester Raging Rhinos of the United Soccer League's (USL) A-League, where he played 134 minutes across eight league matches without registering a point. Pilarski did score the game-winning goal against the Fire in the Rhinos' 2-1 exhibition victory over Chicago at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y., on May 17.