CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire announced Tuesday the signing of Haitian midfielder Alexandre Boucicaut to the club. Per MLS policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. Boucicaut (pronounced Boo-ci-KOH) signed with the club as a Discovery Player and will be classified as a Transitional International, meaning that he will not occupy the Fire's vacant Senior International spot. Boucicaut will be eligible to play pending visa approval and receipt of his international transfer certificate.
The signing coincides with Sunday's opening of the FIFA International Transfer window, one of two periods during the course of the calendar year when clubs are allowed to sign players already under contract to another club. The current transfer window will remain open until September 15.
"Alex provides added midfield depth. Using a discovery and his youth international status allows means we still have two allocations, a discovery and a senior international spot available," said Chicago Fire general manager Peter Wilt. "We hope to use these resources to continue to strengthen our team before the September 15 FIFA window closes. These additions will position the team to make good runs for both the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup this year."
The acquisition of Boucicaut from Haitian first division side Violette Athletic Club was not unexpected, as the 22-year-old Haitian international has trained with the Fire during much of the last two months since his initial trial performance in June. Boucicaut is a natural right-sided player known for his exceptional pace up and down the flank and decision making skills that are well beyond his years.
"I'm very excited to join the Chicago Fire," said Boucicaut. "My family and I have been waiting for this for a long time, and back home in Haiti everyone was hoping I would get signed by the Fire. Throughout my weeks here in Chicago I've gotten to know the players and the coaching staff and I feel that I'm ready to start contributing in any way possible to help turn things around for the club. This team has a winning tradition and I believe two cups are still within our reach."
Boucicaut has already performed at the highest level for his country, having made eight appearances for the Haitian National Team since his debut with the team as a 20-year-old in 2002. Many American soccer fans will not be seeing Boucicaut for the first time when he makes his Fire debut, as the midfielder scored Haiti's tally in a surprising 1-1 draw with the U.S.A. in an international friendly played at Miami's Orange Bowl on Feb. 18.
"We are very excited to add Alex to the roster," said Chicago Fire head coach Dave Sarachan. "We identified him a few months ago when he played for the Haitian National Team against the United States, and after his trial period we felt he would be a very good addition to the Fire. He's a guy we feel can add a real dimension with his pace and flank play on the right side of the field."
Boucicaut currently resides in Evanston, Illinois. He is married to Jeanette and the couple has one daughter, Alyssa (2).