CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire today announced that the club has come to terms with forward Chris Rolfe on a new contract that will move the rookie striker to the club's 18-man senior player roster. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not announced. The senior roster spot was created after the club placed midfielder Scott Buete on the MLS Season Ending Injury list.
Rolfe has been a main cog in the Fire's offensive attack since making his MLS debut off the bench in the squad's 2005 season opener at FC Dallas on Apr. 2. Rolfe has made an immediate impact during his first professional season, with his five goals and four assists earning the University of Dayton product consideration for the 2005 MLS Gatorade Rookie of the Year award. Rolfe has played in 23 of the team's 25 matches this season, including 16 starts, and is the team leader in shots with 53 and shots on goal with 24 in addition to ranking tied for second in goals and fourth in assists.
"Chris has had a terrific start to his career and we feel he's earned the right to be a part of our senior roster," said Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan. "We're pleased that we could reward him and expect further great things out of Chris for the rest of the season."
Buete made eight appearances, including four starts, for the Fire in his second MLS season, playing a total of 365 minutes for the first team in 2005. Buete has also been a steadying force on the Fire's Reserve Division team during its inaugural campaign, registering a pair of assists in 623 minutes of action across seven contests (all starts). Buete was moved to the Season Ending Injury list after he underwent surgery to repair a broken toe on his right foot on Aug. 10, just days after he suffered the injury in an MLS Reserve League match against D.C. United.
Fire Adds Former CFJ U-23 Defender DeMetrius White to Developmental Roster
The Fire today also announced the signing defender DeMetrius White to the team's developmental roster. The 20-year-old White becomes the first member of the Fire's Youth Development Program to "graduate" to the senior team, as the Milwaukee, WI native spent time this summer with the Chicago Fire Juniors Senior Development Team (U-23's). With the signing, White fills the ninth of ten available spots on the Fire's developmental roster while keeping the squad's active roster at 27 men.
"DeMetrius is a young player that was called to our attention with him being so close to us in Milwaukee, so we brought him in for a few days," said Sarachan. "We felt, given the space we had on our developmental roster and the fact that he was growing as a player, that it was a good opportunity to continue to look at him and make him an official rostered member of our squad."
White already has some experience with his new squad after playing the final five minutes for the Fire's MLS Reserve Division squad in a 4-1 victory over D.C. United on Aug. 7. White was a standout during his high school days in Milwaukee, earning several accolades during his four years at Riverside University High School, including being named a three-time All-Conference member and a two-time Conference MVP and member of the All-Wisconsin State Team. After growing up playing in the Milwaukee Simba Soccer Club under the direction of former U.S. National Team player Jimmy Banks, White joined the Chicago Fire Juniors program earlier this summer, where he played on the club's newly developed Senior Development Team.
"It's great. I think this is going to be a good experience for me," said White on his signing with the Fire. "It came across as somewhat shocking. I am just hoping that sometime before the season is over I can get some minutes with the first team."
#6 DeMetrius White
Height: 5'9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 175 lbs. (79 kg)
Born: July 26, 1985 in Milwaukee, WI
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Last Club: Chicago Fire Juniors U-23s (2005)
How acquired: Signed to developmental roster on 9-02-05
Misc: Signed by the Fire to its developmental roster on 9-02-05... Born 7-26-85 in Milwaukee, WI... Played final 5 min. for the Chicago Fire Reserves in its 4-1 win over D.C. United Reserves on 8-07-05... Played this summer for the Chicago Fire Juniors' Senior Development (U-23) squad, making him the first-ever player from the Fire's Youth Development Program to "graduate" to the Fire's senior team... Played four seasons at Milwaukee's Riverside University HS, where he was a three-year All-Conference member in addition to twice being named Conference MVP and All-Wisconsin State Team... Four-year player on the Wisconsin and Region II ODP squads... Played with ODP teams against youth sides from France, Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala... Played club soccer for Milwaukee Simba Soccer Club under former U.S. MNT player Jimmy Banks.
TRANSACTIONS: Fire SIGNS FORWARD CHRIS ROLFE TO SENIOR ROSTER, SIGNS DEFENDER DEMETRIUS WHITE TO DEVELOPMENTAL ROSTER AND PLACES MIDFIELDER SCOTT BUETE ON SEASON ENDING INJURY LIST