Wedding week just got a whole lot better for Gonzalo Segares.
Earlier this week, the Chicago Fire recently announced they wouldn't pick up the club option on the veteran defender for next year, putting his name on the initial list for Friday's Re-Entry Draft just days before he left for his native Costa Rica to prepare for his wedding. But on Thursday, the Fire announced they had signed the 30-year-old to a multi-year contract, withdrawing him from the draft just before Thursday's deadline.
“It’s tough to see your name out there with a possibility of leaving because they definitely weren’t going to take my option,” Segares said. “I was confident that I was going to be able to come back, but it’s always at the back of your mind. Anything can happen, there’s always that possibility. As we talked, there were some stressful weeks, but I was happy that everything worked out.”
Segares has played 207 games with the Fire since the club drafted him out of Virginia Commonwealth in 2005, leaving only for a short stint in Cyprus in 2010. After captain Logan Pause, he's the second longest-tenured player on the club.
“I'm definitely happy to remain part of the Fire,” Segares said. “The Fire gave me the opportunity to become a professional in MLS and this is the only team that I’ve played with in the league since the draft in 2005.”
With Segares back, the Fire's entire starting lineup is set to return for next season, when expectations will rise after a 2012 season that marked a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
“I think we have a very good core of guys, great personalities a fantastic set of coaches and a great locker room that definitely know the way to guide us to the championship,” Segares said. “If we add two or three good players that can make us stronger, we’ll have a pretty good team that can make it to MLS Cup and win it all.”