BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Robert Earnshaw has come to the Chicago Fire to do one thing: score goals.
The Welsh striker arrived in Chicago on Wednesday after becoming Frank Yallop’s third addition of the summer following the July acquisitions of Matt Fondy and Razvan Cocis.
The free agent boasts an impressive club record with more than 200 goals in almost 500 games and 16 in 58 appearances for Wales' national team, and is now looking forward to bringing that experience and consistency to the Fire, who sit just three points outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture with 11 games to go.
“I’ve got lots of goals in me and I’m looking to bring them here,” Earnshaw said as he was presented to the media at Toyota Park for the first time on Thursday. “That hunger to be out there and play is what I’m about. I love to be out there, I love to play, I love to score goals, celebrate and enjoy it. If I can contribute to the team at the same time and really get us to win games then it’ll be perfect.”
The 33-year-old forward joins the Fire (4-6-13, 25 pts) at a time when Yallop’s men are in dire need of goals, having failed to score more than once in a game in nine regular season outings. They are also desperate for wins having recorded just four victories and tied a league-leading 13 times in 23 games.
Now Earnshaw, who will also add some flair and excitement with his acrobatic front-flip goal celebration, hopes his energy and instinct will help the Fire launch a late charge for a place in the playoffs. And that could begin with a debut away to his former club, Toronto FC, on Saturday (7 pm ET, MLS Live).
“I’m hoping to come and if I can give something to the team and give an energy that changes those ties into wins, that’s what I’m after,” Earnshaw said. “For me, I’ve had a lot of years and experience playing with some top, top guys. If I can bring that experience to this team and hopefully it’s critical in certain games then that’s going to be a big factor as well.”
Captain Jeff Larentowicz, scorer of four goals this season, is hoping Earnshaw can hit the ground running and continue his impressive scoring run in his return to MLS.
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“The coaching staff and the front office bring him in with the intention of scoring goals,” Larentowicz said. “He’s a forward and as a professional and a veteran, his intention is to score goals. Hopefully he can continue the success that he’s had throughout his career with us.”
Yallop tried to lure Earnshaw to MLS during his time with San Jose, but the veteran admitted Chicago has been on his radar since his time with Toronto, where he scored eight goals in 26 games in 2013.
“As soon as the season actually finished last year, when the negotiations with Toronto didn’t happen, one of the teams I mentioned to my agent was Chicago,” Earnshaw revealed. “I thought it would be a great city and a great team to play for. It’s funny that everything has kind of come round and I end up here. I’m really excited for the city, excited to play in front of the fans.”