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Chicago Fire FC keep it in the family, sign North Carolina's Mauricio Pineda to Homegrown Player deal

Mauricio Pineda - Tarheels - tight shot


Chicago Fire FC announced Friday they have signed former academy defender/midfielder Mauricio Pineda to a Homegrown Player contract for 2020 with club options for the following three seasons.

Pineda become's the club's sixth Homegrown Player on the current first-team roster. He's also the brother of the Fire's first-ever Homegrown signing, Victor Pineda, who joined the club in 2010.

“I’m so happy to sign my first professional contract with the Fire,” Pineda said in a statement. “I joined the club when I was 10 years old and have been dreaming of playing for the Fire since then. I can’t wait to get started.”

The 22-year-old Pineda joins the Fire after a four-year collegiate career at North Carolina, where he served as team captain and played in all 79 of his team's matches, including 74 starts. He had 17 goals and eight assists over his career, and in his senior season led the Tarheels with 52 shots, 23 shots on goal and three game-winning goals.

Pineda featured for the Chicago Fire academy prior to his collegiate career, helping the club win its first-ever U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) national championship in 2015.

“We’re very happy that Mauricio has decided to return to Chicago to begin his professional career,” Chicago Fire FC coach Raphael Wicky said in a statement. “He has all of the abilities necessary to become an impactful player. I’m looking forward to working with Mauricio to help him reach his potential.”