Chicago Fire FC have signed forward Missael Rodríguez to a homegrown deal through the 2025 season with a club option for 2026, it was announced Tuesday.

The 18-year-old’s deal starts January 1, 2022 and makes him Chicago’s seventh homegrown to sign a first-team contract since January 2020. Fire FC have nine homegrowns under contract through the 2022 season.

“Missael is a promising young player who has demonstrated strong finishing qualities,” technical director Sebastian Pelzer said in a release. “We are excited to continue helping him develop and to see his qualities improve within the first-team environment.”

A Chicago native, Rodríguez joined the Fire Academy at the end of the 2017-18 season. Most recently, he scored the game-winning goal to propel Chicago to the 2021 MLS NEXT U-19 title over Solar SC. Additionally, Rodríguez earned the Golden Boot for the U-19 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs with a tournament-high six goals in five matches.

“It’s a dream come true to sign for my hometown club,” said Rodríguez. “Thank you to my coaches, family and friends for helping me achieve this goal.”

A 2003 birth-year player, Rodríguez is the 21st homegrown signing in club history.

“Since joining the Academy, Missael has improved each year and has confirmed his qualities as a goal-scorer,” said academy technical director Cedric Cattenoy. “Signing with the Fire is a testament to his qualities and to the hard work and commitment from him and the Academy staff.”