TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Chicago Fire FC have signed Greek youth international striker Georgios Koutsias, the club announced Tuesday.
The 19-year-old arrives from PAOK, the same Greek Super League club that Charlotte FC star Karol Swiderski joined MLS from before the 2022 campaign.
Koutsias, who will occupy a U22 Initiative roster slot, is under contract through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027. He'll also take up an international roster position.
"Georgios is a talented young player with the potential to make an immediate contribution to our front line," Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz said in a release. "At just 19 years old, he has experience in a competitive European league and at the youth international level. We’re excited to welcome Georgios to Chicago."
Koutsias is coming off a loan spell at Greek side Volos NPS, where he scored five times in 23 matches. He didn’t score in 12 first-team games for PAOK, but proved prolific on their reserve and U-19 squads.
Fire FC’s striker corps will look different in 2023 after rising Colombian international Jhon Durán was transferred to English Premier League side Aston Villa last month for up to $22 million. Durán was acquired via the U22 Initiative, then earned a top-three outgoing move price-wise in MLS history.
Last week, Chicago acquired 38-year-old Kei Kamara – third in all-time MLS goals (139) – in a trade with CF Montréal. The club also returns Kacper Przybyłko, who’s coming off a mixed 2022 season (just five goals) after arriving via a trade from the Philadelphia Union.
MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert and others have reported Chicago remain in the hunt for a Designated Player No. 9. Currently, the club’s other DPs are Swiss international midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri and Mexican winger Jairo Torres. Defensive midfielder Federico Navarro also holds U22 Initaitive status.
Chicago, chasing their first Audi MLS Cup Playoffs trip since 2017, scored the second-fewest goals in MLS (39) last season. They’re hoping those fortunes change in Matchday 2, hosting New York City FC for their season opener (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).
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