The Chicago Fire roster overhaul ahead of the 2016 season continued on Saturday following a trade that sent Homegrown signing Harry Shipp to the Montreal Impact in exchange for general and targeted allocation money.
First reported by the Chicago Tribune's Guillermo Rivera, the trade makes Shipp the 15th player from the 2015 squad to move on under the new leadership at the club – head coach Veljko Paunovic and GM Nelson Rodriguez.
"Harry is a homegrown player and an obvious fan-favorite, which makes this trade more emotional than most," Rodriguez said in a club statement. "However, we believe this trade will prove to be beneficial for our club and for Harry's career."
Shipp was signed as a Homegrown player by the Fire on Jan. 9, 2014, just a few weeks after leading Notre Dame to an NCAA College Cup title. The Lake Forest, Illinois native played 33 matches in each of his two seasons with his hometown club (55 starts in his 66 appearances), scoring 10 goals and 14 assists.
He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in a 2014 debut season that was highlighted by a hat trick at Red Bull Arena. Although he led his team in assists in 2015 with eight, a subpar finish saw him register just one goal and three helpers in his final 20 appearances of the season as the Fire missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
Shipp, who primarily featured as a wide playmaker for Chicago, projects to be a potential back-up for Ignacio Piatti in Montreal and a possible option at winger after the departures of Justin Mapp and Dilly Duka.
“We are very pleased to have been able to acquire Harry and we are looking forward to him joining our group,” Impact technical director Adam Braz said in a club statement. “He is a player who has already shown he can produce in this league and we feel that he will fit well into our team and into our style of play.”