UPDATE (Feb. 19) – Chicago Fire FC have acquired Mexican winger Jairo Torres as a Young Designated Player from Liga MX side Atlas FC, the club announced Saturday.
Torres will join Chicago on May 1 and has signed through 2025. He will occupy an international slot on Chicago’s 2022 roster.
“Jairo checks all the boxes that we were looking for in a Young Designated Player, and we’re very pleased to acquire his services ahead of the club’s 25th season in MLS,” sporting director Georg Heitz said in a release. “Jairo has been one of the most productive young players in Liga MX and was an integral part of Atlas’ championship-winning team in 2021.
“We expect him to be a very important and exciting player for the club and look forward to welcoming him to Chicago on May 1. I’d also like to say a special thank you to our technical director, Sebastian Pelzer, as this move would not have been possible without all his hard work over the last several months.”
The 21-year-old has eight goals and eight assists in 108 all-competition appearances for Atlas. He’s featured once for Mexico’s senior national team, appearing in an international friendly against Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 2, 2019.
Torres is Chicago’s second new DP this offseason, joining midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri after the Switzerland international arrived from Ligue 1’s Lyon. Their other DP is Paraguay international midfielder Gaston Gimenez, a holdover from 2020-21.
ORIGINAL (Feb. 16) – Chicago Fire FC have reached an agreement with Liga MX's Atlas FC to acquire winger Jairo Torres, a source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com, although the deal isn't complete just yet.
Torres, 21, made his debut with the senior Mexican national team in 2019. He is a product of Atlas' academy, having already made 108 appearances across all competitions at his young age, putting up eight goals and eight assists. A natural winger, Torres can play on either flank, though has spent time up top and as an attacking midfielder.
Torres would be a winger in Ezra Hendrickson's 4-2-3-1 formation, with the new head coach already saying the plan is for new superstar Xherdan Shaqiri to play as a No. 10. Shaqiri was officially acquired last week from Ligue 1's Lyon for $7.5 million, as first reported by MLSsoccer.com.
Chicago entered the 2022 offseason with two open DP slots, with only Paraguay international midfielder Gaston Gimenez an incumbent. Shaqiri took one open slot and Torres would be the other. Given Torres is a Young DP, the club can use all three U22 Initiative slots. They have two filled already in Colombian forward Jhon Duran and Argentine defensive midfielder Federico Navarro.
It's been a huge rebuild for Chicago, with center back Rafael Czichos arriving from German side FC Köln this winter as well as striker Kacper Przybylko last month from the Philadelphia Union, in addition to the new DPs.
Chicago open their 2022 campaign Feb. 26 at Inter Miami CF, looking to make the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017 and just the second time since 2012.