Fire sign Honduran D/M Ivan Guerrero to MLS contract

CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire announced today the signing of Honduran international Ivan Guerrero to a Major League Soccer contract. Per MLS policy, terms of the contract were not released. Pending visa approval, the 27-year-old defender/midfielder will occupy the Fire's third Senior International roster spot alongside Damani Ralph (Jamaica) and Andy Herron (Costa Rica).

"Ivan is another guy I've had my eye on for number of years," said Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan. "I've watched him be a mainstay for the Honduran National Team and also for his club for the last year or two. We think he can be one of the better left attacking backs in the league with his ability to get forward. He has played at the highest levels for a number of years and for a young guy he's got his best soccer ahead of him. We're very excited to bring him to the team."

The addition of Guerrero is the latest in a series of recent moves that have upgraded Chicago's back line. Today's signing comes just one week after the Fire welcomed Samuel Caballero, who, like Guerrero, is a veteran of the Honduran National Team.

"I've followed MLS closely the last few years and am impressed with how fast it's grown," said Guerrero. "The Fire is certainly one of its better teams and a team that is capable of winning championships. I welcome new challenges and am eager to join a talented group of players that will compete for many titles."

While starting his professional career for Motagua of the Honduran First Division, Guerrero would make the jump to Coventry City of the English Premiership in October of 2000 after Honduras's run to the Olympics. After two years with Coventry City, the versatile left-flanker spent an additional year with Motagua before heading to Peñarol of Uruguay, where he played during the 2004 season, including the team's appearance in the prestigious Copa Libertadores Tournament.

"Ivan is a fast and skillful defender who will improve our back line, strengthen our attack and also provide some depth at left midfield," said Fire President and GM Peter Wilt. "These recent additions will give us many options and provide considerable depth in back."

Guerrero is no stranger to high-level competition, as the left-sided winger began wearing the blue-and-white of Honduras for the country's youth teams. Guerrero served as the Honduras U-23 team's captain during its surprising run to first place in the 2000 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which resulted in the country's first-ever appearance in the Summer Olympic Games in the sport. Since then, Guerrero has been a regular call-up for Senior National Team contests, including starting roles during the team's appearance in the Carlsberg Cup tournament in Hong Kong in 2004 and nearly every CONCACAF region qualifier for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

#23 Ivan Guerrero

Position: Defender/Midfielder
Height: 5'7" (1.71 m)
Weight: 155 lbs. (71 kg)
Born: November 30, 1977 in Comayagua, Honduras
Hometown: Catacamas, Honduras
Citizenship: Honduras
Last Club: Peñarol (Uruguay)
How Acquired: Signed with Chicago Fire as a Senior International on Feb. 8, 2005
Professional Experience: CD Motagua, Honduran First Division (1996-2000, 2003), Coventry City, English Premiership (2000-02); Peñarol, Uruguayan First Division (2004)
Pronunciation: gar-RARE-oh


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