The Chicago Fire today announced the signing of defender Jared Montz to developmental contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not announced. To make room on the team's 10-man developmental roster, the Fire waived defender Hollis Ryan Donaldson.
"Jared's a versatile player that can be successful in a number of positions, either playing in the back on the right or left side or even as an outside midfielder," said Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan. "He's a player who is very comfortable on the ball. We saw him a year ago when he came to train with us in the summer and felt he was the type of young player that we would like to bring in should he become available. We think he'll make a great addition to our squad and are pleased to sign him to our developmental roster."
Montz joins the Fire from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, where he played four years for one of the premier programs in NCAA Division II soccer. Montz was a three-year starter at Lynn, where he helped the Fighting Knights to an impressive 67-8-1 record from 2001-2004, including an undefeated 22-0-1 mark in 2003 en route to the school's first-ever Division II National Championship. Montz notched five goals and added 16 assists in 67 games (52 starts) during his collegiate career.
"It's a dream come true, pretty much. I thought the dream was gone for a while, but then this opportunity came thorough for me," said Montz. "Coming from a small school I knew I probably wouldn't get a look, but I knew somebody who new somebody and that gave me an opportunity to come up and train with Chicago last year. That got my name in the mix here and it's worked out as well as I had hoped."
Montz joined the Fire's training camp in late March and played all 90 minutes for the Chicago Fire Reserves in the squad's Inaugural MLS Reserve League contest, a 4-1 loss at D.C. United last Sunday. Montz will be available for both the Fire's home opener tomorrow night at Soldier Field against the San Jose Earthquakes (7:30 p.m. CT, Fox Soccer Channel) and Sunday's MLS Reserve League contest versus San Jose at Flames Field on the campus of UIC (10:00 a.m. CT).
To make room on the team's developmental roster, the Fire waived defender Hollis Ryan Donaldson. Donaldson became the first player to be drafted out of Liberty University when the Fire selected him in the fourth round (39th overall) of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft on Feb. 4. Donaldson did not make an appearance for the Fire's first-team, but did play the entire 90 minutes in last weekend's Reserve League contest at D.C. United. Donaldson made 11 appearances for the Fire during its 2005 spring exhibition schedule, including five starts, and registered one assist in 409 minutes of play.