CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire today announced the signing of forward Chris Rolfe and defender Gonzalo Segares to developmental contracts. Per club policy, terms of the contracts were not announced.
The Fire was familiar with Rolfe before making him the 29th overall selection in January's MLS SuperDraft, as the striker spent three seasons with the Chicago Fire Premier (formerly Fire Reserves) of the Premier Development League. The Kettering, OH native played his collegiate soccer at the University of Dayton, where he fought through injuries to become one of the program's most prolific scorers and its all-time leader in assists. During his four-year career, Rolfe was named to the 2002 and 2004 All-Atlantic 10 First Teams and was an NSCAA/adidas Second-Team All-American in his senior season in 2004.
"We've gotten to know Chris well over the past year since we first saw him last summer with the Fire Premier, and we're very pleased to have him as a part of our program," said Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan. "Chris has certain qualities in front of the goal and in the attacking part of the field that are unique and effective and we believe he has a great future ahead of him as a forward."
The Fire acquired Segares, whose signing will be official pending visa approval, on Jan. 14 in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft as the 35th overall pick. Segares, who qualifies as a Youth International player under MLS rules, is a native of San Jose, Costa Rica and was a four-year starter for Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was twice named the Colonial Athletic Conference Defender of the Year in 2002 and 2004 and was an All-CAA First Team member in each of his final three seasons. During his senior campaign in 2004, Segares was one of three finalists for the 2004 MAC Hermann Trophy Award, awarded annually to college soccer's best player, in addition to being named to the NSCAA/adidas All-American First Team.
"We felt we were getting a guy who knew what he was about as a defender when we were able to pick Gonzalo up in the SuperDraft," Sarachan said. "He's a great tackler and one-on-one defender, but he's also surprisingly good with the ball at his feet. Gonzalo has quite a bit of experience for a younger player and can be utilized at different places within the defense."
TRANSACTIONS: Fire SIGNS CHRIS ROLFE AND GONZALO SEGARES TO DEVELOPMENTAL CONTRACTS