The Chicago Fire announced Thursday they have signed 25-year-old Uruguayan striker Gastón Puerari, looking to shore up an offensive group that saw a major overhaul during the offseason.
Puerari and the club agreed to terms some time ago, but an official announcement was delayed until his International Transfer Certificate was approved.
“Gastón is a talented, offensive player with the ability to make an impact for our club,” Fire technical director Frank Klopas said in a statement. “We are excited to bring in a player with quick feet, good passing skills and the ability to finish on goal. Gaston’s work ethic and drive to win makes him a perfect fit to represent the Fire badge.”
The team has agreed to terms with one other international striker, but – as it did with Puerari – won’t release his name until after all of his paperwork clears.
Puerari, who scored five goals and registered one assist in 14 games with Montevideo Wanderers of the Uruguayan First Division last fall, joins Calen Carr as one of two forwards the Fire have under contract.
Unsigned draft picks Jason Herrick, Davis Paul and Amani Walker, and trialists Ashley McInnes, Fabian Burbano Castillo and Paraskevas Pantazopoulos, are the other forwards currently in camp.
Two of the Fire’s regular starters up top in 2010 – Brian McBride and Collins John – won’t be back for 2011, after McBride announced his retirement and the club parted ways with John after one season.
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.