The Chicago Fire have acquired defender/midfielder Lovel Palmer from Real Salt Lake in exchange for allocation money, the two clubs announced Friday.
“We’re pleased to welcome Lovel to the Fire,” said Chicago head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop said in a statement. “He is a versatile, experienced player who will be instrumental in building a deep squad to compete in 2014.”
Palmer, a Jamaican international, spent one year with the Claret-and-Cobalt, providing one assist in 17 regular-season appearances over the course of 2013. He also featured in RSL's run to the MLS Cup final, where he drove his decisive penalty off the crossbar to give Sporting KC the win.
“Real Salt Lake will always have a special place in my heart,” Palmer said in a statement. “I wouldn’t trade this last season with RSL for anything. If someone said to me at the beginning of the year that we would do it all over again, that RSL and Sporting Kansas City would be in MLS Cup and Kansas City would win, I wouldn’t trade teams. I wouldn’t trade the Real Salt Lake experience for the MLS Cup.
"It’s a bittersweet moment knowing I won’t be in that locker room again next year, but at the same time I’m excited to be with the Fire and stay with [Chicago assistant coach and former RSL assistant] C.J. Brown. Joining Chicago is a very exciting opportunity and I’m really looking forward to being with the Fire.”
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The 29-year-old was originally acquired by the Houston Dynamo from Jamaica's Harbour View FC prior to the 2010 season and spent a season-and-a-half in Texas before being traded to the Portland Timbers. He has totaled three goals and three assists over the course of 96 regular season appearances and has also earned 24 caps for the Jamaican national team since debuting for the Reggae Boyz in 2005.