Johan Kappelhof - FC Groningen - Close up
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Chicago Fire sign 25-year-old Dutch defender Johan Kappelhof from FC Groningen

On Tuesday, the Chicago Fire announced they have signed defender Johan Kappelhof to a three-year contract in a transfer from Dutch club FC Groningen.

The club revealed that it used Targeted Allocation Money to sign Kappelhof. Per league and club policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are delighted to add a defender of Johan's quality," Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez said in a team statement. "He craves and excels in 1-on-1 situations, matches well with both physical and fast opponents, and is refined on the ball." 

Kappelhof, 25, spent the last five seasons with Groningen, scoring three times in 123 Eredivisie appearances with the club. He also appeared in eight UEFA Europa League games during his Groningen career, including 90-minute shifts in each of their six group stage matches in the 2015-16 competition.

This year, Kappelhof had one goal in 18 league appearances.

A member of the Groningen side that won the KNVB Cup in the 2014-15 season, Kappelhof grew up in the famed Ajax youth academy. He appeared several times for the Dutch Under-21 team from 2011-13. 

He's the 10th new addition to the Fire's roster this winter, and the second international defender, along with Portuguese center back Joao Meira, to sign with first-year head coach Veljko Paunovic's side.

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